Tonight on BET at 10 PM ET welterweights Dusty Hernandez-Harrison and Mike Dallas Jr. will square off in a 10-round bout from the DC Armory in Washington. The 21-year old Harrison, 29-0, 16 KO’s, is quickly moving up the welterweight ranks and should be tested against the veteran gatekeeper Dallas Jr., 21-3, 10 KO’s. ESPN2 News got a chance to catch up with the D.C. native Hernandez-Harrison before fighting in front of his home crowd.
Q: What does being part of Puerto Rico’s rich Boxing tradition mean to you? Who were some Puerto Rican fighters that you looked up to growing up?
A: Felix Trinidad was my favorite fighter growing up because of how much pride he fought with. He fought for Puerto Rico and always did it for them. Now that i’m fighting in front of my hometown i’m fighting for the hometown fans. I’m also fighting for Puerto Rico but I fight for the fans in D.C. now. It’s not just about me anymore.
Q: What do you know about your opponent Mike Dallas Jr.?
A: I actually think he is a much better fighter than people give him credit for. People have written him off because of what happened against Lucas Matthyse (Dallas Jr. was a victim of a 1st round KO). He didn’t get to show how good he was in that fight. He had a good amateur background and Lamont Peterson and Anthony Peterson told me they remembered him from the amateurs and said he was pretty good. He’s quick and he’s a solid fighter. The only people he lost to were top fighters so I think it will be a good test for me.
Q: How do you plan on fighting him? Are you going for the KO?
A: Obviously I would like to get the KO in front of my hometown but I have never gotten a KO when I was really trying to get one. I only scored KO’s like that against guys that were out of their league but never against a good fighter. My last three fights I didn’t look for the KO and they came pretty easily. I think the most important thing is getting the win. The way Mike Dallas fights is pretty uptempo so I think it will be an exciting fight.
Q: Who is your trainer for this fight?
A: Right now i’m training with Barry Hunter over at Headbangers Gym.
Q: Who did you spar with in preparation for this fight?
A: I was sparring with Canelo Alvarez for 5 weeks when he was getting ready for Amir Khan. I sparred a little with Lamont Peterson. I did alot of sparring with Demetrius Hopkins. There are so many fighters at Headbangers that there was never any lack of sparring.
Q: Who was your toughest fight as a pro?
A: Probably Josh Torres. It was my first 10-rounder. Before that I had never been past 6 rounds. I don’t care how many times you spar 10 rounds it’s different in a real fight. I got cut in the 2nd round in that fight. My cutman Bennie Briscoe did a great job in that fight. I fought a guy that was in shape to go 10 rounds. It was a prefect learning experience.
Q: How comfortable are you making 147 Lbs.?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s easy but I’m 21 years old so I have a high metabolism. I will be at this weight for a while.
Q: What qualities will make you an undisputed champion?
A: My mindset and my willpower. I’m a super super competitive person. I have heart. I will do anything to win when it comes down to it. I can’t even play cards with my friends without yelling (laughs).
Q: What is your life like outside the ring?
A: Pretty dull. Alot of my friends call me grandpa. I even drive slow. I don’t club, drink or go out. I wouldn’t do any of that stuff even if I didn’t box. I walk my dog all the time. I’m into photography. I take my camera out into the streets. I actually shoot with film like back in the day. I process all my own stuff. When people see me mixing the chemicals and everything they look at me like I’m crazy.
Q: What would you like to say to your D.C. fight fans?
A: It’s because of the fans that D.C. has become a fight town again. It’s getting to be nationally known as a fight town again . I got to showcase on the Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson undercard I got to show that I can sell tickets. D.C., Maryland and Virginia have so many prospects coming up right now. You have all the big names in boxing coming into D.C. to do fights. It truly is because of the fans that D.C. is a new hotspot for boxing.