By Kurt Wolfheimer
Saturday night, March 28th at the Buffalo Run Casino, in Miami, Oklahoma, undefeated junior middleweight “Lightning Harry Joe Yorgey (21-0-1, 9KO’s) will put his IBF North American junior middleweight belt on the line against Ronald “The Chosen One” Hearns (21-0, 17KO’s) which will be televised live at 11PM EST on Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation. Fightnews had the chance to go one on one with the champ as he approached the biggest fight of his career, against the son of the legendary Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns.
Fightnews: Harry, how is everything as you approach your fight with Ronald Hearns on Saturday night?
Yorgey: I feel great. Everything is going planned and I am relaxed and ready to go on Saturday night.
Fightnews: How was camp?
Yorgey: It was a good camp. We continued as we did last time with our strength and conditioning. We watched films on Hearns and put together a game plan on how we are going to approach the fight. Overall it was great. There were some things in camp that could have bothered some fighters, of course with the legal stuff that I was going through with my former management team. They tried to start stuff up again, but we just stayed focused with the training, staying in shape and getting sharp and I am ready to go.
Fightnews: What do you know about Ronald Hearns?
Yorgey: Hearns is a tall fighter, about 6’2″ or 6’3″. In the films we have seen of him, he tries to use that to his advantage. He is pretty good at keeping his distance and using his long reach, but there are ways around that and things to combat that. One thing I have always been good at is making adjustments in fights. The guy has 17 KO’s. He has fought a lot of guys I have never heard of, but you can’t neglect those seventeen KO’s. I will find just how much power he has when we get into the ring. If he really punches that hard, I will have to make those adjustments in the fight.
Fightnews: Who did you spar with to get ready for the height and reach differential of Ronald Hearns?
Yorgey: We got really good work with Dennis Hasson and Lajuan Simon and a couple of amateurs. With Lajuan and Dennis, we sparred seventy or eighty rounds between the two of them. They’re both tall and you are not going to get that many tall 6’2″ or 6’3″ guys to spar with between 154 and 165 pounds.
Fightnews: You won the title last August against Jason “The Hammer” Lehoullier (21-1-1, 8KO’s). How differently did you have to approach this fight as compared to the title fight in Nashville?
Yorgey: We feel that my stamina and strength are really high right now. Without really giving away the game plan, we did different things to adapt to a taller fighter. There are certain things you do to a guy with height and we are going to take that from him. I am not going to allow him to keep that distance and stay comfortable.
Fightnews: You have a special person that you are dedicating this fight to. Could you tell the people who haven’t heard about her, what it is all about?
Yorgey: We are doing a dedication to young girl named Shannon Yoder. She is twenty-two years old. Shannon was diagnosed with a real aggressive form of cancer called Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Sarcoma. They gave her two or three months to live. She was diagnosed in January and it has really been hard on her. I am going to have an autographed boxing glove and an autographed picture of me from my title fight raffled off before the fight. We will sell raffle tickets at the door of the arena and all the proceeds will go to her and her family. We also did a big thing for her at the media workout and press conference. I will do as much as I can for her. She is in a struggle for her life. It is a shame.
Fightnews: You are really involved in helping children in your community as well. Could you explain a little bit about the things you do?
Yorgey: At Christmas time, I was invited to The Salvation Army as a celebrity to bring down the belt and speak in my home town. I met and few people there and after a few months they, gave me an opportunity to visit a home for at risk youth at the Baptist Children’s Services. I had the chance to speak with the kids between the ages of thirteen and eighteen years old. Some of these kids don’t have anybody in their life. I went down there for three hours and talked to them, sat down and ate with them. I really want to continue to keep in touch with kids and help them any way I can. I do a lot for children. We are in the process of starting up a non-profit organization called Allaboutthekids.com. We just try to help these kids. These children are our future and they don’t have anything, so getting down to speak with the kids was great.
Fightnews: You are family man and it is tough balancing act, spending time with your family and preparing for fights. How do you do it?
Yorgey: It is just something that comes natural. I think Hearns has a family too. Like I said with any fight, I am for glad for me and also happy for a guy like Ronald Hearns, who is getting his shot too. We are both getting our great shot. I said it about LeHoullier. I was happy to see he had his shot. We are all professionals.
For those who come and pay good money to see me fight, I want to let them know that I train hard every day to put on a good show for them. I appreciate the fact that they come out and support me, watch me fight and our behind me 100%. It means a lot and I have never forgotten it.
Fightnews: You are from Bridgeport, PA and have a strong allegiance to the Borough. Could you explain a little bit about your affection for the town?
Yorgey: Bridgeport is a small town. The whole town is behind me 100%. I wear my hometown colors every time I am in the ring. I always carry Bridgeport with me. I live in Sanatoga now, but I still get announced that I live in Bridgeport because that is where I’m from. The Mayor and the Police are behind me. It really means a lot to me. We have two professional athletes that have come from Bridgeport, my buddy Brad Scioli of the NFL and myself. Every time I win, the whole town feels like they won. The bars and restaurants have a party every time I fight. I heard one bartender say nobody can order a drink during my fight, only in between rounds. The places are packed wall to wall. It really means the world to me.
Fightnews: in closing, do you have anything to say to your fans?
Yorgey: I just want to thank my fans for all of their support and that I am ready to put on a great on Saturday night, so don’t miss it.