A number of locals made their pro debuts late in 2011 (October and November)-- too late for fair consideration for this year's Rookie of the Year award. As it stands, there was really only one clear-cut winner anyway. This young man got the whole boxing world talking -- first about his age and then about his talent. Although his age limited him from competing more in 2011, his talent will give him more opportunities in 2012.
The Beltway Boxing Rookie of the Year for 2011 is:
Dusty Harrison (3-0, one KO), welterweight, Washington, DC The 17-year-old long-time amateur standout made an impact as the youngest pro boxer in the country. Whether you believe Harrison was too young may still be a question for debate, but Harrison handled the hoopla surrounding his rookie year with a maturity far beyond his years. Adding to that hoopla was Harrison's immediate signing with Prize Fight Promotions. Harrison impressed many in his pro debut on June 11 against Alphonso Alexander, winning a four-round unanimous decision. In his second bout under the Prize Fight banner, Harrison won another unanimous decision over veteran Trenton Titsworth.
The interest surrounding Harrison through the boxing world may have scared the Prize Fight promotion and their possible misgivings forced Harrison to move away from that promotion. With some help from the DC Commission, Harrison was able to fight in front of the home fans for the first time. Harrison recorded his first pro stoppage with a first-round KO of Terrell Davis.
Harrison will turn 18 in May, allowing him to fight anywhere in the country. It will be very interesting to see how the rest of the US acknowledges his talent.
Previous BATB Rookies of the Year:
2006: Jessie Nicklow
2007: Bayan Jargal
2008: Fernando Guerrero
2009: Dominic Wade
2010: Nick Kisner
Next: Prospect of the Year