President's Picks: Dusty Hernandez-Harrison
D.C. welterweight has the makings of a future world champion
Sometimes, you just know.
Whether because of a devastating punch, undeniable athletic skill or simply the way a young fighter carries himself, it becomes clear from the start that a successful career awaits.
Such appears to be the case with teenage welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison.
Just 19 years old and reared in the often-difficult neighborhoods of the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C., the mature-beyond-his-years slugger has already racked up 19 victories in a pristine professional career that began less than three years ago.
The soaring early rise has made him the first fighter to be included in a new feature here on IBOBoxing.com - to be called “President’s Picks” - in which Ed Levine, president of the International Boxing Organization, will introduce site visitors to a young fighter who shows all the signs of becoming a world champion in the not-too-distant future.
Levine got his first live look at Hernandez-Harrison in early November, when the youngster earned the WBC’s youth silver title at 147 pounds with a unanimous 10-round decision over 23-year-old Josh Torres on the Golovkin-Stevens undercard at Madison Square Garden.
Just one look, as it turned out, was all it took.
“I was instantly impressed with Dusty, both in the ring and out,” Levine said. “Not only did he show skills that have already made him an accomplished fighter and someone I believe will ultimately compete on a world-championship level, but I was very struck by how thoughtful he was when he spoke and how much maturity he showed. He’s quite a young man.”
Hernandez-Harrison, who swept the scorecards by counts of 100-90, 98-92 and 98-92, was back in the ring just 20 days later in Dover, Del. for a first-round stoppage of 30-year-old Marlon Lewis, a five-year pro who’d not been beaten in more than three years.
The Torres victory was Hernandez-Harrison’s first trip over the full 10-round distance, while the brief outing against Lewis marked the fifth opening-round win of his career, was his 11th knockout victory overall and the fourth KO in eight fights in a busy 2013.
He won three times in his debut year of 2011, and was also 8-0 in 2012.
“Dusty has become the biggest name in boxing in Washington D.C., at the age of 19,” his manager/advisor, Jeff Fried, told the Montgomery (Md.) Gazette after the Lewis fight. “He continues to want to learn, as he knows to achieve greatness in anything you not only have to possess the talent, but the desire from within to be the best.”
He has attracted the attention of some of the sport’s biggest names, like super middleweight champion Andre Ward, who called to wish him well before a recent fight and has been mentioned frequently as a role model.
“I want to learn, both in the ring from the great ones like Andre, and outside the ring from business people and the different entrepreneurial dealings that Jeff includes me in,” Hernandez-Harrison said. “I appreciate the fans as much as they show their appreciation for me when I am in the ring.”
IBOBoxing.com will continue to follow Hernandez-Harrison’s career with periodic fight reports and other pertinent news and feature items. For suggestions on other fighters to feature as “President’s Picks,” please contact Levine at email@example.com.