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Teenager Dusty Harrison Goes for Win No. 10 - Boxing News
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 Last update:  11/3/2012       Read more by Ryan Maquinana         
Teenager Dusty Harrison Goes for Win No. 10
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By Ryan MaquiŮana

Ever since hometown hero Lamont Peterson defeated Amir Khan last December at the Washington Convention Center in our nationís capital, the venue has often been the scene for a ringside revival in 2012.

One of the up-and-coming locals leading the charge in D.C. is 18-year-old Southeast native Dusty Harrison (9-0, 5 KOs), a welterweight prospect who has appeared six times at 801 Mount Vernon Place in the last 11 months.

Harrison, known as ďThe Beltway BoricuaĒ for his motherís Puerto Rican roots, spoke to before his return to the Convention Center this Saturday against Nalo Leal (4-16-1) in his first eight-rounder. First, the age-old question.† How has camp been in preparation for Nalo Leal?† I know down in D.C. youíve been gaining experience sparring guys like the Peterson brothers and DeMarcus ďChop ChopĒ Corley.

Dusty Harrison: Itís good to spar people like Lamont, ĎChop,í and the local pros.† You learn a lot of things from them.† Itís a great experience.† I think Iíve learned when to turn it up and put the pressure on.† Iíve also been doing a better job of pacing myself. Two fights ago against Marqus Jackson, you were down for the first time in your career, pro or amateur.† You showed heart in holding on for the win.† Can you take us through that experience?

Dusty Harrison: Iíve never been down as an amateur or in sparring.† Iíve never even slipped, so it was different.† I did everything I shouldíve did.† I held on.† I won the last part of the round.† Even one of the judges didnít make it a 10-8 round because of how I finished. What did you learn from that fight?

Dusty Harrison: I learned a lot of lessons.† You canít get relaxed going into the last round.† There was a minute and a half left in the fight.† I wasnít tired or anything.† I just wasnít as focused as I was in the earlier rounds.† It was a great learning experience.† Better now than get caught by someone whoís a real finisher. Whenever a young prospect shows any kind of vulnerability, some fans are quick to point out his flaws.† With D.C. being such a close-knit fight town, Iím sure the message boards were lighting up with negative comments.† How do you deal with that?

Dusty Harrison: I donít pay too much attention to the negative comments.† Some of the things they say are just way off.† Theyíre funny.† I just laugh. It will take a lot of maturity on your end to not let the critics get to you as you progress.† Youíre not even a year and a half into your pro career, and youíre already on the brink of your 10th win.† Did you expect to be here at this juncture?

Dusty Harrison: Everyone always asks me if I expected to be here.† I did, just not this fast.† Iíve had a lot of fights.† I really like the schedule, and the fast pace. In this day and age, staying active is tough to do.† How important do you think it is to do that, not only for your development but to build a local fanbase?

Dusty Harrison: Every fight I get a bigger fanbase every time, and if it werenít for the people who come out and watch me, I wouldnít be able to do it, so itís really all thanks to them. Washington, D.C., has always been labeled as a sleeping giant in the industry.† What do you think makes it a good fight town?

Dusty Harrison: Everybody wants to come to the big fight.† Itís been smart business bringing boxing back.† Weíve had a lot of fighters come out of here.† I guess compared with the other sports, you can always watch professional boxing in small venues like this and have great seats.† Itís more personal I think than going to a Nationals game or a Redskins game.† I get to walk around and meet the crowd after.† Itís a lot more personal. Going back to the topic of your career, this is going to be your first eight-rounder on Saturday.† Do you have any concerns about rushing into something like this so quickly, especially at age 18?

Dusty Harrison: The last two fights, I didnít know if they would be six or eight rounds, so Iíve been training for eight.† I donít have too many concerns.† Like I said, Iíve been doing a better job of pacing myself and recognizing when somebodyís hurt and stop him, and when not to waste my energy.†† I think I did that in my last fight as far as pacing myself until the right time, so yeah, Iím not too worried. Your father and trainer, Buddy Harrison, informed me that if you can get by Leal, that a fight with fellow prospect Tim Witherspoon Jr. (8-3-1, 2 KOs) is in the cards for December.† What do you think about that matchup?

Dusty Harrison: We tried to do it for this fight, and I guess he said heíd do it in December.† I think itís great.† My dad and my mom always sit down with me and we talk about when itís time to step it up.† When it comes, Iím going to train even harder than I have before.† I hope everything works out with that. Is there anything else youíd like to tell the fans?

Dusty Harrison: Yes.† Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @Dusty30th.† Thanks to everyone for all the support.

Ryan MaquiŮana was the boxing producer for during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for† He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at , check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Tags: Dusty Harrison

 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by ddangerous, on 11-03-2012
Looking forward to seeing him in action. I like his name. :banana:

comment by Mick Higgs, on 11-03-2012
This kid certainly looks promising. It would be great to see him fight on an undercard in London sometime soon.

Post A Comment/View More User Comments (2) 

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