Aspiring welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison is in a big spot for such a young man.
The 20-year-old prospect is the featured fighter in the main event of the first "throne boxing" card being promoted by music superstar Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports, which entered the boxing business in August and is putting on its first event on Friday night (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 10 ET) at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Harrison, of Washington, D.C., who recently signed with Roc Nation Sports, has fought twice previously at the Garden, once in the Theater and once in the main arena, on major shows but in untelevised undercard bouts.
On Friday, he will be in the spotlight when he takes on Long Island's Tommy Rainone in a 10-round bout amid the hoopla of Roc Nation Sport's first event, one for which big boss Jay Z will be ringside along with a star-studded crowd expected to include Roc Nation artists Rihanna, event emcee Angie Martinez, DJ Mustard, Fabolous (who will perform), Sam Dew, Santigold, Melanie Fiona, Wardell and Big Sean as well as Roc Nation Sports athletes CC Sabathia and Victor Cruz, among others.
Harrison (24-0, 13 KOs) has handled the attention well so far, and he got a big kick out of doing his first media teleconference last week. He said he has enjoyed the promotion of the card and was honored to be the first fighter to sign with Roc Nation Sports.
"My family is really enjoying it and my friends, of course," he said. "There are artists performing at the fight -- it is more than just a boxing event. I think if there are more events like this it will attract more crowds. All of my friends that are my age are looking forward to this fight more than any other. And I think that kind of says something."
A big part of Roc Nation Sports' sales pitch to fighters is the opportunities it can present clients outside the ring, something Harrison is anxious for.
"I think it opens up a lot of opportunity for me outside of the ring. I am only 20, and the sky is the limit for me inside of the ring," he said. "I think the way they promote fights will do wonders for me outside of the ring."
Although Roc Nation Sports has been rebuffed in its attempts to sign high-profile fighters such as interim welterweight titlist Keith Thurman and heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder, the company signed Hernandez-Harrison because of his potential.
"Obviously, talent is a big part of the equation and he is a very marketable fighter," said David Itskowitch, the chief operating officer of Roc Nation Sports' boxing division. "He's a good kid and we feel he has a bright future both in and out of the ring."
Of course, Hernandez-Harrison, who turned pro at 17, has to take care of his business inside the ring to make the other opportunities realistic.
Although Rainone (22-5-1, 4 KOs) is a 35-year-old club fighter caliber opponent who works nights at a Hilton hotel in the accounting department, he is probably the best one of Hernandez-Harrison's career so far.
Rainone has never been stopped and is riding a 5-0-1 stretch, although his last loss in 2012 came by clear-cut eight-round decision against an opponent who was 2-6.
"The biggest thing, obviously, that I've got to do is win, and do what the people want to see," Hernandez-Harrison said. "They'd like to see a knockout but I need to show all of the potential I have. I need to show something that people will want to watch again.
"It is important for me to develop. I can't keep fighting the same types of fighters and the same skill level. It is important for me to take this fight to become the best boxer that I can be. I am 20 so I really need to develop the right way. He is probably the slickest and craftiest fighter I have fought other than Michael Clark but I think it will be a tougher fight than that [first-round knockout win on Nov. 1].
While Rainone appears to be the best opponent of Hernandez-Harrison's career, he looks like the best opponent of Rainone's career. Still, Rainone said he is confident because he said he got outstanding sparring from fighters such as former junior welterweight titlist Chris Algieri and Thomas LaManna in preparation for the bout.
"On paper, of course, he is my toughest opponent to date but I won't know until the bell rings. Hopefully, he is not, but on paper he is the most accomplished," Rainone said. "I respect the kid. I think he is a good solid fighter but I don't think he's a killer. I also know that's only 20 years old and people tend to rush people and they may be a little impatient with him as far as him stepping up.
"This is a step up for him. As much as you say this is the best guy that I fought I promise you that I am the best guy that he has fought. He really hasn't fought good competition yet. I'm not knocking him on that because you can only expect so much from a kid that young but I am the best fighter he ever fought. It's that simple and it works both ways."
In the scheduled 10-round co-feature, middleweight Tureano Johnson (16-1, 11 KOs), 30, a 2008 Olympian from the Bahamas, will face Alex Theran (17-1, 9 KOs) of Colombia.
Johnson's only loss was a memorable -- and disputed -- 10th-round knockout against Curtis Stevens last April. Johnson has won three fights in a row since. Theran, 24, is one win removed from his only loss, a third-round knockout in April in Moscow.