Harry Joe Yorgey to Fight Ronald Hearns March 28th
By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (Mar 25, 2009)  
Unbeaten light middleweight’s “Lightning” Harry Joe Yorgey, 21-0-1 (9) of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania and Ronald “The Chosen One” Hearns 21-0 (17), of Detroit will meet on the Showtime network on March 28th at the Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, Oklahoma!

Son of the legendary Thomas “the Hitman” Hearns, Ronald is ranked #7 by the WBC and #13 by the WBA. The USBA has him ranked #7 and Yorgey #15.

Yorgey was dead honest when he said “my toughest opponent was in my first fight against Billy Johnson”. Yorgey stopped Johnson in 4 rounds in his debut in December of 2002. In Johnson’s next fight he was decisioned by Hearns. Another common opponent is Edison Aguirre who Yorgey decisioned in 8 in June of 2007 and Hearns stopped in 2 in Aguirre’s next fight.

Starting out in the steel town of Phoenixville, Yorgey, fought for the local PAL under the instruction of John Mulvenna, Jimmy Deoria, Sr. and manager Jimmy Deoria, Jr. They brought in Don Elbaum who still does the matchmaking at the legendary Blue Horizon, to mastermind Yorgey’s career.

In Yorgey’s 8th fight against Larry Brothers he had his jaw broke in the 2nd round. Only his toughness and ringmanship got him through the 6 rounds to take the decision. “It felt like my teeth were on the other side of my mouth. I couldn’t even squeeze my fist. I fought rest of fight with my hands open, almost just slapping him,” Yorgey said. He was later told by his physician that a nerve in the jaw was connected to his hands, making it nearly impossible to make a fist.

In his 16th fight for the vacant IBU World Junior Middleweight Championship Yorgey battled to a draw with Martinus Clay to whom he would easily defeat less than a year later at the Blue Horizon. After the draw with Clay he would be in a blood bath with Jeremy Yelton, 17-7, taking turn knocking each other down. With a blood vessel broke in his nose and a left arm going numb in the 5th round Yorgey gutted it out taking the decision. “He fought a lot of top guys like Paulie Maglinaggi and none of them could come close to what I was doing to him. Then he caught me. Call it a flash knockdown or whatever. I got back up like a warrior. I might have spilled the blood but I went to the after party and he left in an ambulance”, said Yorgey.

Yorgey was unbeaten in 8 Blue Horizon appearances and had a bigger following than any other fighter in the city. After defeating Clay this writer asked him about stepping up to the next level with the Bronco McKart’s of the game and he replied “I don’t care if I lose, but I want to fight a name fighter”. Yorgey had grown tired of his lack of opposition.

A planned fight with another unbeaten prospect from New England was Jason LeHoullier, who then was 21-0-1, having just beat Yorgey’s two fight foe, Clay.

The match was set for March 7th of 2008 at the Foxwood Casino in Connecticut. Yorgey ended up at ringside due to litigation of his management while LeHoullier battled to a draw with Jose Luis Gonzalez. On the positive side he got to see LeHoullier fight.

After sitting out for 10 months Yorgey switched promoters to Banner Promotions. Henry Racich took over as trainer putting Yorgey into the best condition of his career. An ESPN2 fight with LeHoullier who was also promoted by Banner was proposed. Considering it unfinished business in one respect, Yorgey agreed to the match.

They fought at the Sommet Center, in Nashville on August 22nd. Yorgey never looked better. He seemed an easy winner until we heard “we have a majority decision”. The stunned look on Yorgey’s face mirrored those in the arena. 114-114 was the first judge’s score. 117-111 and 116-112 followed with “the winner, still undefeated and new IBF International light middleweight champion Harry Joe Yorgey”. “Taking it one at a time, Harry could be fighting for a world title in 3 fights” said Artie Pelullo who runs Banner. Banner also represents the former IBF light middleweight champion Verno Phillips.

Yorgey had an open to the public workout Thursday, March 19th and is dedicating this fight to 21 year old Shannon Yoder who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called desmoplastic small round cell tumor. Yorgey is friends with Yoder’s parents were at the workout with others that filled the gym.

Can Yorgey work inside Hearns sneaky right hand? Always fit, Yorgey will have conditioning on his side over 12 rounds with his IBF International and IBF North American titles on the line. Hearns will be the favorite with the TV crew but all of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania will be pulling for Yorgey!

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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