- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Wilmington, Del., was good to welterweight boxing champion Dusty Hernandez-Harrison last month, so was Tunica, Miss.
Harrison, now juggling college classes along with training to keep his undefeated record intact, made it all happen with his hard work and skill in the ring.
The Thomas Stone High School graduate, who has a lot of support in his corner, was recently been named as the 2012 Top Prospect of the Year by Jiffjab.com.
Harrison’s competitor on Feb. 8 at Blue Rock Stadium in Wilmington, Del., was a crafty former Golden Gloves National Champion in Kelly Wright of St. Louis. And Harrison knocked out Wright to keep his perfect streak alive, with the bout stopped at 1 minute 39 seconds of the third round.
In a recent press release, Harrison said he felt good in the ring against Wright and wants to continue improving with each fight.
“He was a crafty guy, so I tried to stay patient in there and let the knockout come and that’s what happened,” Harrison said in the press release. “This was a great experience fighting in Wilmington and the fans were great. Hopefully, I will fight in Delaware again in the future.”
In Tunica two weeks later, Harrison, 18, from Washington D.C., defeated Aron Anderson of Knoxville, Tenn., in a unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the fight 60-54. Harrison kept his undefeated record intact and is now 13-0 with eight knockouts.
In a press release after that fight, Harrison said, “I love fighting in Mississippi. I have a lot of fans down here and appreciate that I started my pro career in Tunica.”
Harrison has teamed up with Washington D.C. based attorney and sports agent Jeff Fried, who is now arranging Harrison’s fights.
“One of the principal reasons Dusty fought in Wilmington was to expose him to different looks, different fans, different circumstances,” Fried said. “Washington, D.C., is home and is our base, but diverse exposure is very important for any young professional. Dusty was the first fight in front of new fans and in a new environment, as opposed to the main event in front of his Washington, D.C., fans. He handled it extremely well, as Dusty possesses a natural calmness about his sport without taking away any of his tenacity in the ring. Boxing is as much about the emotional preparation as it is the physical preparation. Buddy has prepared Dusty well for both.”
Harrison is trained by his father Buddy and the family is proud of the choices Dusty has made in his major at college.
Dusty is enrolled at the College of Southern Maryland and is studying nursing, a contrast of who he is while in the boxing ring.
“With everything going on in the health care field, it is an area that is growing,” Dusty said in the press release. “I guess it seems odd that I make a living in the ring throwing punches at people while I’m studying how to help people stay healthy.”
In a more recent interview with Dusty, he said he’s taking English and math.
“I’m just taking two a semester because I’m so busy with boxing,” he said. “Jeff Fried is keeping me very busy. I think he likes boxing more than I do.”
Dusty said he wants to use his nursing degree in a place where he can help others.
“Jeff Fried is just as concerned about education as the boxing,” Dusty said. “In fact, I credit him for being in college.”
Buddy is very pleased with the decision to go with Fried.
“It has been a rough road to get where we are at right now in boxing, but I am 100 percent sure that Jeff Fried was the right choice for us,” Buddy said. “He is just as happy as I am when Dusty has his hand raised [after a win]. Everything Jeff said would happen, has happened. He’s a very powerful man, yet the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. I believe you can tell a lot about a person from the way he treats his family, therefore, this guy is terrific.”
Fried said this is a development program and that he is all-in.
“The difference between boxers that succeed to the top and the ones that don’t is not solely attributable to talent level,” Fried said. “Many factors are involved. A large part is whether they are capable, emotionally, to handle both success and adversity. Some of the adversity is public, and some is not. At the end of the day, the athlete must truly want the success from within, as everyone is tested along the way in and out of the ring. A solid team is important and we are trying to provide that support enabling Dusty to grow as a professional, and as a young man.”
Fried has set up another fight for Dusty.
“Dover Downs on April 12 will be yet another different look for Dusty, and we are confident he will handle that situation well,” Fried said. “After that, we are coming home to Dusty’s fan base in Washington, D.C., whom he appreciates very much.”