On Thursday, September 15, 2016, Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna (21-2, 9 KOs) took on Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (30-0-1, 16 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout for the USBA Welterweight championship.
After 10 exciting rounds of action, Hernandez-Harrison earned a unanimous-decision victory over LaManna with scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 97-93.
The fight aired live on CBS Sports Network and headlined a card promoted by Final Forum, GH3 Promotions and Peltz Boxing at the 2300 Arena.
Hernandez-Harrison was coming off of a disputed draw against Mike Dallas in his hometown of Washington DC on May 13, while the Millville, New Jersey native, LaManna was riding a five-fight win streak after losing his first professional fight against Antoine Douglas in March of 2015.
The fight got off to a slow start, with Dusty showing a lot of movement and not committing to many of his punches–a different tactic than he showed against Dallas where he opted to stay stationary and square up.
While neither man seemed to do enough to clearly win the first two stanzas, the CBS Sports Network commentators had LaManna up two rounds to zero.
During his media day, LaManna recalled sparring with Hernandez-Harrison and laid out his keys to victory.
“I can not let let Dusty get in a groove,” said LaManna. “That’s what I remember from sparring is that if you give him a groove, he is a little bit hard to handle, other that that you can’t give him confidence.”
LaManna did a good job of thwarting Dusty’s stick and move plan in the early going, but the DC native came out aggressive in Round 3, turning up his punch output behind digging shots to LaManna’s body.
Urged to come forward by his coach Barry Hunter, Dusty began to work three-and-four-punch combinations as LaManna was a bit too slow to counter.
By Round 7, LaManna began to show bruising under his left eye, a product of well-placed overhand rights by Dusty. Although LaManna was tired, he did continue to keep things interesting and even stunned Hernandez-Harrison in Round 7.
But, Dusty was able to gather himself and came back to outwork LaManna in that round. From there, he did not look back.
Feeling that Hernandez-Harrison needed to do more, Hunter emphatically asked his man “how bad do you want it?” in between rounds, which seemed to be enough to ignite Dusty as he took the fight to his opponent for the better part of the final nine minutes.
LaManna showed determination to finish the fight, but not much in the form of offense. For a fighter who has competed at 160, LaManna seemed to lack the energy and power to effectively work for 10 tough rounds at 147 pounds.
Hernandez-Harrison bounced back well from his draw with Dallas, but will still need to show more dispicline in the ring–primarily defensively–if he is going to challenge the elite fighters at 147.
Alejandro "Alex" Burgos is a former Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Round By Round Boxing. He is a professional blogger, SEO Consultant and Marketing Director at Capital Practice Consulting in Washington, DC. Alex can be reached at Alex@RoundByRoundBoxing.com.