Dusty Hernandez Harrison Interview: “Everybody has counted him out, and nobody has counted me in yet”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Dusty Hernandez Harrison (29-0 16KO) is an undefeated welterweight who is fighting Mike Dallas Jr. on Saturday May 13th, live on B.E.T. Harrison is a very young 21 years old, but has been pro for five years already. Harrison is signed to the recently started Roc Nation Sports and will headline another of their Throne Boxing shows at the D.C. Armory. Harrison was nice enough to take time out of his schedule to answer a few questions for us at Boxing Insider.
Boxing Insider: You recently split with your father as your trainer. What was the reason for the split?
Dusty Harrison: You aren’t gonna get a good answer out of me to be honest. It’s a personal family thing that goes deep, outside of boxing. The hard part about it is that me and his relationship was so much boxing. But at the end of the day, I’m still a boxer and I can’t tell Roc Nation, Fila and Geico, “Hold On”. I have to keep fighting, keep boxing, and keep training. I’m training at Head Bangers and the best part about it is I’m training with great fighters like, Adrien Broner, Rob Easter, Lamont Peterson and Austin Trout. It has been a big benefit in my sparring switching over to that gym.
Boxing Insider: You were recently out in San Diego as a sparring partner for Canelo ahead of his fight with Amir Khan. What was that experience like?
Dusty Harrison: Oh, that was great. Canelo’s team and Golden Boy treated me so good. They are very respectful people, I had to thank them so many times for the whole experience. Canelo is a cool guy, super nice, but he’ll try to kill you in the ring.
Boxing Insider: So what’s it like especially training with Canelo, given that you two are so close in age?
Dusty Harrison: Seeing someone like Canelo being so successful and young, it is definitely something I can relate to. It makes everything seem more in reach, more realistic. It’s like motivating since he’s only a few years older than me. It’s almost like seeing someone from my neighborhood make it out. It gives you hope. Not that I needed the motivation, but it definitely gives you more of it.
Boxing Insider: So your opponent for this fight, Mike Dallas Jr. is your most experienced to date. Dallas has fights against Josesito Lopez, Mauricio Herrera and Lucas Matthysse. Do you expect him to be on another level, than your other opponents?
Dusty Harrison: Yes, I do. It is a big fight for me. Mike Dallas has 21 wins and lost to some good fighters. Everybody has counted him out, and nobody has counted me in yet. He’s coming into this fight to gain respect.
Boxing Insider: This will be your 30th professional fight in 5 years. Are you content with the pace your career is going?
Dusty Harrison: No, it should be 60 or 70 (laughs)…Ya, how can I complain. Who does that many fights that fast anymore? I’m still young, and I want to take advantage of it while I can. I don’t need the time to just sit around and recoup like the older fighters do. I may take a week off after a fight, but I don’t really need to. I just go right back to the gym and I don’t take that wear and tear that the older fighters do.
Boxing Insider: So how much longer do you think you are from top ten guys? Would you say months away, later this year, or are you years away?
Dusty Harrison: You’re asking the wrong person, I was ready five years ago (laughs). Realistically, my career has been in steps, and like you said Mike Dallas is a step up fight for me. To do that a few more times this year and then next year, we start to fight some guys that people are really interested in. Fights where people might say “I don’t know about this Dusty”. To be the underdog coming up next year, we will take some fights like that. Then maybe it’s coming quicker to me, but within 2 years, I’d like to be fighting guys at that top level. I mean, Canelo fought Mayweather at 22, I’m only 21. I’d love to fight someone at the top when I’m 23 or 24.
Boxing Insider: You are a D.C. fighter and D.C. is having a sort of renaissance of young fighters coming up. Could you give us a guy that we should keep our eye on?
Dusty Harrison: Aujee Tyler. He’s a guy that I grew up fighting with. He’s the best I’ve seen. Everybody around here knows about him. Man, I can name like 30 people in D.C. that are gonna come up big. There is a guy on my undercard named Sam Crossed, the Vanilla Gorilla, that is bringing fans to D.C. Selling tickets. He is only 2-0 and he’s been in a Super Bowl commercial, two under armor commercials. Keystone has been able to give a lot of fighters a chance after the Lamont Peterson v. Amir Khan Fight and D.C. has just been taking off after that.