Undefeated super middleweight Andre Dirrell outclassed Derrick Findley and Harry Joe Yorgey outfought Ronald Hearns in a battle of unbeaten junior middleweights en route to impressive victories on a special Saturday edition of ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME. Dirrell, of Flint, Mich., who is ranked WBO #1, WBC #3 and IBF #7 won by sixth-round TKO to improve to 18-0 with 13 knockouts. Findley, of Gary, Ind., who couldn’t answer the bell for the seventh, fell to 13-3 with 8 KOs. Yorgey (22-0-1, 10 KOs), of Bridgeport, Pa., triumphed by ninth-round knockout. In a terrific action fight, he registered three knockdowns, the last coming at 2:59 of the ninth. Hearns, of Detroit, scored one knockdown but suffered his first defeat. He is 21-1 with 17 KOs.
The doubleheader took place at the Buffalo Run Casino and was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and DiBella Entertainment. It aired live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Dirrell was making his fifth appearance on SHOWTIME – he’s fought three times on ShoBox and twice on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. He could not floor Findley, but he had his way throughout. After ending Findley’s winning streak at seven, the six-foot-1, 25-year-old Dirrell proclaimed himself ready for any boxer in the 168-pound division.
“I’ll fight any of the champions right now,’’ the 2004 Olympic Games bronze medalist for the United States said. “It doesn’t matter which one. I’m greedy. I want all the belts.’’
Dirrell did the vast majority of the belting Saturday as he made it look easy against Findley, who accepted the assignment on short notice. It was Dirrell’s sixth consecutive win inside the distance.
“It was target practice all day, all the time’’ said Dirrell, who switched from orthodox to southpaw several times. “Crazy as this might sound, I actually wanted the fight to go 10 rounds just to get in some work and to get more time to show off some of my ability.
“But this isn’t all about talent. It’s about hard work and dedication.’’
Yorgey, who knows all about hard work and dedication, dropped Hearns in the fourth, fifth and ninth rounds.
“I waited and waited for a chance to fight on SHOWTIME so when I got the call I said, ‘sure, let’s do it.’ ‘’ Yorgey said. “I’m a TV fighter. My fights are always exciting. I knew after the fourth round when I froze him with a body shot that I had him. I can adapt to any fight. Tonight, I was the aggressor.’’
Entering the ninth round, Yorgey was ahead on two of the scorecards (78-73 and 76-75) and behind on the other (76-75). After decking Hearns the first time, Yorgey also went down in the fourth, but it may have been more the result of a slip than from a clean punch.
“He never hurt me,’’ Yorgey said. “I felt great throughout. I usually don’t look to load up with the right hand, but I knew the opportunities were there. I told everybody I wasn’t just an opponent and I was coming to win. I’ve always believed in myself and that all the hard work I put in daily would pay off.’’
Yorgey dedicated the fight and the proceeds from a raffle that his family held during the show to his friend and Hatfield, Pa. resident Shannon Yoder, who has cancer.
Hearns, the oldest son of legendary eight-time world champion Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, was making his fourth appearance on ShoBox. He offered no excuses afterward.
“I’m obviously very disappointed, but it’s just something that I have to write off as a learning experience,’’ Hearns said. “I was knocked down hard but I kept getting up. I never thought for a second that I wasn’t going to get him and that I was not without a chance. This is a very difficult moment, but I know I will bounce back. Give me two or three more fights and I would love to fight him again.’’
Nick Charles called the action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
Saturday’s bouts will re-air this week on Wednesday, April 1, 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME TOO. It will be available ON DEMAND from Tuesday, March 31-April. 27.