- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Both humble. Both professional boxers at a young age. Both graduated high school in Charles County, both starting their college careers and both still undefeated.
Thomas Stone High School graduate Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (17-0, 10 KOs) and Michael “Yes Indeed” Reed (5-0, 4 KOs), a Westlake High graduate and Waldorf resident, are more than making a name for themselves and setting high goals.
They’re both staying devoted to their craft and both have the proverbial bull’s-eyes on their backs. Everyone wants a piece of them at this point.
Hernandez-Harrison, 19, a defensive fighter who was the top prospect last year by Stiffjab.com, defeated Guillermo Valdes, 20 years older, won his 17th professional fight recently with a blow to the jaw that rocked Valdes’ neck back, causing referee bill Clancy to stop the fight at 45 seconds into the fourth round at Dover Downs Casino & Resort’s Rollins Center. This was Hernandez-Harrison’s second knockout in his last three fights.
“I feel great because I did exactly what I wanted,” Hernandez-Harrison said in a recent press release. “I wanted to put pressure but strategic pressure, not too much to where I started to look sloppy. I might have at times looked a little sloppy with my punches, but overall I’m satisfied with how it came out.”
Jeff Fried of All In Entertainment, a Washington, D.C.-based sports agent for the family, said that Hernandez-Harrison will be fighting for a world championship youth title by the end of the year.
“This will be an extraordinary accomplishment for this 19-year-old professional boxer from Washington, D.C.,” Fried said. “This follows Dusty becoming world ranked by the prestigious World Boxing Council in its September ratings.”
The WBC-ranked Hernandez-Harrison in the 40th spot. He’s currently planning to fight Josh Torres, 12-2 from New Mexico, on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-Curtis Stevens HBO card at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 2.
The promotional team is planning a major January homecoming, following the success at his May 18 boxing event at the University of the District of Columbia, where Hernandez-Harrison attends and studies Spanish. Nearly 3,000 fans came out in support in the win over Eddie Soto.
“We are very pleased with Dusty’s development,” Fried said, “both in and out of the ring. From day one, we discussed the work ethic necessary to reach Dusty’s goal of becoming a world champion and in particular his ability to handle the emotional aspects that come with a major promotional push in support of his career. Dusty’s character values, that come in large part from his family upbringing, are an integral part of his rise. A young athlete must not substitute fan support and adulation for the hard work that’s necessary to reach the top and stay at the top. Dusty gets it and that is as important as his world class jab.”
Reed shining in the ring, too
Reed, who is studying accounting at the College of Southern Maryland, trains out of Dream Team Boxing Gym in Clinton, also the home gym of heavyweight professional fighter Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell.
Reed is known as a smaller boxer but has skills necessary to fight well on the inside. His defensive skills, fast hands and solid ring generalship help make him a well-rounded boxer.
He earned his nickname from “Yes Indeed” from a substitute teacher in the ninth-grade, Robert Carroll, after Carroll watched a video of Reed in the ring.
Reed, 20, will be stepping into the ring at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington for the fourth time, his third consecutive.
Reed will be challenging Randy Fuentes of McAllen, Texas, in a fight scheduled for six rounds on Oct. 18, Reed’s second six-rounder so far in his professional career.
Reed’s professional debut was on March 2 when he defeated Kareem McFarland just 2 minutes 43 seconds into the fight on a technical knockout.
Reed’s quickest fight was a knockout over Cassious Clay that ended the fight in just 41 seconds on April 20. Reed was surprised by how quick it ended, thinking they’d exchange blows for a few rounds.
Reed said everything’s moving in the right direction and he and his trainer and father Michael “Buck” Pinson are happy with the progress.
“It’s all going fast,” Reed said, “everything’s going as planned. When I first thought about turning pro, I thought that fighting every month or every other month would be good for me.”
In preparing for Fuentes, Reed is sparring with fighters Antoine Douglas, Lamont Roach Jr., Kevin Rivers and Terron Grant, and plans to spar with Alantez Fox as well.
“I know he’s [Fuentes] 4-0-1 and I’ve seen him fight. He’s a southpaw,” Reed said. “It should be an interesting fight. We’ll be busy the entire fight. He throws a lot of punches.”
Reed and his support system are still eagerly weighing the odds when it comes to a promotional team. He’s still without one and just being patient with the process.
“We’ve spoken to a lot of different people,” Reed said. “After every fight, at least one promotional company or manager will call us. After every fight, we’re sure to get a call from somebody, but no one has offered us anything that we’d like to jump at yet.”
Reed has his eye on the WBC, IBF and WBA boxing belts.
“Danny Garcia has two of those belts,” Reed said, “and Lamont Peterson has the IBF belt. Every opponent is different. We know I’ll be faster than most everybody that I do fight, so we’ll definitely be working on my hand speed. Going into every fight, we focus on hand speed and my defense and make sure we’re up to par.”