Beltway Battles: Anthony Peterson wins back

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On a typical fight night when Dusty Hernandez-Harrison was still in the ring, the district welterweight contender would have been in the locker room revising his strategy, flexing his body and summoning the mental toughness needed to thrive in the clinch. . .

But on Saturday afternoon, the undefeated boxer-turned-promoter was looking for ice. This request came from pugilists and their handlers several hours before the first fight of “Beltway Battles: Round 2,” the second of three local maps that Hernandez-Harrison is promoting at Entertainment and Sports Arena in an effort to restore profile. sports in the country. Capital city.

“I firmly believed that being a fighter was the hardest job in the world,” said Hernandez-Harrison, who has been inactive since February 2020. when he improved to 34-0-1. “It was a 24-hour job. Your lifestyle is changed. I know now that this is the second hardest job. Excuse my language, but this [expletive] sucks. You don’t realize all that’s in there.

Hernandez-Harrison spoke partly in jest, but the many duties he is responsible for include managing fighters’ travel arrangements, ensuring proper medical care at ringside and arranging arena security. He even toured the surrounding parking lots, chatting with the attendants about the procedures.

Hernandez-Harrison is the founder of DHH Promotions, which has partnered with other promotions including Rising Star and TCMBF Boxing for three cards featuring district and area fighters headlining the event. main and co-feature.

Anthony Peterson, the 37-year-old DC born and raised super lightweight, ended a 9½ month hiatus to dispatch Saul Corral by sixth-round knockout in the card’s penultimate fight. The main event between Bowie’s Greg Outlaw and Colombia’s Wilfrido Buelvas ended in an anti-climate first-round no contest. Referee Michelle Myers stopped the fight at 2:28 a.m. when medical officials from both corners said the fighters could not continue after Buelvas accidentally headbutted Outlaw, opening a gash above his right eye which started to bleed profusely.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted,” Peterson (39-1-1, 25 KOs) said of the local production highlight. “It’s something that I felt was late. While I was waiting for those big fights, I feel like those were the times that I missed. We could have put on those smaller shows and strengthen our fanbase – and not only are you building a fanbase, you’re knocking the rust off.

Peterson’s coach is his older brother Lamont, 38, a retired two-division champion whose victory over Amir Khan by split decision in December 2011 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center produced one of the most memorable moments in DC boxing history.

The triumph brought major title belts back to the district, which was the birthplace and/or home base of world champions in the 1990s, such as flyweight Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, super lightweight Sharmba Mitchell, super welterweight Ronald “Winky” Wright and middleweights. Keith Holmes and William Joppy. The nearby suburb can claim Sugar Ray Leonard, a Palmer Park native and one of the most accomplished and celebrated champions in boxing history, as well as former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe of Fort Washington.

Highlighting the region’s performance on Saturday night was a 10-bell salute in honor of the late coach Gary Russell Sr., who recently passed away. Russell was the patriarch of a family of fighters and notably trained Gary Russell Jr., who held the WBC featherweight title from 2015 until his loss in January.

“Our goal is to bring DC back to when we had five, six champions,” said Hernandez-Harrison, whose roommate Donnell Poe was under the card and won his four-round fight, the second of his career. “A lot of them are here tonight. I think it’s good to connect the new and the old. That’s pretty much my job now – mentoring young fighters. I tell them the mistakes I made, the things I did wrong.

Securing the Entertainment and Sports Arena, home of the Washington Mystics and Capital City Go-Go and training facility for the Washington Wizards, was high on his list of priorities. With another show scheduled for August, the four-year-old facility in Congress Heights offers the capacity (4,200) suitable for showcasing title fight contenders in addition to untested venues looking to gain experience in a setting accessible to family and friends. .

The amenities are also much friendlier to fans than some dated venues in the area that have hosted boxing cards in recent years.

“That’s what DC needs. DC needs to be active in this sport,” Holmes said, pointing to his 16 fights over two years that set him up to become a champion. “These fighters have to fight. They must stay busy. … I’m grateful that I went through what I went through. I just hope everyone continues this thing.

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