Posted by George Hanson., Jr Esq. on Jun 29, 2013
Let’s Do It Again!—Yorgey Decisions Kennedy

Let’s Do It Again!—Yorgey Decisions Kennedy

The Mouthpiece
Let’s Do It Again!—Yorgey Decisions Kennedy
Farmer Stops Vasquez
Pasley Stuns Stauffer

By: George H. Hanson Jr., Esq.

Date:              Saturday, June 15, 2013
Venue:             Valley Forge Casino Resort—Valley Forge, PA
Promoters:         Marshall Kauffman—King’s Promotions
Ring Announcer:    Larry Tornambe
Referee:           Benjy Esteves Jr. & Blair Talmadge
Photos:            www.keyartphoto.com

I would surmise that their first encounter left both men with ambivalence—one questioning the loss, the other unsure about the victory. On March 15th, Julius Kennedy departed the ring in Valley Forge convinced that he was on the short-end of a hometown decision. After all, his opponent Harry Joe Yorgey who packed the venue lives 18 minutes away in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania.  Kennedy, originally from Guyana, had made the long trip from his home in Windsor Mill, Maryland fought with every ounce of strength only to discover that two of the judges appear to be suffering from temporary blindness. Maybe the ring lights reflecting off the glistening clean-shaven domes of both fighters caused a glare rendering them indistinguishable.

Yorgey (L.) and Kennedy mixing it up.

Yorgey (L.) and Kennedy mixing it up.

I was unable to attend but everyone I consulted, confirmed Kennedy’s sentiments.  Despite his tremendous efforts, he lost a six-round split decision and clamored for a rematch.  Yorgey is cut from the same cloth as legendary middleweights Stanley Ketchel and Bad Bennie Briscoe—he is a fighter who cares little about the politics of boxing and more about the art of besting another man in the squared circle. Thus, he probably was the one who demanded a rematch with Kennedy to set the record straight—only this time the jilted pugilist would have four more rounds to attempt to replicate his performance.

Yorgey (25 wins – 2 losses – 0 draws – 12 kos) got out the gate and captured the first three rounds, working behind his jab, using lateral movement throwing combinations to keep Kennedy (7 wins – 5 loss – 1 draw – 3 kos) at bay. It was a fantastic display of fistic prowess with the hometown hero putting rounds in the bank as Kennedy came forward in a crouch fighting like a smaller version of Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson whacking away at the elusive fighter’s hip-bone with hooks and uppercuts. If you know anything about boxing it is irrefutable that body punches particularly those strategically placed to the hip and kidney will eventually pay dividends and lessen mobility and elusiveness. Kennedy had a plan.

John DiSanto, founder of www.phillyboxinghistory.com, will have to do some gerrymandering and redefine the boundaries of Philadelphia. The current definition precludes any fight held outside of city limits from qualifying for Philadelphia Fight of the Year. With the shuttering of the Legendary Blue Horizon in June 2010—Peltz Boxing Promotions moving most of its shows to Atlantic City and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania—Joey Eye and David Feldman using Harrah’s in Chester, Pennsylvania as their base— in 2013 there will be more boxing shows in Macau, China than the City of Brotherly Love! Greg Robinson, Power Promotions, can now be given the moniker “Robinson-Crusoe” as it appears that he is the sole promoter in the city.

Kennedy (L.) lands the overhand right.

Kennedy (L.) lands the overhand right.

For the next seven rounds Yorgey and Kennedy engaged in the leading candidate for 2013 Philadelphia Fight of the Year. Slowing down his adversary, Kennedy forced the action and got what he wanted—to-to-toe action at a frenetic pace laced with plenty of body shots and heavy punches. The rounds were close with the sixth being Kennedy’s defining moment as he rocked Yorgey with a big overhand right. This was Larry Holmes vs. Ken Norton as neither man wanted to give ground, hell-bent on rendering the other hapless, pushing the other to the limit. When it was over they hugged out of respect as the crowd cheered knowing that they had just witnessed another reason why boxing remains the ultimate challenge of the human spirit.  One judge scored it even at 95-95 with the remaining two scoring it the same at 96-94 for Yorgey—the victor by majority decision.  Maybe, there will be a third fight.

