Ahead of big fight, boxer remembers father, coach who was killed in DC

This weekend, boxer Dusty Hernandez-Harrison will fight in one of the biggest fights of his career — the Beltway Battles in D.C. But when he takes the ring, he will do so without his No. 1 fan, coach and father in his corner.

His father, Arthur “Buddy” Harrison Jr., 62, was killed on Saturday afternoon in Southeast D.C.



Speaking to reporters ahead of the Saturday fight, Hernandez-Harrison said he plans to honor his father by not calling off the fight.

“Everyone would say like, ‘Yeah, you got a perfect excuse not to fight again,’ but I think it’d be a perfect excuse to anyone but Buddy,” Hernandez-Harrison said.

He remembered his father as “tough,” never missing a workout despite illnesses, such as when he had the flu, had cancer treatment, and while recovering after a heart attack.

Harrison coached at Old School Boxing in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland, and was known for being not only a coach, but also a mentor to those he trained.

“His job was, it truly was, helping people,” Hernandez-Harrison said.

He said he knew his father would not charge young fighters who couldn’t afford training. And the stories he said he’s been hearing since losing his father showed the extent of Harrison’s love for the community.

From making sure kids got home from school to a woman saying that his father saved her from an attacker, over the past few days Hernandez-Harrison said he has heard many stories of his dad’s good deeds.

“He didn’t come home and tell us either and brag about it. We didn’t know,” Hernandez-Harrison said.

From Harrison’s Instagram page, it was clear he loved boxing; but moreover, he loved that his son shared that love.

In Harrison’s last Instagram post, he wrote, “I laced his gloves at 2 years old … I am still lacing his gloves at 28 years old. I thank Jesus for the opportunity to do so.”

Two of his father’s longtime friends will be in Hernandez-Harrison’s corner, coaching him during the big fight. But he said it won’t be the same as seeing and hearing his dad.

“It’s going to be a hard voice to replace; he was a great corner man,” Hernandez-Harrison said.

Police are still looking for those responsible for Harrison’s death, including the suspect vehicle — a white Kia Optima with Ohio tags JAU 3816.

D.C. police are seeking information to help them locate a vehicle in relation to a deadly shooting Saturday on the 2700 block of 30th Street in Southeast. (Courtesy D.C. police)

There is a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Anyone with information should call D.C. police at 202-727-9099.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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