Photo by Juan Marshall of ProAmFightTalk
by Gautham Nagesh
Big news today from Stiff Jab’s 2012 Prospect of the Year: Dusty Hernandez-Harrison will headline a May 18th card at UDC Sports Complex.
The card will be promoted by All-In Entertainment, which was formed by Dusty’s advisor and local sports attorney Jeff Fried along with poker star Phil Ivey and NBA star Monta Ellis of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The main event and portions of the card will be aired by Epix, making it the channel’s first boxing production based in the U.S. Update: The event will be sponsored by Epix and Jordan Brand, but not broadcast on Epix as we were originally informed.
“Dusty Hernandez-Harrison truly exemplifies the heart, spirit and future of boxing here in Washington, and throughout the industry,” Fried said. “While we are still in the process of finalizing the card, rest assured that his opponent will pose a true test as Dusty continues to develop and learn in many ways what it takes to be a world champion, both in and out of the ring.”
A host of other promising young prospects are expected to fight on the card, including Stiff Jab 2011 Amateur Boxer of the Year Mike Reed, 2012 National Golden Gloves champion Gervonta Davis, Frederick, Md.-based Iraqi middleweight Devar Ferhadi, and Lime Lite Boxing light heavyweight prospect Greg Newby. The only bout that has been finalized is a heavyweight special attraction between Natu Visinia (8-0, 7 KOs) and Phil Brown (6-1, 3 KOs) of Upper Marlboro, Md.
Photos by Jessica Chen for StiffJab.com
Unfortunately we missed Tuesday’s press conference at Founding Farmers Restaurant in the West End, but the reliable Gene Wang of the Post was there, and kind enough to give us a shout-out in his piece on the announcement. For an 18-year-old fighter, Dusty is already showing some serious marketing muscle by snagging sponsorships from Jordan Brand and Epix for his 15th professional fight.
Dusty hasn’t faced much competition to date, so any sort of test should tell us a lot about him. He has rallied well since getting knocked down for the first time in his eighth professional bout, and at 18 is likely still growing. That makes it too soon to draw any definitive conclusions about Harrison’s ceiling. Still, he’s already fought professionally 14 times with 8 knockouts at an age when most boxers are still wearing headgear.
Dusty’s most recent win came this past weekend at Dover Downs Casino in Delaware, where he registered a six-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Garcia. The win was enough to impress super middleweight champion Andre Ward (pictured at top with Harrison), who happened to be ringside.
“Dusty has tremendous talent and some natural attributes that are not common in many of the younger boxers, such as patience,” Ward said. “He has a great team around him and the potential is there for him to be very successful in this sport.”
The Epix main event will be Dusty’s first eight-round bout, and his first real exposure on the national stage. Hopefully he will shine, and justify the attention he is already receiving at this early stage in his career. The fight will be especially meaningful for Dusty, since it will take place at UDC, where he has been enrolled as a student since June.
Regardless, it’s shaping up to be a great weekend for D.C. boxing, with Lamont Peterson scheduled to battle Lucas Matthysse in Atlantic City on HBO the same evening. Count on us to bring you all the action from both events as always.