- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
- Tea Party Patriots call key GOP firing a declaration of war
LOVERRO: Hernandez-Harrison getting his chance to shine in Madison Square Garden
Question of the Day
When Dusty Hernandez-Harrison was 10 years old, he and his father Buddy boarded a train at Union Station bound for New York. They were heading to the so-called Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden, to see Dusty’s idol, Felix Trinidad, face Ricardo Mayorga
“Our seats were as far from the ring as you could possibly get, but it didn’t matter,” Buddy Harrison said. “We were there. As Felix Trinidad walked out and the entire place wen t crazy, I tell skinny 10-year old Dusty that if you keep training hard and give it everything you’ve got, you’ll be fighting here one day.
That day comes Saturday when 19-year-old Dusty Hernandez-Harrison – a rising undefeated welterweight out of Washington, D.C. and maybe the next big thing in boxing – steps into the ring at Madison Square Garden to face Josh Torres for something called the World Boxing Council Youth Welterweight world championship.
I’m not sure exactly what the title means, but then no knows what titles mean in today’s boxing climate. Still, it’s a big step forward for Dusty – a fight at the Garden on a Home Box Office show, the undercard of the Gennady Golovin-Curtis Stevens middleweight title fight.
An exciting fighter of Irish and Puerto Rican descent, Dusty should be a crowd pleaser at the Garden.
It was the vision that Dusty’s father and trainer had for his son since he could walk. “He didn’t know anything else,” Buddy said. “He was 2 or 3 years old I had him throwing punches. He was jogging around the track. Everyone used to think that I was pushing him. Now everyone can see what I was doing.”
Buddy received a lot of that criticism – pushing his young son too fast and hard – when Dusty turned pro at the age of 16, believed to be the youngest professional fighter in the country. Maryland wouldn’t give him a license to fight because he was so young. But after a successful amateur career of more than 200 fights, Buddy felt he was ready to move his career forward.
He saw how the landscape had changed in the jump from amateurs to professional – how the Olympics, once seen as a springboard for a pro career, had lost that power.
“People told me I should wait until the Olympics,” Dusty said. “The boxing trials were just a few months away. But those same people didn’t wind up doing anything in the Olympics and now I’m 17-0 and fighting in Madison Square Garden for a title. We got a jump start on my career.”
USA Boxing has fallen on hard times of late. No American earned even a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. Long gone are the glory days of the 1976 Montreal Olympics, when the boxing team produced five gold medal winners, including another local fighter by the name of Sugar Ray Leonard.
He has been on track for this moment ever since. He made his Washington debut in December 2011 at the Convention Center on the undercard of the Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson fight, knocking out Terrell Davis in the first round. Now he faces perhaps his toughest opponent yet in Torres, with a record of 12-5.
Sitting in a room at his father’s Old School Boxing gym – an atmosphere right out of Hollywood central casting, in a cement building on the grounds of Rosecroft Raceway – Dusty comes across like a smart, young man who has a good center of personal gravity.
“My mother [Dusty’s parents are divorced, but his mother Lynda Hernandez is very much a part of Dusty’s life and career] always made me promise to stay on my schooling,” he said. “I’ve taken a few college classes. I graduated from Thomas Stone High School. I was on the honor roll there and played varsity basketball for two years. I just went back there to speak to a class about how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity you have to succeed.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- LOVERRO: For Shanahans and Griffins, father-son dreams meet harsh reality
- LOVERRO: Wall between Dan Snyder, Redskins' locker room crumbles yet again
- LOVERRO: Squeaky clean Doug Fister latest piece in Nats' personality shift
- LOVERRO: RG3 mentor still believes QB will be elite
- LOVERRO: Despite Bradley Beal injury, signs of hope for Wizards
Latest Blog Entries
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- N. Korean news agency: Kim Jong Un's uncle executed
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow