Tim Tszyu has declared Tony Harrison a more difficult opponent than Jermell Charlo, but labelled him “fragile” and claimed he “could crack him in half”.
There was plenty of laughter, and even playful wrestling, as Tszyu and Harrison had their first face-to-face meeting at the premiere of Creed III in Sydney on Tuesday night, but both men also had spicy words.
The encounter added to the hype surrounding their bout at Sydney Olympic Park on March 12.
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“If it goes past four (rounds) he’s going to be in trouble,” Tszyu said.
“My aim is to grab him by the neck and pull him down into the ocean and just let him sink, drown him.
“It will start from round one and we’ll see when he gets some air. He’s going to want to tap, he’s going to wish it was UFC.
“He’s tall but my sparring partners are much taller. He looks fragile. You can just see it. I’ve been sparring big, strong, unbreakable blokes and he looks like I could crack him in half.”
Harrison is the only man to have defeated Charlo, but Charlo won a rematch with an 11th-round knockout.
If Tszyu’s fight against Charlo in Las Vegas in January went ahead, the Australian megastar would have had a shot at grabbing the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super-welterweight belts.
Charlo broke his left hand in training, dashing Tszyu’s hopes of clinching the belts in January.
Tszyu is now set to face Harrison in a contest for the WBO super-welterweight title.
“I think he’s got superior skills (than Charlo),” Tszyu said of Harrison.
“He’s got a good jab, good movement and is hard to hit, slick, always moving. Different type of opponent to anyone I’ve ever faced.
“I’m not underestimating him. This is going to be a tough fight — I know that.
“He’s got better skills than Charlo.
“He beat Charlo and was winning his last fight with Charlo (before being knocked out).
“But styles make fights.
“Just because you’re (boasting) superior skill, it doesn’t mean you’re going to win all the time.
“There’s so much in this boxing game.
“The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Quite simple. Aim for the stars.”
Harrison spoke with an air of confidence ahead of his showdown with Tszyu.
“I’m confident anywhere I go. Just give me a ring and give me a time and I’m confident,” Harrison said.
“I live for moments like this. I’m going to beat his arse. I’m going to make a short night of it.”
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