At the DC Armory on Friday, May 13, in front of an audience of 2,663 captivated fans, Mike Dallas Jr. pushed hometown favorite, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison to his limits in an entertaining scrap.
The audience was electrified as mixed feelings filled the Armory after the ruling, though it was clear; they enjoyed every minute of the fight.
So where does Dusty go from here?
In terms of Dusty’s performance, his efforts did not meet the expectation of those who know how much potential he has. To allow Dallas to tee off on him the way he did, cost Dusty a great opportunity to showcase his talent against a step-up in competition.
Make no mistake; Dusty is a solid Welterweight prospect. He has a growing reputation, a built in fan-base, and he’s got great technique with tons of experience. It was unfortunate that all of those things weren’t obvious by the fight’s conclusion.
Based on Dusty’s post-fight comments about willing to go to Bakersfield, CA to face Dallas again, a rematch with Dallas could be a strong possibility–if Dallas is willing.
Dusty is sure to correct his failed attempt at extending his record to 30-0, after making some adjustments. It feels as though he has more to prove against Dallas and would not let that opportunity pass.
Instead of trying to snipe a volume puncher like Dallas in a possible rematch, Dusty will be sure to use movement and most importantly, his jab.
These will allow him to set up his counters with adequate spacing. Implementing these two aspects can almost certainly guarantee a different result. As soon as his jab showed up in the Dallas fight, it allowed Dusty to finish a tad stronger than Dallas did.
Another potential opponent is former 140-pound titlist, Karim Mayfield. While Mayfield has dropped three of his last four fights, he is a lower-profile opponent who has just enough notoriety to lend some credibility.
Dusty could use an opponent like Mayfield to sharpen his jab, as Dmitry Mikahylenko dismantled Mayfield by mainly relying on his jab earlier this year.
He’s dangerous enough to be a threat to Dusty–who is tall for a Welterweight at 6’0″–because he doesn’t really utilize his reach as a boxer puncher. Dusty could pull off a solid decision from this potential matchup (as Mayfield has never been stopped).
Thomas Dulorme is another potential opponent, who has moved between the super lightweight and welterweight divisions in his career. Dulorme is a tall, aggressive fighter, who compliments what Dusty likes to do in the ring.
Dusty’s penchant to allow his opponent to start offensively as he looks to counter, is one of his stronger skill sets. Dulorme likes to be the aggressor and he typically stands in front of his opponent to get his punches off.
However, Dusty should be defensively aware as Dulorme can punch and likes to go to the body at a decent frequency. I think Dusty wins this match by stoppage, as Dulorme is not afraid to go out on his shield and Dusty has decent power in both hands.
As stated before, Dusty is a solid prospect. Because of the Dallas fight it’s evident he’s a versatile fighter, showing that not only can he win being technical, but he can bang if need be. He is also still technically undefeated.
As he continues to grow under the tutelage of new trainer Barry Hunter, while working with other experienced fighters out of Headbangers Gym like the Peterson brother’s (Lamont and Anthony) and Austin Trout, Dusty could be on his way to a world title in the future.
However, I believe that Dusty should take one or two more “experience” or showcase fights before trying to take on the world class opposition like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and Kell Brook.