Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Beltway Boxing Prospect Of The Year Dusty Hernandez-Harrison!

(Poster created by Ross Molovinsky)

(Written by Gary "Digital" Williams)

We now bring you the Beltway Boxing Prospect of the Year for 2013.

Normally, the Beltway Boxing Prospect of the Year is the hardest and most competitive award because we have so much quality young talent.  But like a good election, the selection of this year’s winner came down to analyzing the numbers.

Dusty Hernandez Harrison (19-0, 11 KO’s), welterweight, Washington, DC

The numbers we analyze are: 68-62-3 in 2013 compared to 39-155-7 in 2012.  Those were the combined won-loss records of Harrison’s opponents over the last two years.  Harrison was criticized in 2012 for not facing what many considered quality opposition.  Even Harrison’s first two bouts in 2013 -- a third-round stoppage of Kelly Wright in Wilmington, DE and a six-round unanimous decision over Aaron Anderson in Tunica, MS both in February -- looked like more of the same.

Turned out it was part of a master plan.  Harrison would fight one more under-.500 boxer (a six-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Garcia at Dover Downs in Dover, DE in April) and then make his move.

That move began in front of Harrison’s home fans on May 18 at the UDC Sports Complex in Washington where he faced Eddie Soto in his first scheduled eight-round contest. Harrison would only need five rounds to stop the faded veteran.  On June 25, Harrison would win a six-round unanimous decision over another fading vet, Ben Ankrah at the Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT.  Two months later on August 23, Harrison returned to Dover Downs and stopped Guillermo Valdes in four rounds.

Those bouts would lead to Harrison’s biggest bout in his young career.  The 19-year-old would travel to the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City to face Josh Torres for the vacant WBC Youth Welterweight title.  Unlike his previous opponents, Harrison would face an opponent who had a winning streak coming into the bout.  Plus, Harrison would face a 10-round contest for the first time.  All Harrison did was win a unanimous decision and capture his first title.  The year would end with an easy first-round TKO over Marlon Lewis in his third visit to Dover Downs.

Eight bouts, eight wins, a definitive step-up in competition and a title belt.  An exceptional year for a prospect who looks for even better in 2014.

Honorable Mention (listed in alphabetical order)

Antoine “Action” Douglas (11-0, seven KO’s), middleweight, Burke, VA

Douglas had an incredibly busy year, fighting nine times and scoring three knockouts along the way.  Douglas also made a number of ESPN appearances opening telecasts, which should prepare him for his ShoBox debut in mid-January.  Most of Douglas’s bouts have been in the New York area as his promoters, GH3 Promotions, did an excellent job of keeping him busy.

Alantez “SlyAza” Fox (12-0-1, four KO’s), junior middleweight, Forestville, MD

The tall junior middleweight fought four times and used strong boxing skills to win decisions over fellow locals Zain Shah and Julius Kennedy as well as out-of town vets Greg Hackett and Keith Collins.  This will be an interesting year for Fox to see how he will continue to develop.

“Swift” Jarrett Hurd (10-0, six KO’s), junior middleweight, Accokeek, MD

Hurd’s reputation grew in stature throughout 2013 as each victory looked better than the previous one.  Among his seven contests were quality wins over Issa Coulibaly, Frank Gedeon and his last win over veteran George Armenta, which ended in a beautiful and sudden second-round knockout.  With three knockouts in his last four wins, Hurd may have positioned himself for an exciting 2014.

“Mr. Amazing” Greg Newby (10-0, five KO’s), light heavyweight, Washington, DC

Newby scored three shutout decision wins among his six victories in 2013 as he faced some veteran competition.  Look for him to possibly make some steps up in competition in 2014.

(Photos by Juan Marshall)

Previous BATB Prospects of the Year:

2006: Tyrell Samuel
2007: Tim Coleman
2008: Bayan Jargal
2009: Mark Tucker
2010: Gary Russell, Jr. and Seth Mitchell
2011:  Maurice Byarm and Venroy July
2012: Thomas Williams, Jr.

Tomorrow: The Knockout of the Year!

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