Dusty Hernandez-Harrison Wins In Businesslike Fashion On Debut Roc Nation Sports Card

In the debut Roc Nation Sports card Friday on Fox Sports 1, it was as much what was happening around the fights as the fights themselves. The day before, the Gary Shaw/Jay-Z tracksuit alliance became official; earlier on Friday, Roc Nation Sports made a huge signing, picking up frustrating but super-talented super middleweight champion Andre Ward; dressed as a furry, Fabolous had a multi-song intermission set in the ring; and ringside in Madison Square Garden, Jake Gyllenhaal sat with Rihanna.

They witnessed D.C.-area welterweight prospect Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (above left) win a businesslike decision over Tommy Rainone (above right) in the main event. That’s not to say he didn’t impress, or that the fight had no heat. After a couple shaky outings in 2014 that featured him getting wobbled and dropped, Hernandez-Harrison appears to have wisely dedicated himself to defense. As such, he’s choosy about when he commits to his punches, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll ever develop any serious power — and while that might make him less fun, it does further his chances of victory, because he’s very at home in the ring as a boxer. So the victory was complete, and had the feel, slightly, of a routine contest. Rainone gave effort, offering not much else (and his lack of knockouts might have explained why he was chosen for the assignment at all). The two men did get a little chippy in there, having to be warned by the referee repeatedly for a variety of fouling tactics, which gave the fight what heat it did summon. Hernandez-Harrison doesn’t belong in the same sentence as Sugar Ray Leonard as a D.C.-area prospect, no matter how much FS1 touted him as the best one since, but he’s moving in the right direction after a stretch moving in the wrong one.

On the undercard, middleweight Tureano Johnson had a bit more of a slugfest comparatively with Alex Theran, winning by stoppage thanks to a Theron ankle injury. Things got pretty frisky in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, when Theran either got tired of circling away from the wild-swinging Johnson, or else decided to trade. He traded well, just not well enough to justify the decision; the fight ended up permanently at the distance where Johnson wanted it after that. If Theran could punch, he might’ve given Johnson some trouble, since he caught him clean some. Instead, by the 4th he was on his ass, courtesy a Johnson right and Theran dropping to a knee to avoid another. In the 5th he was down again, apparently as a result of that injury. FS1’s Gus Johnson, making an unwelcome return to boxing broadcasting, said that Theran refused to come out, when in fact the doctor said it was over. Johnson is more than ready to get back into the ring with a contender after losing his only such fight, controversially against Curtis Stevens, last year.

Dustin Fleischer, a fellow who really, really wanted you to know he was the “White Tiger” — he was white, he had tiger stripe tattoos, his trunks were white with tiger stripes — won his pro debut on the remaining bout on the broadcast, stopping Frank Jordan in the 2nd round. As with every pro debut, this told us almost nothing. Mentioning it was just an excuse to quip about the “White Tiger” thing. The other result of note was that exciting super middleweight prospect Jerry Odom suffered his first loss, by disqualification, which apparently the crowd did not like.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.