Trailed by his entourage decked out in red, flanked by manager Mark Cipparone and WBA & WBC junior–welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia—Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana  blaring over the house speakers— Philadelphia lightweight Tevin “The American Idol” Farmer entered the squared circle.   Awaiting him across the ring already oiled and sweating for the scheduled eight rounder was hometown rival— the fearless one —Victor “The Fighting Barber” Vasquez. The quiet tattooed boxer has never been one for fanfare and dramatic ring walks. Despite a huge fan base, Vasquez is an old school gladiator who fights all-comers, never speaks ill about his opponents and leaves it all in the ring.

There is an old adage that if you want to become a champion you have to start acting like a champ.  Farmer has made leaps and bounds since being stopped in his professional debut in February 2011. He is riding a three-fight win streak and his new manager Cipparone has been the architect behind the championship culture that surrounds Farmer.  The young fighter is now ensconced in a cocoon of success enabling him to focus on excelling at his craft. Equally important, much has been learned from Garcia who hired Farmer, a southpaw, as a sparring partner for his successful title defense against lefty Zab “Super” Judah in April. It was Farmer along with former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, another southpaw, who were able to simulate Judah’s movement and punch selections —preparing Garcia for the biggest challenge of his career.

Farmer (R.) working brilliantly behind the jab.

Farmer (R.) working brilliantly behind the jab.

This was a coming out party for Farmer (10 wins – 4 losses – 1 draw – 1 ko) who boxed masterfully from a distance out-speeding and out-punching Vasquez (16 wins – 7 losses – 1 draw – 7 kos) who was relentless attempting to goad the young fighter into a war. But, Farmer stayed true to this game plan winning round after round. Vasquez landed a hard left hook in the seventh round hurting Farmer who wisely clutched, cleared his head and got back on his bicycle to the bell. Midway through the final round, Farmer hurt Vasquez to the body with a well-placed hook that doubled over the courageous warrior. Seizing the moment, Farmer unloaded what seemed like a 20-punch combination-forcing referee Talmadge to intervene and call a halt at 1:58.

Twenty-five months is a long time to be absent from the bright lights, the smell of leather and the cynicism of press-row oftentimes filled with sages who never even engaged in a kindergarten scuffle.  But, Philadelphia cruiserweight Kamarah “Black Magic” Pasley is a Renaissance man and a gym rat who is always training.  A two-time national Muay Thai champion, the professorial Pasley is an alumnus of West Chester University and earned a master’s degree in communications from New York Institute of Technology.   Boxing is his second gig because he works full-time as a Territory Manager for a manufacturing and distribution company.  I doubt if he lost one step during the hiatus.

Pasley (5 wins – 6 losses – 0 draws – 2 kos) and his opponent Jeremy Stauffer (7 wins – 2 losses – 2 draws – 6 kos) of Reading, Pennsylvania didn’t waste much time in getting down to business in their scheduled six-rounder.  Stauffer has one gear—straight ahead—and he pressed forward in the battle of southpaws. Pasley unfolded his bicycle and rode it around every inch of the ring while working behind a stiff jab that had his opponent’s nose bleeding by the conclusion of the opening stanza. The fight followed the same course in the next two rounds until Pasley was deducted a point for holding in the third round by referee Esteves. In fear of losing the round by two points, Pasley uncorked a murderous left uppercut that almost ripped Stauffer’s head from the socket, sending him crashing to the canvas with almost thirty-seconds remaining in the round. Stauffer was forged out of an iron crucible and rose at the count of three. The action resumed and Pasley unloaded a whirlwind of blows until the bell ushered in the requisite respite.

Pasley (R.) connecting with another uppercut.

Pasley (R.) connecting with another uppercut.

