Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yorgey Upsets Hearns, Dirrell Cruises

Michael Nelson recaps last night's Shobox card.

In a shocking upset, Harry Joe Yorgey rocked Ronald Hearns several times before putting him down the for 10 count in the final 10 seconds of the 9th round. The competitive undercard was the antithesis of the main event, in which Andre "The Matrix" Dirrell stopped the overmatched Derrick Findley after Findley's corner had seen enough at the end of the 6th.

Hearns controlled the first two rounds of the undercard bout with his jab, snapping it well to both the head and body of Yorgey. An indication of things to come was established in the 3rd, however, when Yorgey briefly stunned Hearns with a heavy blows to the chin.

In an action packed 4th round, Yorgey staggered and dropped Hearns with right hands. Hearns, inheriting his father's legendary heart, came back to rally and score a knock down of his own, although Yorgey claimed he'd gone down from a slip. Upon replay, it appeared he had a point.

Hearns continued to show heart throughout the remainder of the fight. Unfortunately for him, Yorgey continued to test his chin with left hooks and right hands. Hearns was dropped in the 5th round, wobbled in the 7th, and dropped again in the 9th after a vicious left hook was followed by a hard right cross. Hearns was able to make it to a knee, but the damage sustained was too much to rise for further punishment.

Harry Joe Yorgey undoubtedly made an ample impression by stopping the heavily favored son of an all-time great. To win a world title though, he needs to be less hesitant in letting his hands go.

Meanwhile, Ronald has some strong offensive tools, namely a sharp jab and a stinging right hand. But cumbersome footwork that allows him to get caught with looping blows, a lack of head movement, and less than sturdy whiskers will likely prevent him from reaching a world class level. Nevertheless, his willingness to exchange will make for exciting TV bouts, as long as they're against below championship caliber opponents.

I'm not sure I can say the same about Andre Dirrell. As far as television friendly fights, there appears to be a glitch in The Matrix.

Andre showed flashes of brilliance in the first round of his fight against Derrick Findley, a man he towered over, severely staggering him with a lightening quick left hook. But he didn't put together the necessary combinations to finish his wounded foe, instead choosing to potshot him with winding uppercuts and flashy rights between the guard.

The remaining five rounds saw Dirrell move, jab, and occasionally crack with a powerful blow onto an opponent who offered little resistance. At the end of the 6th, Findley's corner recognized that their man was taking unnecessary punishment and halted the bout. But a concerted body attack and string of combinations would have undoubtedly finished the placid Findley a lot sooner.

Make no mistake, Dirrell has a great deal of talent. I can't help but feel he's doing his career a grave disservice by potshotting overmatched opponents though, instead of impressively forcing a stoppage using the full array of physical tools he possesses.

Perhaps his cautious style will make for intriguing bouts against more sturdy, aggressive opposition. Regardless, I hope this is the final showcase for The Matrix. Unless he wants to continue swallowing the blue pill, he needs to step up to the big leagues.

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dread said...

I think what is shocking is that a guy is actually named "Harry Joe"