Harry Joe Yorgey Stops Ronald Hearns in 9th on Showtime!
By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (Mar 29, 2009)  
“Lightning” Harry Joe Yorgey, 22-0-1 (10) of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania scored a mild upset tonight over previously unbeaten Ronald “The Chosen One” Hearns, 21-1 (17) of Detroit, Michigan at 2:59 of the 9th round over the Showtime Network at the Buffalo Run Casino, in Miami, Oklahoma Saturday night!

Promoters DiBella Entertainment, Gary Shaw Productions and Holden Productions were all winners tonight after a fight that had fans worldwide on their feet throughout! Hearns came into the fight ranked #7 by the WBC
while Yorgey was #15 by the USBA. Hearns was a betting favorite everywhere but Bridgeport, Pennsylvania as their local pride and joy Harry Joe Yorgey scored the biggest win of his career over the son of the legendary Thomas “The Hit Man” Hearns, Ronald Hearns.

From the start it was Hearns using his 5” height and 5” reach advantage over the smaller Yorgey for the first two rounds. Hearns was coming in at the lightest of his career at 151 ½ in tip top shape. He complained in between rounds to his corner that his right eye was bothering him. In the 3rd round Yorgey rocked Hearns with a combination to take the round. The 4th was a wild round as Yorgey pressed forward landing a straight right hand to the jaw of the retreating Hearns, followed by a left and right that dropped Hearns. Referee Steve Smoger administered the 8 count to a visibly shook Hearns. To his credit Hearns showed great recovery powers as the incoming Yorgey was looking to put him away. Suddenly a left hook from Hearns dropped Yorgey who seemed to partially block the punch and motioned to the referee he went down due to a wet spot on the canvas. Upon getting up immediately Yorgey seemed more disgusted than hurt by the knockdown. Yorgey’s left eyebrow was cut as the bell came to the end of the round. His new cutman the Philly veteran Leon Tabbs went to work on it immediately as his trainer Henry Racich was busy calming down his fighter. The cut was never an issue.

Coming out for the 5th round Hearns was back to using his jab to good advantage when a straight right hand dropped him under the lower strand of ropes. Some how Hearns got to his feet as Smoger gave him the count. Hearns weathered the storm and came back to win the 6th round with effective punching. In the 7th round Yorgey rocked Hearns with about 10 seconds to go in the round with a left hook that seemed to pull the round out for him. In the 8th round Hearns again was using his jab and landing right hands to the jaw of Yorgey that seemed to have little effect on his opponent who seemed to be in a zone of his own at the bell. This writer had the fight dead even at 76-76 going into the 9th round.

In the 9th Yorgey would continue to step forward backing up Hearns who was all but defenseless in going backwards. This seemed to be part of Yorgey’s game plan to take Hearns deep into the fight and overtake him with his superior conditioning. Fighting in spurts Yorgey ate jab after jab and suddenly like a cat leaped toward Hearns who was retreating and got caught with a left that rocked him followed by a right hand that put him down as Smoger administered the 10 count at 2:59 of the 9th round!

On the line was the vacant International Boxing Association Intercontinental light middleweight title. It was quite evident prior to the days leading up to the fight and even during the fight that both fighters had quite a bit of respect for one another. At one point during the fight Yorgey accidently stepped on Hearns foot and they touched gloves. It was this kind of fight. No bad mouthing one another but respect for one another. As Tommy “The Hit Man” Hearns entered the ring he acknowledged his congratulations to Yorgey and even gave Yorgey’s wife a hug. It was a total class gesture on his part. Even when Hearns was down for the count being administered to for at least 5 minutes Yorgey went over to him putting his arm around his neck and surely gave him words of confidence that he too was a warrior even in defeat. Yorgey’s dad climbed up on the ring apron as he hugged his son while Yorgey’s P.R. man Kurt Wolfheimer stood by him. It was certainly a team effort that brought Yorgey this far.

Yorgey’s promoter Art Pelullo of Banner Promotions was congratulating his latest winner who looks like he is following in the steps of former IBF light middleweight champion Verno Phillips of the Banner team. With Yorgey’s last victim Jason LeHollier, also with Banner, scheduled to fight a non title bout with WBC champion Vernon Forrest next month could Yorgey be moved into the WBC ratings high enough since defeating their #7 contender to warrant a title shot if Forrest successfully defeats LeHollier? For the 31 year old Yorgey who was raised in the small town of Bridgeport just outside of Philadelphia it would be a dream come true. Yorgey had dedicated this fight to 22 year old Shannon Yoder, the daughter of a friend who is battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Yorgey has never forgot his roots as he proudly wears the maroon and white colors of his native small town and let’s everyone within earshot know he’s from “Bridgeport, Pennsylvana”! Could it not be long before we hear it announced “and new WBC light middleweight champion” from Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, “Lightning” Harry Joe Yorgey”?

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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