Monday, January 12, 2015

What’s Next For Dusty Hernandez-Harrison Following Win Over Rainone?

There is one scenario in the sport of Boxing that everyone can identify with.  A fighter working his way up the ranks and becoming a prospect. As that fighter generates interest and continues his rise the question that is often asked is when that fighter will go from a prospect to a contender?  Highly touted Welterweight prospect Dusty Hernandez-Harrison has become a fighter that should be viewed as a rising star in the 147lb. Welterweight division.  

Hernandez-Harrison, a native of Washington, D.C. had an outstanding amateur career winning one hundred seventy-three of two hundred amateur fights. Following his amateur career, Hernandez-Harrison turned pro in 2011 compiling twenty-four victories, and in the process quickly has emerged as a prospect to watch.

In November of last year Hernandez-Harrison scored a first round knockout over veteran contender Michael Clark. The twenty year-old Hernandez-Harrison stepped back in the ring on January 9th in the Theater at Madison Square Garden against Tommy Rainone in a bout for the WBC Continental-America’s Welterweight championship.

What impressed me about Hernandez-Harrison’s performance in this fight was the consistent pressure that he put forth against Rainone, who attempted to be an elusive target as he used lateral movement to try to land punches and maintain distance. Despite having some difficulty finding Rainone early in the fight, Hernandez-Harrison’s consistent pressure, greater activity, and combination punching was the story of the fight as he would go on to win a lopsided ten round unanimous decision. Although Rainone was quite “Game” he simply could not find a way to land punches consistently on Hernandez-Harrison and could not nullify Hernandez-Harrison’s pressure. 

After what could be best described as a workmanlike performance by Hernandez-Harrison, an interesting question will be what is next for him? There is no doubt that the Welterweight division is one of the most competitive weight classes in the entire sport. Hernandez-Harrison, who entered the fight with Rainone rated number seventeen in the WBC and number fourteen in the WBO Welterweight ratings respectively would appear likely to be nearing a fight against someone in either organization’s top ten.

What titles such as the WBC’s Continental-America’s championship really mean in the overall picture is that whomever holds the title is theoretically approaching status as a top contender as was the case with Deontay Wilder, who will be fighting for the WBC world championship in the Heavyweight division this weekend now as the WBC’s number one rated Heavyweight contender.

In regard to the Welterweight division there are a few possible future opponents for Hernandez-Harrison that I believe could potentially lead to a title shot down the line. Names such as Sadam Ali, Jeff Horn, Josesito Lopez, Yoshihiro Kamegai, and David Avanesyan could all present an interesting fight for Hernandez-Harrison.

A conundrum that can present itself for those who handle the career of a fighter and something that can be the subject of much debate among both fans and experts alike is how quickly a fighter should be moved up the ranks and pitted against top level opposition. In a division that is as talent stacked as the Welterweight division is, this could be an interesting question for a highly touted prospect such as Hernandez-Harrison.

In this observer’s opinion, although Hernandez-Harrison is only twenty years old, he has won all twenty-five of his fights as a professional and I believe he is a rising star in the Welterweight division. Whether or not Hernandez-Harrison will fight either of the fighters I mentioned as possible future opponents remains to be seen. 

One thing however, is clear Dusty Hernandez-Harrison is certainly a fighter to watch and it will be interesting to see where he goes as he continues to climb the ranks of the Welterweight division.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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