Dusty Hernandez-Harrison is doing something Peter Quillin, Deontay Wilder, Keith Thurman, and Guillermo Rigondeaux is not, accepting a Roc Nation offer and headlining their first card this Friday in New York inside The MSG Theatre. In fact, Hernandez-Harrison is the 1st official boxer to sign with the promotional entity headed by Jay-Z and ran by David Iskowitz, former Golden Boy Promotions COO.
Hernandez-Harrison said it just felt like the right thing to do
“It was good, we met with them,” stated Hernandez-Harrison. They had the idea of the fight first on January 9th. The plans were everything that we wanted to hear. They worked with us on what we wanted and we connected with the people there, David Iskowitz, Michael Yomark, they treated us right.”
While Wilder, Quillin, and Thurman have the security of Al Haymon in their back pocket, Hernandez-Harrison feels the same with Jay-Z and company behind him especially because of their track record out of boxing and because he feels they have something to prove.
“It makes me feel a little safe because I’m sure they want to show what they can do with a fighter like they don’t with other athletes and other sports,” stated Hernandez-Harrison. “They tried to get some pretty big names and it didn’t work. It makes me feel kind of good because they’re out to prove how good they are and me being their first.”
Hernandez-Harrison is from the southeast part of Washington DC. He’s a local favorite in the area and with Roc Nation having licenses in both New York and DC, Hernandez-Harrison expects to fight in his hometown, a place that help mold him.
“I’m from Southeast DC kind of known as the bad section of DC. It wasn’t too easy growing up, we didn’t have much,” stated Hernandez-Harrison. You always hear the stories of guys coming from nothing and making it boxing and I think the reason why is because no one else would box if they didn’t need to. It’s not an easy job to do.”
But while boxing gets some of the credit for helping him escape the ill wills of his neighborhood, he gives a lot of credit to his parents.
“I would love to give credit and say boxing is the only reason why I’m where I’m at. But truth is my parents who are separated both work hard. My dad opened up a boxing gym and with the help of my stepmom, they turned their life around. My mom she took a job in an office and now is a manager at the same business. It was them. They work hard to change their life. But at the same time I did start boxing because it was a way out. Now it’s so much a part of my life and I have so much invested that I can’t see myself not boxing.”
The sport of boxing helped cultivate and maintain a good relationship with his father and trainer Buddy Harrison who is always in Dusty’s corner even if it took some ups and downs to get on the right wavelength.
“It is the sport of boxing. Because of that we had a lot of problems growing up and disagreements,” explained Hernandez Harrison. But we did have a lot of trial and error at a younger age than most father-son boxing relationships go through. But it all worked out. I think we both realized what was best for me. I know a lot of fathers kind of feel threatened with their son if someone wraps their hands, or someone works the mitts but he’s ok with that. Billie Briscoe wraps my hands. If I’m in the gym and we have a different cut man he’s OK with that as long as he’s in my corner. He’s there through it all, sparring sessions and so forth as long as he’s in my corner I’m ok.”
New York will be the stage that Hernandez-Harrison will perform on this Friday. Amidst the bright lights of Broadway with hip-hop stars and celebrities (Jay-Z, Fabolous, Rhianna, and Angie Martinez ) performing and in attendance. One would ask if Dusty is ready for it all?
“I been ready for it,” stated Hernandez-Harrison. “It’s going to be a bigger crowd but I feel like I’ve been moved well to be ready for it. I fought at the Garden in the big room on GGG-Geale. I fought on ESPN twice on national television. Being the main event in my hometown plenty of times has prepared me definitely.”
Tommy Ranione, a New York native and because he will be fighting in his hometown, Hernandez-Harrison feels he is dangerous.
Tommy is a southpaw and he’s from New York. I know when I fight in DC, I feel invincible. When you fight in your hometown you definitely have more confidence. I know I’m getting the best Tommy Raimone come Jan 9th. He’s slick. I expect him to be in great shape. He’s been 10 rounds before. He’s an older guy and smart, and its definitely going to be a test.”
With a victory on a card that will have a lot of eyes on it, Hernandez-Harrison feels he’ll make those in attendance and those watching on television fans and definitely keep their interests peaking.
Writer’s Note: Hernandez wanted the readers to know that he spars twitter favorite @fugazi3011 or as we all know him as Sam.
“Sam is an animal in and out of the ring whether it is his mentality or instinct, he’s a crazy guy. I recommend everybody who wants to get their legs in shape to spar Sam because he can’t stand still.”