A press conference was held 11/11 at the “Point on 23” in Bridgeport PA, before a modest but enthusiastic group of press and boxing folk. The conference was sponsored by co-promoter David Feldman and hosted by Harry Yorgey’s personal PR agent Kurt “The Heimer” Wolfheimer, in order to bring press and public up to speed on their grand Nov. 30 card at Reading’s Santander Arena (so that no fans will get lost, this is the former Sovereign Center).
Surprise! And a pleasant one at that! The show is NOT falling apart. That is so often the case these days, between commission physicals, out-of-state medicals, weight making, training injuries, and promoters and organization trying to undercut each other. But rather, it’s even getting better! They’ve added boxing’s bad actor (but good fighter!) Eric Hunter, coming off a disqualification loss reported in SecondsOut, versus the well-traveled TBA. And, of course, the big heavyweight clash between Travis Kauffman and Manuel Quezada remains intact.
But this conference focused on local Bridgeport hero Harry Yorgey, whose feature bout will be for the vacant WBU Middleweight title, versus Ireland’s Lee Murtagh. Unfortunately, Murtagh was not present, having reportedly returned to Ireland after training in North Jersey. Too bad he wasn’t there, but Harry more than made up. Having viewed just two rounds of Murtagh’s bitterly-contested loss the Hector Camacho Jr in his only American appearance, Yorgey observed, “He’s a little dirty on the inside, doesn’t move a lot. If you’re gonna stand in front of ME, you’re gonna get hit! I’m not a guy to stand in front and look at you! I’ll punch the hell outta you!” Harry promised. “There’s no way in hell I’m gonna let somebody come over here to my country and beat me for a world title.”
Yorgey is nothing if not game, persistent, and willing to fight. His career has had setbacks that would defeat a lesser will, and long interruptions that could otherwise flag the spirit. But Harry keeps reinventing himself. Press agent Wolfheimer excused Harry’s losses, as press agents will do. The Angulo fight was “fought one-legged” with a torn ankle ligament. The Charlo fight taken on short notice that required too quick a drop in weight to get back to jr middle, and Harry fought “drained”. Though he’s had three regional belts (on display at the conference), with the WBU Middleweight offer, he “jumped at the opportunity of a lifetime.” Commented Feldman, “This is his first shot at a legitimate world championship.” The Heimer called it his “first ‘real’ world title.”
The press asked Yorgey about his fight plan. “I expect him to come over here in great shape,” Harry acknowledged. “He’s not coming over here to lay down and lose. So I can’t control what he’s doing. But like I said, I can control what I’m doing.” To that end, he’s added new trainer “Junior” Washington. “What we go through, it’s hell,” Harry once again used what seems to be his favorite description. “He’s telling me every time, ‘I know no one’s gonna out-train you. The way you work impresses me..’ That’s motivation!” He claims no problem fighting a southpaw, indicating that his father taught him to fight when he was seven, and his father is a southpaw!
A reporter inquired, “You don’t know what you’re gonna do until this guy does what he does?” Yorgey responded, “I know exactly how I’m gonna fight this guy. I don’t care what he does. What I do, he’s gotta stop!...He can get on a plane and go right back to Belfast.” Harry liked that idea, too. “That’s something for the future, too,” he added. I wouldn’t mind going over there [UK].” He indicated he’s gotten a lot of activity from UK fans on the web since the signing, “…Asking me to come over and fight.”
Commenting on the undercard, which highlights local talent eager to show their worth, Yorgey stated, “This is a helluva card to be on as a fighter. I been on a lot of cards where the fights were so bad, I was embarrassed. This is the card to be on. I remember when I was on the undercard to big fights, [I thought] ‘Hey! I wanna be the one who’s up there! Hey! Why don’t you talk about ME!” The 13-14 year old football team that he helps coach (his father has been a football coach for decades) will escort Harry into the ring, carrying the American flag, and giving the kids a sense of what might be in store if they work hard and excel.
“There’s nothing I would love more than to come home here with a world title, back here to Bridgeport,” Harry concluded. Perhaps promoter Feldman had the best line, “Don’t be the person who hears about it after the event and says, ‘I oughta been there’.” That’s why there’s SecondsOut!
November 12, 2013