Dusty Hernandez-Harrison v Eddie Soto
All-In Entertainment provided boxing fans of Washington an exciting event Saturday night at the University of District of Columbia's Sports Complex, culminating with the continued rise of teen welterweight sensation Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, who won his 15th straight bout in emphatic fashion against Eddie Soto.
The night event was dubbed "Champion Class" by All-In Entertainment and it lived up to its name.
"It is called Champion Class because we want boxing fans to get an up-close look at some of these great young boxers, who had outstanding amateur careers, and now that they are pro might become champions someday," said Jeff Fried of All-In Entertainment. And the youngest fighter of the night didn't disappoint.
Harrison (15-0, 9 KO's) who put together the most dominating bout of his young career, stopped the veteran and game Soto with a devastating right cross at 2:48 of Round 5. Harrison used the left jab brilliantly in the bout to frustrate Soto, who was unable to get inside all night. In the second round, Harrison landed a brutal right that dropped the overmatched Soto. Though Soto was able to land a couple good shots, they did not faze Harrison.
The younger Harrison took Soto's best shots, and never lost his composure or his nerves when Soto tried to make it a brawl, pushing him off him several times they were tied up.
In the fifth, Harrison again used the jab to set up a vicious right that landed flush on the side of Soto's head. The punch knocked Soto's equilibrium off, as his legs buckled and he landed sideways on the canvas, causing the near sell-out crowd at the 3,000 capacity venue to rise their feet and chant Harrison's name.
"I felt pretty good and Soto was a tough opponent," said the 18-year-old Harrison after his impressive win. "I knew coming in I would be able to use my jab against him."
Many at ringside believe that Harrison is well on his way for a title shot.
"I think with one or two more fights, Dusty will be ready for a NABO or NABA title," said Monte Barrett, a former heavyweight title challenger who was ringside calling the action.
Soto (12-7, 4 KO's) was able to get up with the help of his corner and sit down on the stool for a moment. The always humble Harrison walked over to Soto's corner to check up on his beaten opponent. "He is tough, real good boxer and I have all the respect in the world for him. He is going to be a great fighter," said Soto.
Jerry Odom looked scored a first-round TKO over Andrew Morias in the co-main event. Odom landed a strong body shot and then mixed in a flurry of shots that had Morias up against the ropes, until referee Dave Braslow jumped in to stop the action at 1:06 of the round. Morias seem annoyed and shocked that Braslow stopped the fight and was shaking his head in disgust as he stepped out of the ring. Odom improved to 4-0-1, while Morias fell to 1-2.
Patrick Coye made his debut in style against an overmatched Charles Parker, sending the North Carolina native crashing to the canvas with a demoralizing right hand. Referee Sharon Sands immediately directed Coye to go to a neutral corner, stopping the contest at 1:36 of the opening round. A dazed Parker lay motionless for a few moments before being able to get up under his own power.
Natu "The Samoan Truth" Visinia showed his true power against a rusty Phil Brown, who was returning to the ring for the first time since 2007, scoring brutal head shots that forced the bout to be stopped at 2:49 of the first.
Visinia upped his perfect record to 9-0.
"I knew I would be able to land body and power shots to him, and I had him hurt. I just kept going after him," he said.
Kevin Rivers had an easy time with Jason Rorie as he earned a four-round unanimous decision. Rivers kept on pressing Rorie and peppering him with shots. He displayed great timing and patience in the ring. The officials scored it 40-36 on all three cards. The brash Rivers improved to 7-0, while Rorie fell to 6-17.
The anticipated bout between Mike Reed and Damon Antoine was pulled after it was learned that Antonie refused to take the bout. Antoine was entering that contest with an 11-46 mark and according to multiple sources was even offered more money to take the bout but still refused.
Antoine still fought on the card, but it was against Charles Natal - a fellow native of Ohio. The walkout bout was spirited but was cut short due to a power outrage in the arena. The bout was ruled a no-contest.
William Prieto had issues with his paperwork and his physical, leading to a cancellation of his bout against Greg Newby.