A day after he won the WBC Junior Middleweight title over Jermell Charlo, Detroit native Tony Harrison said he would like the rematch to be in his hometown of Detroit. Harrison upset the favorite Charlo in Brooklyn, winning by unanimous decision, which drew some controversy afterward.
Harrison, 28, became the first fighter from Detroit to win a world title in the weight division since fellow Kronk Gym fighter Thomas “Hitman” Hearns held the belt in the 1980s.
“Hopefully we can have a rematch and we can do that right here in Detroit,” Harrison said in a television interview with WDIV 4. “I want the city to come together for something positive for one main event. Everybody likes butt whoopings, so if everybody can come out for one day and support it, I think it would generate so much positivity for the city and show that we’re on the up and up.”
The metro Detroit area has not hosted a major boxing match since “Iron” Mike Tyson fought Andrew Golota at the Palace of Auburn Hills in 2000, winning by TKO in the 2ndround, which was later ruled a no contest.
The rematch between Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) and Charlo (31-1, 15 KOs) would be an intriguing one, since Charlo was obviously upset that he did not win the bout. Harrison, in his second world title opportunity, won by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 to claim the belt from Charlo, who was making his fourth title defense. After the fight, Harrison promised Charlo a rematch in the ring. But when and where?
Having the fight in Detroit could be a longshot, but it does not hurt to dream. The city is on the rise once again and Harrison has brought back some much-needed energy to the city that is rich in boxing tradition, with the likes of Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Eddie Futch, Emanuel Steward, Hilmer Kenty, and others calling the Motor City home.
Little Caesars Arena would be the most viable option to host a fight. It is fairly new still, state-of-the-art, and has a capacity of close to 21,000 plus. And it is in the heart of downtown, along with Ford Field, which holds 65,000, if you were looking to have it indoors or during the winter months.
Say they wanted to have the fight during the Detroit summer. The city has plenty of options that could work. The Tigers will not be any good soon, so Comerica Park would be perfect! It seats 41,000 people and is in downtown as well. If you wanted to get closer to the Detroit River, Hart Plaza and Aretha Franklin Park (formerly Chene Park) would be great venues for boxing during the summer at night time.
Once again, this is wishful thinking. But one thing is for sure, boxing is back in Detroit.
“I was finally able to bring this thing back to Detroit and get this thing back rolling like Tommy (Hearns) did,” Harrison added.
This article originally appeared in the Michigan Chronicle.