It will go down as a walk in the park, but Tony Harrison had a bit of a scare towards the end of his near blowout victory over Cecil McCalla in the co-feature of PBC on NBCSN’s Halloween in Houston special live from the NRG Arena. The bout went all 10 rounds and Harrison won the middleweight contest by unanimous decision.
Harrison was coming off of his first loss stemming from the 9th round TKO he suffered against Willie Nelson back in July in the co-feature of a PBC on ESPN card which featured Keith Thurman in his Florida homecoming. The Harrison-Nelson bout had picked up steam during fight week as both men got heated at several promotional events. They almost came to blows when things got tempered, but that was before their better senses overcame the two fighters.
Nelson entered the bout as the underdog as Harrison looked every bit the promising junior middleweight challenger with real power. It was just the fight Harrison needed to further boost his profile if he were to have actually won the fight.
However, Nelson pulled the mild upset and Harrison was forced to go back to the drawing board.
McCalla was not a huge step back, although he was a step down from Nelson. Still, Harrison was getting a solid opponent under the circumstances.
Harrison dominated from the beginning and easily took the reins in the fight. He set the tempo and established his jab.
The dominant performance seemed to be nearly complete until the 9th round. McCalla, who was losing the round, landed a flush shot on Harrison that truly seemed to hurt him. However, Harrison, in the Halloween spirit, decided to give us all a treat by attempting to trick McCalla.
Harrison laid back on the ropes in an attempt to get McCalla to come in and attack. Only, Harrison was playing possum and went right after McCalla who fell for it and believed that Harrison was far more hurt than he really was.
McCalla, knowing he needed to create final round dramatics, went after Harrison and connected with some big shots in the 10th. Both fighters exchanged shots and the fight gained more interest in the final two minutes than it had been in any of the previous 8 rounds. Harrison hung on, although he said in the post-fight that he was never in danger and earned the victory with scores of 100-90 and 98-92 twice.