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Stone grad, pro boxer Harrison recognized at local fundraising event, improves to 11-0

By AJ MASON

Staff writer

Charles County commissioners’ Vice President Reuben B. Collins II (D) first started watching Dusty Harrison box at Golden Gloves bouts when the Thomas Stone High School graduate from Waldorf was 11 years old.

Seven years later, Collins still keeps up with Harrison, who has blossomed into a professional boxer and is currently the D.C., Maryland, Virginia welterweight champion.

Family and friends gathered at the Hilton Gardens Inn in Waldorf on Dec. 6, as Collins held his fifth annual fundraising event and a preholiday celebration.

Harrison, who was invited by the commissioner, signed autographs and took pictures with local fans, also displaying his welterweight championship belt, alongside his father and trainer Buddy.

“I’m impressed with how much Dusty has grown as a boxer,” Collins said. “For several years, I watched him at Golden Gloves and he could take a hit. What make him a very good boxer was that he could latch on and he’s very fluid. There are so many variables in boxing and I’m surprised he went pro so quickly, it’s just amazing.”

In appreciation of Collins, friends, family and staff members who work with him talked about his dedication and hard work in the Charles County community.

And Collins along with senior advisor Barry Wilson gave their appreciation to Harrison, recognizing him as the “county’s own and the welterweight champion.”

“I’m thankful I got to meet a lot of people tonight,” said Harrison, who won his 11th straight professional fight on Dec. 8. “It’s great to have people in the community backing me.”

Many people at the fundraising event congratulated Harrison for his accomplishments thus far as a pro and greeted him with open arms.

Collins’ wife Deborah and daughter Janiya and son Tyme were also present and were very supportive of Harrison like they were his biggest fans.

“I first found out about Dusty from reading the newspaper and I heard that he was a great boxer,” Deborah said. “In one of the stories, he was quoted as saying “Boricua” and when I found out that his mother’s side was Puerto Rican I thought that was interesting because I’m also Puerto Rican.”

Harrison, who has a big fanbase from Thomas Stone, the community and the metropolitan area, felt that receiving all the support is great.

“Mr. Collins and his whole family are great, they support me at my fights and they are recognizing me in the community,” Harrison said. “They are great people to be around.”

“He’s a Charles County kid and he’s really come along way,” Collins said. “Tonight was important for us reach out to people about him. We want to continue to support Dusty no matter what in terms of marketing him and whatever he does. As he continues to grow we have to recognize him on his efforts.”

Harrison earns first-round TKO in Washington, D.C.

In the main event on Dec. 8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., Harrison improved to 11-0 in his pro career as he scored a first round technical knockout over Darrell “Prince” Jones of Jacksonville, Fla.

Harrison with his reach, power and speed knocked Jones down on the canvas twice before the bout was stopped at 2 minutes 30 seconds in the round. It was the seventh knockout of Harrison’s early career.

“I felt really strong entering the fight, each fight I’ve been getting stronger. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m improving every time I step in the ring. When I got knocked down in the eighth fight I think that kind of sparked me,” Harrison said. “[Jones] was pretty good; he was about an inch taller than me. I just caught him with a few good shots, but he was very tough.”

The win was even more special for Harrison, whose uncle lost his life earlier in the week.

“After the fight, my mom [Lynda] came in the ring and started crying. I felt very sad,” Harrison added. “My uncle’s three kids were there and I know he would’ve loved to have seen me fight. It felt good to see the family have a time of enjoyment.”

ajmason@somdnews.com