A local boxer has been made an indirect part of a dispute between USA Boxing and hall of fame boxer and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
Earlier this week, the president of USA Boxing, Dr. Charles Butler, published an open letter in which he accuses Tyson and his new promotional company, Iron Mike Promotions, of hindering the growth of the US Olympic Boxing program by attempting to sign some of the country's best young amateur talent to professional contracts. One boxer, presumably, Erickson Lubin, signed with Tyson's company at the age of 18.
Dr. Butler says in his letter, "Mike, an athlete who is just turning 18 is too young for the world of professional boxing. The other promoters are not prematurely stalking our future Olympic stars at this time."
Tyson responded to Dr. Butler with his own open letter in which he not only talks about himself turning pro at 18, he mentions DC's own Dusty Hernandez Harrison, who turned pro at 17.
"You also state that 18 is too young to turn pro, yet you write this open
letter to someone that has turned pro at 18 and has had a very
successful professional boxing career," Tyson says in his letter. "I still hold the record as the
youngest heavyweight champion. Let’s not forget Wilfred Benitez who was
the youngest champion of all times at 17. Currently there is a young
fighter in the Washington DC area, Dusty Harrison, who turned pro at 17,
is now 19 and undefeated in 17 professional fights. Harrison also
attends a local college. Promoters, managers and trainers have always
been in the recruiting business. This isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s an
engagement that goes on in ALL professional sports."
When Harrison's camp heard about the Tyson mention, here was their response:
“Dusty is honored by the compliment given to him by one of the
most exciting and dynamic heavyweight Champions in history,” said
Hernandez-Harrison’s promoter Jeff Fried of All-In Entertainment. "Dusty continues to maintain the
focus, work ethic and sacrifice that is necessary to succeed to the
highest level in any sport, and certainly in boxing. Dusty is passionate about
learning and continuing to develop as a professional boxer."