“Lightning” Harry Joe Yorgey Returns to the Ring Friday in Oklahoma
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 23, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
In March of 2009 “Lightning” Harry Joe Yorgey stopped Ronald Hearns in 9 rounds in Oklahoma. His rise in the ratings was as high as No. 3. For some unknown reason his promoter Art Pelullo of Banner Promotions decided to take on the hottest and meanest boxer in the light middleweight division, Alfredo Angulo.

Yorgey suffered his first defeat in 24 fights in the 3rd round. At a press conference Monday night in Limerick, PA. at Mama Velias Italian Restaurant operated by Ricky and Robby. The place was packed with Yorgey’s adoring fans. “One thing I have that even champions envy, it’s a good local fan base. My fans have always stuck by me,” said Yorgey. That they have. They also want to see their favorite fighter fight closer to home again like in Philadelphia or Atlantic City.

Yorgey has fought at the Legendary Blue Horizon in Philly some 7 times. He’s also paid his dues fighting in places like Upper Merion H.S., in King of Prussia, PA, where he was a star football player. Then there was Water World, in Phoenixville, PA, the town he trained at the time. In Reading, PA, he fought at the Riveredge Restaurant. It may have been there that he sparred with the now former IBF light middleweight champion Kermit Cintron. They have since bonded to be very good friends.

Also in King of Prussia Yorgey fought Philly’s “Fight of the Year” against Jeremy Yelton. The blood covered Yorgey’s body but he fought on as a true warrior does to victory. His next fight was at Phoenixville H.S. with 2 Blue Horizon bouts following. The second one was avenging the only non win on his record defeating Martinus Clay whom he drew with almost a year earlier.

This is when Yorgey decided to go with a “bigger” promoter. Bigger doesn’t always mean better Yorgey was to find. “I have nothing negative to say about Art Pelullo. I got to be ranked No. 3 with him. Only injuries have pushed the contract with Banner back with another 11 months remaining.

His public relations man Kurt Wolfheimer introduced the “new” Team Yorgey at the event. Matt Cubbler and Dave Shafer will be guiding Yorgey’s future. Together they operate Maxout who specialize in “strength development”. Yorgey’s punching power has been increased like never before after being worked out by Cubbler. “We hope to build a first class gym soon in the Limerick area with former champion Kermit Cintron involved,” said Cubbler. Cintron lives 30 minutes west of the area in Reading, PA.

Also in the audience was former Penn State running back Blair Thomas. The team were fielding questions from all including George Hanson the writer for “The Mouthpiece”. This writer was asking who was picking the opponents in the future knowing Cubbler and Shafer are not boxing people. I said when Matthew Hatton can fight for the WBC vacant 154 title without being in their top 40 against the No. 1 contender in Saul Alvarez there’s something wrong. Yorgey’s only conqueror Alfredo Angulo sits at No. 2, and has to be wondering “what happened?” Yorgey answered “we will get a couple of wins and see what happens before picking a promoter. We’ve had talks with Golden Boy and Lou DiBella is a personal friend.

His latest trainer is Derrick “Bozy” Ennis whose son’s Derek “Pooh” Ennis, holds the 154 USBA title and Farah who holds the 168 NABF title. He also trains former 140 title challenger Demitrius Hopkins and unbeaten featherweight Coy Evans. Yorgey has fit in well in the gym with the Ennis brothers and Hopkins to spar with. “Bozy” is a no nonsense trainer who is a defensive specialist who wants Yorgey to return to the style he had in the amateurs when he was knocking people out but not getting hit as often as he did in his last fight.

This Friday’s ESPN2 show will have Yorgey on the undercard of the non-televised part of the program. He’s returning to the state where he stopped Hearns. This is the same Hearns that last week-end fought for the WBA 160 title against Felix Sturm in Germany. Hearns “earned” the title shot with 5 wins over an overall opponent record of 86-87-8. Hearns contacted Yorgey after the fight. It seems Yorgey makes friends easily and has a personality that has attracted many fans. He makes no bones about it he is from “Bridgeport, PA” no matter where he calls home.

Yorgey is the kind of person now at 33 you have to root for. He is humble but confident. His latest opponent is a substitute named Jeremy Stiers, 9-8-6, from Bates City, MO. “These are the kind of guys who have nothing to lose and want to use you to get ranked,” said Yorgey. He promised Wolfheimer would call all the media people with the results. This writer will be covering a fight at Dover Downs Friday and asked Yorgey not to have Wolfheimer call “collect” anymore.

All kidding aside, Wolfheimer has done a great job as George Hanson mentioned “keeping Yorgey’s name out there. He may not be using his laptop at a fight but its open and on the screen there’s Yorgey’s picture for all to see. Yorgey brings that “down home” attitude to the fight game which is sorely missed. The question is “will Lightning” strike again?

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