World Class Professional boxing returns to the nation’s capital on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, as long-time friends and former opponents in the ring, Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna and Dusty Hernandez-Harrison along with long time Harrison advisor Mike Walters, are joining forces to promote “Beltway Battles: The Inauguration”. It is the first in a series of cards the two will be promoting in Washington, D.C., at the state-of-the-art Entertainment & Sports Arena, home of the WNBA Champion Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G-League. This event will mark the return of professional boxing to the Washington, D.C., region after more than 18 months due to the pandemic layoff.
The inaugural card in the series, promoted by Rising Star Promotions in association with Events DC, DHH Promotions and TCMFB Boxing, will be headlined by Southeast Washington, D.C., native Dusty Hernandez-Harrison in a scheduled 10-round bout. Harrison, who boasts an impressive professional record of 34-0-1, with 20 KOs is currently riding a four fight knockout streak since moving up in weight. The co-main event will feature hard hitting fan favorite Demond Nicholson (23-4-1, 20KOs) of Laurel, Md., taking on New Jerseys Decarlo Perez (17-6-1, 5KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout.
“The support I’ve received in D.C., has always been the driving force behind my career,”
Harrison said. “I haven’t fought in the city since 2016 so it’s great that I can fight at home again and doing it in Southeast makes it all the more special.
“Teaming up with Cornflake (LaManna) to promote this series of shows is like a dream come true. I want to bring a world title fight to D.C., and this is the first step in getting there.” The former middleweight world title challenger LaManna is the last fighter to go the distance with the undefeated Harrison in the ring. Harrison won a 10-round decision win over his co-promoter for the USBA-IBF welterweight championship in 2016.
“I’m looking forward to continuing my journey in boxing by promoting big cards in different
markets and giving people like Dusty, who actually beat me, the opportunity to get to where I did, which is a shot at a world championship,” LaManna said. “Rising Star Promotions has the ability to get these fighters to the promised land. “Honestly, I am most excited to see Nicholson and Perez,” LaManna added. “Nicholson is going to be looking to impress his fans and get back into world title contention, but Perez is no joke. I think this fight is going to be a war for as long as it lasts.”
Nicholson is coming off of what should be considered a heroic performance by being the only man to see the final bell and breaking the 16-fight first round knockout streak of rising superstar Edgar Berlanga in a losing effort on ESPN. Perez won the New Jersey State Championship in his most recent bout with a decision win over state rival Antowyan Aikens.
Rounding out the undercard will be local fan favorite light heavyweight Sam “The Vanilla Gorilla” Crossed (11-1 6KOs) of Greenbelt, Md.,who is on a two fight knockout streak since his controversial loss to cruiserweight Nick Kisner for the Maryland State Championship in 2020. Undefeated heavyweight Christopher Arnold (3-0 3KOs) of Fredericksburg, Va, a pair of U.S. Marines, D.C. native lightweight Donnell Poe (1-0 1KO) and bantamweight Rianna Rios (1-0) of Upper Marlboro, Md.,will appear on the card as well as former Golden Boy Promotions welterweight prospect Cornell “Hitman” Hines (5-1, 2KOs). More bouts to be announced in the coming weeks.