Unbeaten welterweight Dusty Harrison, of Washington, D.C., has entered into an agreement with Washington-area attorney Jeff Fried, who will serve as his advisor and become a major guiding and promotional force over the next phase of the fighter’s career, Fried confirmed to RingTV.com on Wednesday.
Trained by his father, Buddy Harrison, Dusty Harrison (11-0, 7 knockouts) is the 18-year-old, nearly 6-foot son of an Irish father and a Puerto Rican mother.
“We are very pleased to be working with someone as accomplished and respected throughout the sports industry as Jeff. He’s such a straight shooter,” said Buddy Harrison of a development that was initially reported by RingTV.com.
“It is not too often that a promoter puts in the agreement that the athlete must continue his education and work toward a college degree. That is exactly what Jeff did in contributing for Dusty’s college education. As his trainer, I am pleased as the college route lets Dusty continue to develop his skills. As his Dad, I am thrilled.”
A boxer since the age of 6, Harrison went 167-30 as an amateur, earning titles in the National Golden Gloves in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and winning more than 50 regional and national championships.
Dusty Harrison is coming off a first-round stoppage of Darrell Jones on Dec. 8 that marked his third straight knockout victory.
“I am honored to be working with Jeff. He let me know that my success depends on my own dedication, both in and out of the ring,” said Dusty Harrison.
“We spent a lot of time talking about what it takes to be a world champion. I am committed to being one of those boxers that takes full advantage of the opportunities presented to me and will not take anything for granted.”
Harrison resides permanently at the Naylor Gardens Apartments in Washington, where he lists the IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson, and his lightweight brother, Anthony Peterson, as not only his neighbor but also a mentor in a neighborhood where he regularly hears gunshots and witnesses shootings and other violence.
A sometime sparring partner for Peterson, Harrison is 8-0 with six knockouts over the course of his bouts at The Washington Convention Center, where he has become immensely popular.
Dusty Harrison was steered toward boxing as a way of avoiding a similar life of crime to that once led by Buddy Harrison, who served 10 years in prison for armed robbery before cleaning up his act in the early 1990s.
“He’s always guided me since I was young to just stay out of trouble and to not do what he did,” Harrison said of his father, who spent much of his childhood in detention centers and foster homes. “He didn’t want me to get into the streets like he did. You tend to listen to somebody who has been through it rather than somebody who hasn’t.”
Dusty Harrison was born four years after Buddy’s release from prison, and was guided into boxing.
“We saw talent in Dusty at an early age, and he felt comfortable wearing the gloves and stepping into the ring,” said Buddy Harrison.
“We know there will be many challenges in and out of the ring to reach our dream for Dusty to become a world champion. We are very pleased with the team surrounding Dusty and the sense of comfort, confidence and passion that Jeff displays in all of his business dealings.”
Fried has counseled boxers such as Peterson, Riddick Bowe, Sharmba Mitchell and Tony Thompson, Shane Mosely, Winky Wright, and orchestrated the unique endorsement arrangement between Jordan Brand of Nike and RING, WBA and WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward.
Fried also represents professional golfer Corey Pavin and poker player Phil Ivey,.
“In all our years together, he just gets it done,” said Ivey of Fried, who has handled the affairs of Portland Trailblazers President Larry Miller, and NBA stars such as Steve Francis, Ty Lawson and Monta Ellis.
“Poker takes focus, but Jeff is a focused bull dog when it comes to our business,” said Ivey. “And forget about it if anyone tries to harm someone close to Jeff. Say good bye to that mild-mannered professional.”
Fried also represents CBS Sports’ James Brown.
“I look forward to assisting Dusty and the entire Harrison Family in reaching their goals,” said Fried, whose office is adorned with a poster made when Fried was 13 years old which reads, Muhammad Ali versus Jeff Fried.
“Regardless of the industry, the character of the individuals is a distinguishing factor in reaching ultimate success. Buddy is a principled man of integrity and honorability, and has taught his son very well in those areas.”
Harrison has been counseled by the legendary Bernard Hopkins, as well as Hall of Famer Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, and has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya and HBO’s ringside scorer, Harold Lederman.
In addition, Harrison already has drawn the attention of power-broking advisor Al Haymon, whose clients have included Floyd Mayweather Jr., Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Seth Mitchell, Paul Williams, Chris Arreola, Gary Russell Jr., Peter Quillin, Danny Garcia, Antonio Tarver, Devon Alexander and Austin Trout, among others.
“We had everyone in boxing calling us, and once we called Jeff and met with him, we knew we had the support and guidance we needed,” said Dusty Harrison, who graduated with a solid B-average from Thomas Stone High School while living with his mother, Lynda Hernandez, in Waldorf, Md.
“During one of our meetings, Jeff looked me in the eye and said, ‘You are the only person that will know if you are giving it a 100 percent effort. It is up to you how far you can go in your career.’ Everyone kept telling us that they can do this or that for me. Jeff told us that the support will be there, but the world championships are earned through my efforts.”
Photos by Juan Marshall
Poster courtesy of Jeff Fried
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]