By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series rolled into the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami Oklahoma for a telecast that featured former 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Andre “The Matrix Dirrell and an exciting matchup featuring two of the top undefeated prospects as Ronald “The Chosen One” Hearns and Lightning Harry Joe Yorgey squared off for the IBA International title. The fans braced a freak winter snow storm to see one of the best junior middleweight fights in recent memory. Both bouts will re-air on Wednesday at 10PM ET/PT on SHOWTIME TOO. It will be available ON DEMAND from Tuesday, March 31-April. 27.
Photos: Photos by:Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
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The main event was a little one-sided as Andre Dirrell just had two much talent and hand speed for Cleveland, Ohio’s Derrick Findley. Dirrell, ranked number one by the WBO and number three in the WBC jumped right on Findley and had him stunned and almost knocked down in the opening round as he unleashed a barrage of punches. Findley barely survived the round.
Findlay finally began to attack in round two with several wild right hands but most missed their mark. From this point on, Dirrell was in control landing several different combinations and shots from various angles, dropping his hands and popping him with several right hands throughout three though five.
Desperately hoping to win, Findley pressed the attack in round six but it wasn’t stopping the fight game from Dirrell who continued to batter him throughout the round. Seeing it was hopeless to go on Findley’s corner called a halt to the bout.
Yorgey hammers Hearns
Undefeated junior middleweight Lightning Harry Joe Yorgey (22-0-1. 10KO’s) scored the biggest victory of his professional career, dropping Ronald “The Chosen One” Hearns (21-1, 17KO’s) three times en-route to a spectacular ninth round knockout.
Entering the ring as a decided underdog, things didn’t look to optimistic for Yorgey as he squared off against son of legendary Tommy “Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns. Yorgey however basked in the energy of the underdog and came in extremely confident, scoring a career defining victory over the previously undefeated Ronald Hearns.
Hearns had several inches in height and reach over Yorgey and used it by keeping distance with his left jab to capture the first two rounds. Hearns was also the first to land a big right hand, causing a welt on the left cheek of Yorgey. The undefeated Yorgey from Bridgeport, Pa found his way on the inside with short right hands and stiff jabs that added swelling over Hearn’s left eye.
Yorgey found his range in round three as he backed up Hearns with several overhand rights on the button. Hearns tried to keep the advancing Yorgey off by standing out of range and looking for Yorgey to dive in. However Yorgey used angles and was very careful and only occasionally stepped into Hearn’s kill zone.
Yorgey put the momentum in his favor in round four by sending Hearns, who tried to hold, down on the canvas with a right on the chin. Hearns recovered quickly and caught Yorgey on the gloves, but both tangled feet and Yorgey fell to the canvas. Referee Steve Smoger called it a knockdown, which Yorgey complained immediately about. Yorgey went back on the attack and you could see the eyes of Ronald’s corner men who tried to get him back to using distance. Yogey also froze Hearns late with a right to the ribs.
Yogey went on the attack with the heavier jabs and right hands early in round five. Hearns tried to keep him off but Yorgey connected with a left that sent Hearns timbering like a giant falling redwood tree. Surprisingly, Hearns rose to his feet and caught many more of Yorgey’s combinations.
Hearns was able to get back into boxing on the outside and Yorgey abandoned his jab looking for the big shot. Both fighters let off the gas late in the seventh so that they would be ready for the championship rounds. .
Hearns looked to be gaining confidence in round eight with several light left jabs while on the retreat. Yorgey landed less, but his combinations were heavier and Hearns was withering late from the heavy barrages.
Hearns again tried to stave off Yorgey in round nine with a couple combinations and light jabs. Yorgey saw that Hearns was turning away from Yorgey’s right hands and unleashed a right uppercut and left hook which sent Hearns to the canvas. Hearns faced bounced twice off the canvas. Referee Steve Smoger made the ten-count as Yorgey and his corner erupted in victorious celebration.
Yorgey confidently spoke afterward on the fight and his game plan. “No disrespect to the Hearns team and Ronald Hearns, but we watched film and we knew once I conquered his reach and made it my fight and put him in spots he’s never been in. I felt he has been babied in his opponents, but he had seventeen knockouts and you have to respect that,”said Yorgey. “ However, I have great defense. He fought my fight was hard to get inside but I knew he wasn’t as strong as me. We trained very very hard for this fight and it showed.”
