<
>

Hernandez-Harrison earns decision

NEW YORK -- All the planning and ups and downs of entering the boxing business in August came to a head on Friday night as music superstar Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports put on its first "throne boxing" card, and welterweight prospect Dusty Hernandez-Harrison rolled to a lopsided 10-round decision against Tommy Rainone at Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The show, with 4,253 on hand, culminated the past several months of Roc Nation Sports launching its boxing business and was the grand finale of an intensely busy few days.

In the two days before the card, Roc Nation Sports closed a deal to buy promoter Gary Shaw's promotional company -- taking over most of his fighter contracts, including heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings, in the process. It also finalized the signing of super middleweight world champion Andre Ward, one of boxing's best pound-for-pound fighters, who has fought just twice since the end of 2011 because of a protracted contract dispute with now-former promoter Goossen Promotions.

With big boss Jay Z, Ward and Jennings sitting in the front row, flanked by a who's who of Roc Nation's music (including Rihanna) and sports stars (including CC Sabathia), Hernandez-Harrison put on a clinic against Rainone.

Hernandez-Harrison, a 20-year-old prospect from Washington, D.C., who was one of the first fighters to sign with Roc Nation Sports a few weeks ago, won by 100-90 shutout on two scorecards and 99-91 on the third. ESPN.com also scored the fight 100-90 for Hernandez-Harrison.

Hernandez-Harrison said he loved the atmosphere of the arena, which had a lot of energy, and he was also pleased by his performance.

"When we walked out to come down to the ring I loved it immediately," said Hernandez-Harrison, who was fighting in his first televised main event. "I think I was made for situations like this. The fight itself, I started to get better and better. I wanted the knockout bad. I looked for it too much in the 10th round. Other than that, I'm happy."

It was a tactical fight, although Hernandez-Harrison was a bit more aggressive than Rainone, who mainly tried to connect with jabs while Hernandez-Harrison had a more varied attack, including banging Rainone to the body.

It got a bit more spirited in the fourth round when Hernandez-Harrison (25-0, 13 KOs) landed a low blow and Rainone (22-6-1, 4 KOs), who turned 35 on Thursday, took exception even though referee Harvey Dock gave him a stern warning for the foul.

The heat didn't last for long, as they were quickly back to a slow-paced fight with few clean punches until the seventh round, when Hernandez-Harrison caught Rainone with a strong right hand. Hernandez-Harrison worked him into the ropes and landed several hard shots that had Rainone, a southpaw, covering up as the crowd came to life.

"He recovered fast," Hernandez-Harrison said. "He was in shape for the fight. He's tough, he's been around. He knows how to make it through the tough times."

Buddy Harrison, Dusty's father and trainer, was also pleased his the performance.

"I was happy but I think maybe he got a little overanxious trying to take him out and he missed his shots," Harrison said. "Maybe after the seventh round he came to the corner and said he hurt his hand. I told him to use his jab and his jab looked good."

According to CompuBox punch statistics, Hernandez-Harrison connected on 152 of 452 shots (34 percent) and Rainone landed just 46 of 229 (20 percent).

Johnson stops Theran

In the co-feature, middleweight Tureano Johnson (18-1, 12 KOs), 30, a 2008 Olympian from the Bahamas, stopped Alex Theran (17-2, 9 KOs), 24, of Colombia, one second into the sixth round.

Theran had defeated Johnson in a 2008 amateur bout, but Johnson dominated their professional rematch. He landed strong right hands throughout the bout and connected on yet another one in the fourth round for a knockdown. Theran initially grabbed on to Johnson but then took a knee to collect himself.

Johnson continued to take it to Theran in the fifth round before dropping him with a left hand to the body with about 40 seconds to go. Theran injured his left ankle on the knockdown and the fight was stopped on advice of the ringside doctor in the corner.

Despite the dominant performance, Johnson was not thrilled with his performance.

"A win is a win. I wish I could have showed the crowd what I could really do," Johnson said. "Don't worry about it. Next time I will show what I can do."

For the fight, Johnson landed 102 of 319 punches (32 percent), 101 of which were power shots and only one was jab, according to CompuBox statistics. Theran connected on 57 of 160 blows (36 percent).

Johnson, whose only loss was a memorable -- and very disputed -- 10th-round knockout to Curtis Stevens last April, won his fourth fight in a row since. Theran has lost two of his last three.

"I twisted my ankle. The doctor said I couldn't continue," Theran said. "It was a very difficult fight. He was coming at me too much. When he was close he was banging me and hurting me with overhands. It was not my night."

• Super middleweight Andrew Hernandez, getting manhandled by top prospect Jerry Odom, won by fourth-round disqualification, drawing heavy booing from the crowd. Odom (12-1, 11 KOs) was having his way with Hernandez (8-0-1, 1 KO) and dropped him in a corner with a flurry of punches but Odom continued to punch and landed shots when Hernandez was clearly down, causing referee Arthur Mercante to disqualify Odom at 30 seconds.