Tony Harrison, Anthony Barnes eager to show boxing not dead in Detroit

Terry Foster

The world must wait to see the wonderful skills of Detroit boxer Tony Harrison.

He was scheduled to make his national television debut on ESPN’s “Friday Night Boxing” this week, but an injury required him to have his jaw wired shut, postponing the bout for at least a month. Harrison said he will take the next two to three weeks to heal, then begin serious training for another bout that will be on national television.

Harrison (18-0 with 15 knockouts), a promising middleweight, was boxing a light heavyweight two weeks ago when the injury occurred. He is mostly drinking juice and water as a result.

“It is no big deal,” he said. “It happens in sports. Every time you step into the ring you are liable to get hit.”

Harrison has boxed mostly in anonymity in local venues but took a huge step forward recently when he signed with famed boxing manager and advisor Al Hayman, who advises Floyd Mayweather and light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, among others. Hayman is as high profile as it gets and will not only guide Harrison but will pick his bouts, set up training and be his spiritual leader.

“Anybody you name and Al Hayman has him,” said Harrison.

Here is what Mayweather told Boxing Insider about Hayman: “When it comes to entertainment and sports, you can’t choose a better guy than Al Hayman. If Al Hayman is not on your team, you don’t have the right guy on your team.”

Ready to fly

Harrison continues to work out and said his liquid diet has helped him physically. He is disappointed however, because he wants to show people outside Detroit his skills. Now is the time for him to spread his wings.

“Man, I am so disappointed,” he said. “I wanted to show everybody that Detroit still has boxing. We still have talent. I was disappointed not to be able to show the world that Detroit is still here and we are here to represent.”

Harrison does not like when Detroit’s boxing talent is questioned. Most people believe boxing disappeared here when the Kronk Gym closed.

“They forgot about Detroit,” Harrison said. “When you tell them you are from Detroit the first thing they ask is, ‘What does Detroit have?’ There is still pride in Detroit. Detroit is here and we are not going anywhere. I want to show the world that Detroit still has great boxing talent.”

Barnes keeps rolling

Harrison attended a boxing event last week at Royal Oak Music Theatre, where super middleweight Anthony Barnes of Huntington Woods continued to roll past opponents. Barnes knocked out Darryl Fields 20 seconds into the main event.

Barnes (6-0, 5 KOs) has gone from the guy opponents could not wait to fight to the guy nobody wants to fight. He is looking to upgrade his management team so he can get tougher fights. Barnes wants to win a regional title by the end of the year. That is, if anybody will fight him.

“I am trying to find a good manager to find me the right fights,” Barnes said. “I want to get money behind me so I can move up in the rankings. It is hard to get people to fight me. I do have some power and boxing skills, and everybody knows that.”

Barnes is one of the up-and-coming Detroit fighters the late manager and trainer Emanuel Steward said has world championship potential. Barnes’ quick knockouts have him on the right path.

“I am ahead of schedule, but I don’t want to go too fast,” Barnes said. “I don’t want to go too slow, either. I want to have a fight every other month and move up the rankings.”

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