The win places Harry Yorgey as a top contender who should be major force in the junior middleweight top ten rankings with a shot at a major title in the next couple of fights.
Guzman batters Noriega
In a battle of undefeated lightweights, Queens, New York’s Jose Guzman (7-0, 5KO’s) remained undefeated with a hard fought but one side four round unanimous decision victory over Danville, Arkansas’ Juan Noriega (3-1, 3Kos).
Jose Guzman the brother of former super bantamweight champion Juan Guzman gained control of the closely contest fight with heavy body work in round two. Noriega was tough and fought as best he could but could not match the speed and power of Guzman.
Guzman continued to unload on the outgunned Noriega throughout the final two rounds, but he would not go down, sending the fight to the scorecards. All three judges had the bout in favor of Guzman by scores of 40-36 x 2 and 40-35.
“I hit him with everything,” said Guzman. “The body work was what slowed him down. I had to slow down in round to because I hurt a knuckle on my right hand in round two. Look for Guzman to be a player in the lightweight division in the near future.
Tupou routs the road warrior
Tongan knockout artist Bernie Topou dropped journeyman Marcus “The Road Warrior” Rhode four times en-route to a first round stoppage. Topou of Nukufa’lofa, Tonga opened the round immediately with a four-punch combination that immediately sent fellow heavyweight Rhode to the canvas. Rhode rose to his feet but was returned to the canvas from right hand up top. Rhode of Russellville, Arkansas rose to his feet once again, but was returned to the mat from a counter right that landed square on the jaw. Amazingly Rhode got to his feet, but he collapsed against the ropes from a four punch combination for the ten count. The time of the knockout occurred 1:21 of the opening round. Bernie Topou ups his record to 17-0, 13KO’s. Marcus Rhode falls to 34-38, 29KO’s.
Thomas batters Norwood
Detroit, Michigan’s Isaiah Thomas (3-0 3KO’s) scored his third successive first round stoppage in as many bouts, defeating Oklahoma City, Oklahoma’s Sam “I Am” Norwood (0-3) in their scheduled four round light heavyweight contest.
Owning the same name retired NBA all star Isaiah Thomas in Detroit, MI would put pressure on some people but not Isaiah the Thomas the boxer and it showed in his first round stoppage of Norwood.
Sam “I am” Norwood looked dry in his corner and Thomas took advantage, stunning him with shots to the face. Norwood could land little of anything as Thomas backed him right into the corner with a big right uppercut. Isaiah unloaded a succession of six unanswered punches which forced Referee Steve Smoger to call a halt to the action at 1:49 of the opening round.
Dirrell stops Azeez in 1:43
Undefeated super middleweight prospect Anthony Dirrell of Flint, Michigan barely broke a sweat, needing just minute and forty three seconds to stop Pine Bluff Arkansas journeyman Dominique Azeez in their scheduled four round contest.
The younger brother of Andre Dirrell was in control from the opening bell with sharp shots that Azeez couldn’t defend. A left jab followed by a right hand back Azeez into the corner. Azeez covered up but two big blows to the ribs sent him to his hands and knees for the ten count. Dirrell jumps to 16-0, 13KO’s while Azeez slides to 2-17, 2KO’s
Witherspoon batters Fulton
In the opening bout of the evening heavyweight contender Chazz “The Gentleman Witherspoon continued his rebound from his disqualification loss to Chris Arreola with a one sided 3rd round stoppage of Travis “Ironman” Fulton.
Witherspoon of Philadelphia, PA gained control of the fight in round two with hard combinations and straight right hands that continued to land flush on the face of Fulton. Unable to counter, Fulton of Cedar Falls Iowa, tried to fight on the retreat but a four punch combination up top put him to the canvas.
Witherspoon continued the assault in round three and eventually trapped Fulton and in the corner with a straight left on the button. Witherspoon seized the opportunity and rained down on Fulton with three booming right hands. Referee Gerald Ritter had seen enough and called a halt to the action at 1:43 of the third round.
“This was a stay busy fight for me, said Witherspoon “I tried to go to the body early but I was head butted on the cheek. I didn’t want to get cut so I was reluctant go back there. I just tried to put together my combination and uppercuts and it worked for me.”
Chazz Witherspoon ups his record to 25-1,17KO’s, while Fulton falls to 14-23, 15KO’s