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PBC on FOX: Maybe not disastrous, but...

Things didn’t quite go as planned for PBC’s big return to FOX.

Premier Boxing Champions - Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Well, that was…interesting, wasn’t it?

If you show me the person who predicted that both Charlos would be in tight fights, let alone that one would lose and the other would damn well near do the same, I will show you one of the sharper minds in the game.

Because, hello, that wasn’t the intention of the evening.

This was a showcase situation, Jermell and Jermall were supposed to get Ws, and look sharp and solid on this first PBC on FOX event of the new deal, and that would be propelling them to more meaningful bouts against the higher-profile names both men said this week they needed to fight.

No case for the showcase, though.

Jermell Charlo took his first L, though he and most everybody I spoke to think he didn’t deserve it. The ‘Mell versus Tony Harrison bout was no classic. They didn’t throw 900 punches between them, and though several high profile fighters took to Twitter to lobby for Tony’s ring generalship, his volume level indicated that he wasn’t keen on offering an activity rate that was close to the 154-pound average.

But luckily, the three judges tasked with the watching and scoring of his bout very much rewarded his safety-first outing. Tony threw more than 40 punches just once, according to CompuBox, but Robin Taylor, Julie Lederman and Ron McNair weren’t put off by that. Most of those who watched and opined on Twitter were, however. (Not the Michiganders, they saw Detroit Tony as being in control of the pace and tone.)

The worst score card of the night award, though, goes to Larry Hazzard Jr — he saw a 119-018 fight in favor of Jermall, who retains the WBC 160 interim title, and gave the Russian-born Floridian Matt Korobov just a single round, the fifth. In five of 12 rounds, Korobov threw the same or more number of punches than did the middleweight Charlo, and he landed five more power punches, according to the punch count aces.

But three judges were impressed with Mall more than Mell, so he retains his unbeaten mark, while the “little bro” will now learn what it’s like to seethe righteously, after actually being messed with. He’d railed this week that media weren’t giving him enough love, weren’t banging the drums enough to his liking for a Jermell vs A-sides bouts — and now he in fact has grounds for being irked.

Scanning the media landscape, we saw that some influencers thought the first PBC on FOX affair didn’t score anything close to a KO. Kevin Iole termed the card “disastrous.” We will see how public perception falls on Sunday into Monday, but no, this wasn’t best case scenario for the PBC gang.

Jermell said after he still wanted a fight with Jarrett Hurd, but the momentum for that match is nil. Me, if I had the power, I’d book a rematch with Harrison right away. Not sure why he wasn’t thinking about righting the judges’ wrongs and instead re-focusing attention to Hurd, who is supposed to take another bout before fixing to take a Charlo test.

As for Jermall, you can say that the proper way to interpret his outing was by giving Matt Korobov due credit. And that isn’t an unsound judgement. But again, the way that fight went isn’t leaving the masses craving seeing how Jermall fares against the Canelos, GGGs and Jacobses. He was neck-and-neck with a guy seen as a top 25 middleweight before Saturday.

So, bottom line: I wouldn’t employ the word disastrous in terms of this opening card. OK, maybe in retrospect you don’t book a rusty Dominic Breazeale in your first-look fight for the newbies. But let’s see how the ratings look before we bestow a grade, no? And in the meantime, Lasik in the stocking for Hazzard Jr, yes?

Happy holidays, readers.

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