By Paul R. Jones! Dusty Hernández-Harrison (34-0-1, 19 KOs) notched his fourth consecutive victory after pummeling Les “Lock ’N’ Load” Sherrington (38-15, 22 KOs) in 2 rounds on Saturday night at Tysons Playground in Vienna, Virginia.
The performance was one of Hernández-Harrison’s best since returning from two-and-a-half-year hiatus from the sport in 2019 after experiencing a handful of setbacks, including severing ties with Roc Nation, the tragic loss of a friend, and run-ins with the law.
Nevertheless, Hernández-Harrison has remained focused on turning his life around and getting back into title contention.
This fight, against Sherrington—an 18-year pro with over 50 fights—was the perfect opponent for Hernández-Harrison to gauge his progress on the comeback trial.
In the first round, Hernández-Harrison brought the fight to Sherrington, pressing forward as the fight’s aggressor.
And while Sherrington landed a few punches to the body, they were quickly negated by a sneaky counter left jab from Hernández-Harrison that downed an off-balance Sherrington early in the round.
After rising from the knockdown, Sherrington reengaged Hernández-Harrison by pumping his jab to the DC native’s face.
However, many of these blows were effectively parried by Hernández-Harrison who countered with a series of heavy shots before the end of the round.
In the second round, Hernández-Harrison closed the distance and landed a short, snapping left hook to Sherrington’s head before following suit another left to the Sherrington’s dome, which downed the Australian for a second time.
Sherrington would beat the count and continue, but the bout would be stopped moments later after Hernández-Harrison landed a lethal left hand to Sherrington’s temple. The blow downed Aussie for the third time, but this time Sherrington failed to beat the referee’s count.
When asked to grade his performance, Hernández-Harrison gave himself an “A, 100%,” but, of course, there were areas for improvement.
Most notably, Hernández-Harrison pointed to his physique, which he quipped resembled “a light heavyweight or cruiserweight,” rather than a super middleweight (the contracted weight).
“This is not a weight that I should be fighting at,” said Hernández-Harrison in our post-fight interview.
“Don’t get me wrong, I trained great for this fight,” he added. “It’s [just that] before I started training for this fight, I let myself get too big. That’s where I give myself an ‘F’.”
“No offense to Dusty,” said Sherrington, “but, he needs to get down to his normal weight, a much lighter weight.”
But on the bright side, it was clear that Hernández-Harrison has a lot left in the tank, making quick work of Sherrington using equal measures of intelligence, pressure, and power to remain unbeaten in 35 fights.
“[Dusty] can still fight at welterweight or junior middleweight and be a massive force as a big guy and big puncher,” said Sherrington in evaluating Hernández-Harrison’s performance.
“He’s got a huge future. Very quick, very big, and very smart.”
But if Hernández-Harrison is to realize his potential, it will start with him getting down to his target weight of 154 pounds and fighting in the wide open junior welterweight division.
Then he’ll need to work his way up the rankings to get a shot at reigning champs Jermell Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) and Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) or even a former champ like Julian “J-Rock” Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs).
Though, if he had his druthers, Hernández-Harrison would love to lock horns with Jarrett Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs) or Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs).
“[Hurd and Lubin are my] good friends, but it’s boxing,” said Hernández-Harrison.
“If we have to fight, we fight.”
Nevertheless, Hernández-Harrison knows that, in the near term, his biggest challenge will be gaining control of his waistline, which (for most of us, including this writer) is easier said than done.
“I know everyone says that,” said Hernández-Harrison.
“But, I’ve just got to come back and prove it.”
Other News and Notes
Other winners on the Hernández-Harrison v. Sherrington card:
• Steven Lopez MD4 “Raging” Robert Shackelford in a mild upset (Co-main event; 37-39 [twice], 38-38)
• Nathaniel “ASAP” Davis MD4 Varon Webb (40-36 [twice], 38-38)
• Ian Cokley MD4 Leo Alcantera in a questionable decision (38-37 [twice], 38-38)
• Dante Cox TKO3 Christopher Johnson in a dominant performance
• Mike “Silverback” Balogun KO1 Ado Baharalija in a fight with a strange ending, in which Baharalija insisted that he was hit behind the head with the blow that produced the stoppage
• Mazlum Akdeniz KO1 Elliott Brown courtesy of an explosive head shot that put Brown out for the count
• Akeem “Action” Jackson TKO4 Anthony Dave in a bout where it was clear from the fighter introductions that Dave was in for a long night
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About the Author: Paul R. Jones! is a long-time boxing writer and ringside photographer for East Side Boxing. A scientist by day and boxing writer by night, Paul covers the humorous, offbeat, and absurd from the sport of boxing. You can keep up with more of what Paul is thinking about on Twitter @boxingepicenter. You can also e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.