Los Angeles (AFP) - Jermell Charlo stopped Tony Harrison in the 11th round to reclaim the World Boxing Council super welterweight title on Saturday in a championship rematch in suburban Los Angeles.
Charlo knocked down Harrison in the second round and twice more in the 11th before referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout two minutes and 28 seconds into the 11th of 12 scheduled rounds in Ontario, California.
Charlo improved to 33-1 with his 17th victory inside the distance while Harrison fell to 28-3.
The showdown of 29-year-old Americans was the first fight for Harrison since he took a unanimous decision over Charlo last December in New York, the only loss of Charlo's career.
"I got that belt back," Charlo said. "I waited until the 11th but I didn't leave it up to the judges."
Charlo was leading on the scorecards of two of the three judges in the 11th when he landed a left hook on the champion's chin, staggering Harrison, who wobbled backwards into the ropes and onto his rear.
Charlo landed five punches in a row, a left hook and solid right, sending down Harrison again. Charlo climbed the far ropes to celebrate but Harrison rose and Reiss let him continue.
"I thought it was over," Charlo said. "I'm not the referee. He come to fight. He did what he had to do. He had a lot of pressure on him."
Once fighting resumed, Charlo landed another five punches while wobbly Harrison could only cover up, prompting Reiss to end it.
"I ain't going to question whatever he saw," Harrison said. "I started getting a little lax. I got caught between hooks. No excuses. He earned it. I got caught slipping in between. Don't trade your offense for defense."
Harrison wants a third fight between the rivals to settle who is best.
"I would love to do it one more time," Harrison said. "I feel like I let (my hometown of Detroit) down. I think I let me down. It's 1-1. Hopefully we do it again."
Charlo said he wants to become the division's first undisputed champion since 2004, which would put him in the path of reigning World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion Julian Williams, an American who defends his title next month.
"We can kick it again," Charlo said of Harrison's third-fight hopes. "But I'm off to bigger and better things.
"I'm down for whatever makes history."