Thursday, February 02, 2023  |



Dusty Hernandez-Harrison returns to his Washington, D.C. home


Dusty Hernandez-Harrison is only 20-years old, but the welterweight already knows what it’s like to face adversity under pressure.

Hernandez-Harrison was cut during his 10-round debut on the undercard of an HBO televised main event at Madison Square Garden, and in later bout he rose from the canvas to earn a comeback victory.

“I was watching Floyd Mayweather fight Marcos Maidana in their first fight when he got cut, and it was almost like he had started to panic. He was yelling at his corner and everything,” said Hernandez-Harrison, the 6-foot son of an Irish father and a Puerto Rican mother.

“Sometimes I do wish that I could step it up a little quicker, at times, but it’s moments like that that I realize that as long as I’m fighting and staying busy, and I’m learning all the time, then it’s okay to be where I’m at in my career.”

In an event being billed “Hometown Takeover,” Hernandez-Harrison (23-0, 12 knockouts) will face the aging Michael Clark (44-11-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday at the Constitution Hall in his native Washington, D.C.

“The people here in D.C. are the reason that I get to be a main event on my own show, because they come out and support me,” said Hernandez-Harrison, who paid cash earlier this year for his own condominium apartment. “It’s actually in the same neighborhood where I grew up in Southeast. I like it here. I really do love it in D.C. I want to live here, I want to stay here, and I really like it here.”

Hernandez-Harrison is coming off a unanimous decision over Wilfredo Acuna in July which took place in support of WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin’s third-round stoppage over ex-beltholder Daniel Geale in the big arena of the Garden in New York City.

The victory over Acuna marked Hernandez-Harrison’s second appearance at Madison Square Garden, having unanimously decisioned Josh Torres over 10 rounds on the undercard of Golovkin’s eighth-round stoppage of Curtis Stevens last November.

“Those two fights at Madison Square Garden were good for Dusty for a couple of reasons. One is that when he fought Torres, he had to go 10 rounds for the first time in a fight, and he got cut in a fight for the first time, which I loved,” said Buddy Harrison, 54, Hernandez-Harrison’s father and trainer.

“I know that it sounds crazy, but with him getting cut, you know, he has to be able to go through things like that. Another thing is that we had such a big following both times we went there. I mean, the people from the D.C. area showed that they really stand by Dusty. You would have thought that we were still in D.C., there so many people came up to watch him.”

Hernandez-Harrison appeared to be in trouble three fights later in March on ESPN, when he rose from a second-round knockdown and floored Michael Balasi in the second and fifth of a six-round unanimous decision.

“When he went down during the fight with Balasi and he got up and he won on ESPN, you sort of love every bit of it, because you want him to know what that’s like,” said Buddy Harrison. “You don’t want to have to worry about that stuff in the future. Now, if it happens again, you can say, ‘We’ve been here before, so get up.'”

He will next face Clark, a 41-year-old loser of six of his past nine fights, being knocked out five times during that stretch. Clark’s fifth-round stoppage loss to Jamie Kavanaugh in June represented the third straight time he has been knocked out.

“I think that what’s going to help me is the fact that I not only my youth, but that right now, I’ll do anything in the world to stay undefeated. For him, I don’t think that he has that hunger left in him,” said Hernandez-Harrison.

“I’ve watched a lot of his recent fights, and it seems like he can be a little complacent. I mean, he’ll come out, and he’ll box well and he’ll look good, but I don’t think that he has it in him to push through the tough times in a fight. I’m the type of fighter who will do anything not to lose.”


Weights below:

Dusty Hernandez-Harrison 146, Michael Clark 149

Jarrett Hurd 154, Terry Cade 155

Mykal Fox 136, Sean Lockhart 136

Emanuel Johnson 135, Patrick Chaffin 127

Dwayne McRae 239, Grover Young 259

Brandon Quarles 162, Dennis Sharpe 163

Joshua Davis 131, John Wampash 131