San Diego, Calif. (March 7, 2014)- Teenage welterweight prospect Dusty Hernandez-Harrison improved his stellar record to 21 wins with no losses and 11 knockouts with a six-round unanimous decision win over hard punching Hawaiian Mike Balasi on the opening bout of Friday Night Fights held at the Pala Casino Resort & Spa in San Diego County California. In one of the most exciting fights on ESPN this year both fighters taste the canvas in the second round and Balasi again in the fifth round, as Hernandez-Harrison won on scores of 60-53 and 59-54 twice.
“He caught me with a great punch. I feel I got a little sloppy after I knocked him down and he landed perfect shot,” said the 19-year-old fighter from Southeast Washington, D.C. “This was a great learning experience for me and I know I will be a better fighter for it.”
“Almost every fighter gets knocked down in their career, but not everyone gets up,” said Buddy Harrison, the father and trainer of Hernandez-Harrison. “This kind of stuff happens in boxing, but we will go back and look at the tape and see what adjustments need to be made and move from there.
“I’ll tell you one thing, the kid is never in a dull fight that’s for sure,” Harrison added.
Jeff Fried, President of All-In Entertainment, Hernandez-Harrison’s promoter, believes these are the kind of fights that truly show whether or not a fighter has what it takes to be great.
“Dusty showed a lot of heart tonight,” Fried said. “Everyone has a game plan coming into the fight, but the fighters who can make the necessary adjustments in the heat of battle are the ones who become World Champions.”
The enthusiastic crowd at Pala Casino continued with chants of "Dusty, Dusty, Dusty" as Hernandez-Harrison took charge of the bout and displayed his extraordinary boxing skills after the second round when both fighters hit the canvas. "Getting up off the canvas, staying composed and coming on strong in the later rounds is Dusty's real learning experience from this bout," added Fried.
"I really hope the fans watching on TV enjoyed the fight," Hernandez-Harrison said. "I really appreciate ESPN having me on again and the Pala Casino treated us great."