CSAC: Jermell Charlo's Bottle Only Contained Water Amid Tony Harrison Complaint

Blake SchusterContributor IIIFebruary 14, 2020

Jermell Charlo knocks down Jorge Cota, of Mexico, in a junior middleweight boxing match Sunday, June 23, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Jermell Charlo's rematch victory over Tony Harrison was not without controversy and now the California State Athletic Commission has weighed in.  

Following a light middleweight fight in late December where Charlo recorded an 11th-round technical knockout, Harrison's team lodged a complaint with the state board arguing that Charlo violated a rule stipulating all water during the bout must come from a clear container.

The CSAC, however, disagreed with Harrison, noting Charlo's team cleared the use of green Gatorade bottles with the athletic inspector ahead of the fight. 

"Mr. Charlo's cut man asked the commission-assigned athletic inspector if he could transfer water from new water bottles to the squeezable Gatorade water bottle, for the purpose of being able to squeeze water from the bottle," the CSAC said in a statement to ESPN. "The athletic inspector allowed this and observed the cut man take two new water bottles, open and pour them into the squeezable Gatorade water bottle. Furthermore, Mr. Charlo and Mr. Harrison passed every drug test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), out of competition and in competition. Mr. Charlo and Mr. Harrison were both clean fighters for this bout."

Charlo also responded on social media Wednesday, tweeting a photo of his negative drug test following the fight. 

The finding did little to quell Harrison's concerns. Boxers are required to use clear containers for water due to concerns trainers or cut men could infuse additives in later rounds to give their fighter a boost. The CSAC said that was not the case with Charlo, though it remains a sport-wide concern.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Harrison railed against the CSAC's decision. 

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"I just don't understand how inspectors and California commissioners could drop the ball like this in a world championship fight," Harrison wrote. "[Charlo] didn't start off drinking what ever was in the bottle until about round 4 until it ended. Head trainer Dereck James never co-signed what was going on never touched that bottle that was getting passed on the sides. They crowded him it was really hard to see til I watched the fight time and time again. He can say he was drinking anything but fact is it def wasn't water!"