Harry Joe Yorgey Interview
Exclusive Interview by James Slater -- Unbeaten 31-year-old light-middleweight Harry Joe Yorgey of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, U.S made a big name for himself and a huge step towards getting a chance to fulfil his dream of becoming a world champion in his last fight, when he sensationally KO'd former Hot Prospect Ronald Hearns. Getting up off the floor in an earlier round from what he calls a flash knockdown to stop ring legend Tommy Hearn's son in the 9th round in March of this year, Yorgey had his biggest T.V fight to date.
Article posted on 10.07.2009
Having picked up the boxing gloves with his father's encouragement when he was just 2-years-old, Yorgey, currently 22-0-1(10), feels he was always destined to be a fighter.
"My dad always was a real big fight fan, and I used to watch boxing on T.V with him," Yorgey told me over the phone as he very kindly granted me an interview recently..
"I was always very excited watching the fights and I used to jump around the room, throwing punches. My dad wanted to be a fighter, but unfortunately he never did. I had my first fight when I was ten."
Harry tells me who his all-time boxing hero is, and that this is a fighter he has been told he actually resembles in the ring.
"Marvin Hagler is the ultimate fighter to me. I loved everything about him - his training ethic, the way he fought everybody and his style of fighting. I never missed a single fight of his. A friend of mine told me I look like him, what with the shaved head and everything. It's funny, because I love the Hagler-Hearns fight, and then I told my friend I was getting ready to fight Tommy's son!"
Yorgey, a pro since December of 2002, says the win over Hearns was not a tough fight at all.
"No disrespect to Hearns, who is a great fighter, but it was not a tough fight for me at all. A lot of it [my success] is down to my new trainer. I've only been with Henry Racich for two fights now, but he studies countless hours of film and he puts a plan together for every fight. I'm with the right people now, what with Banner Promotions, and now I'm finally getting to fight on Network T.V."
Harry had problems with his former promoter, a man he told me subsequently lost his licence. Bound to the contract he says he was "a dumb kid" to sign, Yorgey was held back and fought only on a local level; eventually winning a court battle against his former promoter. However, the 31-year-old who feels he is now at his peak had some good character-building wins before he got with his new trainer and promoter.
"I'm a boxer-puncher. My best punch is my jab and I like to think I have a very good defence. The pro game suits me more than the amateur game did. That whole thing where three judges hit a button at the same time to score a punch for you; that screwed me in the Olympic trials. I never had that much of an amateur career, although I did box in the U.S versus Ireland tournament three times. I had something like 30 amateur fights, winning around twenty.
"I always knew how to place my punches, though, and I'm a very experienced fighter. I've been knocked down before and I even had my jaw broken - in a fight against Larry Brothers. He got me in a headlock and I felt my jaw click. I have learnt a lot from fights like that. In one fight, against Jeremy Yelton, I was knocked down and I knocked him down a bunch of times. I sent him to the hospital. I've also been known to break ribs with my body punches. Forget the [Nov. 2006] draw against Martinus Clay (Clay subsequently beaten on points in a return), everyone tells me I won by at least two rounds. It's funny, but I've been called the best kept secret in boxing."
Clearly a gutsy fighter, who is only now coming into the limelight, Yorgey wants to keep the momentum going and he wants a world title shot soon. Like many other people, Harry calls Paul Williams the best of the current "world" champions at light-middleweight, yet the 31-year-old has no intentions of avoiding "The Punisher" - even though he says he would move up to middleweight, "If the money was right."
"I make weight pretty easily and I feel strong at 154-pounds. Right now, I'd say I'm the best fighter in the world at light-middleweight! The best champion is Williams, though - if he stays at 154, that is. I'd love a fight with him, definitely."
The win over Hearns has not only got father of four Yorgey some overdue attention, it has also resulted in his life becoming, as he puts it, "A little hectic right now."
"I've been getting a million phone calls since the win over Hearns. I can't say too much about what Banner have planned for me, but I definitely want to be fighting for a world title very, very soon. I plan to box again in July or August. The win over Hearns has got me the exposure I needed and with my new trainer - I really can't express enough how important it is having the right people around you, trainer especially - I will keep getting better and better."
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