Pasley continued his bombardment in the fourth round but was answered with a hammer-like right from Stauffer forcing him to desist, hold and box instead of slug. With his right eye badly cut and bleeding, Stauffer answered the bell for the fifth round in jeopardy of having the fight stopped by the ringside physician who was called by the referee. But, Stauffer was allowed to continue fighting and he not only survived the round but also made it to the end of the bout as Pasley fought from a distance behind his jab and combinations.  Pasley was awarded a majority decision as two judges scored it 57-55 for him while the third had it even at 56-56—hopefully this judge will be given a cane and guide dog compliments of Pennsylvania Boxing Commissioner, Rudy Battle.

Former amateur standout and Philadelphia lightweight prospect Damon “Baby Dame” Allen (1 win – 0 losses – 0 draws – 1 ko) found himself in a rough and tumble affair with 15-fight veteran Travis “The Animal” Thompson (4 wins – 9 losses – 2 draws – 3 kos) of Pottstown, Pennsylvania.  Living up to his moniker, Thompson forced the action and used every tool at his disposal—hitting while holding—to dissuade the slick-boxing Allen who remained calm working behind his jab. Over the course of the four rounds, Thompson dropped his hands extending an invitation to his chin while delivering an oratorical on the sweet science.  Allen ignored the shenanigans and just kept peppering the little showman with jabs and quick combinations riding all the way to victory earning a unanimous decision by scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37.

Allen (R.) landing the jab.

Allen (R.) landing the left jab.

Other Results:  In the opening bout of the night, junior-middleweight Javontae Starks (6 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 5 kos) of Minneapolis, Minnesota dominated Reading’s George Sosa (7 wins – 3 losses – 0 draws – 6 kos) with a stiff jab and combinations to the body winning by unanimous decision by scores of 59-55 twice and 58-56 in their scheduled six-rounder.  In a southpaw showdown lightweight Frank Santo DeAlba (7 wins – 1 loss – 2 draws – 3 kos) of Reading, Pennsylvania dropped Jamell Tyson

(3 wins – 9 losses – 2 draws – 1 ko) Rochester, New York in the third round on his way to a unanimous decision victory by scores of 60-53, and 58-55 in a highly entertaining action-packed six-round bout. Philly light-heavyweight prospect Todd “2 Gunz” Unthank-May (6 wins – 0 losses – 0 draws – 2 kos) pitched a virtual shut-out in a snoozer winning a unanimous six-round decision by scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55 over Mike Wilmer (4 wins – 5 losses – 0 draws – 3 kos) of Huntington, West Virginia. With a fourteen-person escort comprised of fighters and trainers from the James Shuler’s Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia featherweight Antonio Dubose made his way to the ring for his professional debut. And, he lived up to the expectations implied by the cavalcade as he was impressive boxing like the great Jersey Joe Walcott showing impeccable head movement and feints dropping debuting John Portillo of Lancaster in the second round and again in the fourth and final round winning a unanimous decision by scores of 40-32 twice and 40-33.

Showmanship has always been a part of boxing and the ring walk remains the ideal opportunity to express creativity.  In the 90’s featherweight champion Prince Naseem Hamed captivated and mesmerized viewers with his skillfully choreographed entrances including his take on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, a flying carpet all capped off by him somersaulting into the ring over the top rope. He is remembered as much for these spectacular, theatrical exhibitions as he is for the sensational knockouts he produced while compiling an impressive record of (36 wins – 1 loss – 0 draws – 31 kos) including 15 successful title defense.

(L-R) Davis, Baker, Whitmore & Richardson.

(L-R) Davis, Baker, Whitmore & Richardson

Debuting Philly light-heavyweight Khalib “Big Foot” Whitmore stole a page out of Hamed’s book. With what appeared to be the entire cast from the James Shuler’s Memorial Gym in tow—Whitmore decked out in a 70’s afro wig, huge midnight black sunglasses and gold chains—bopped and rocked their way from the dressing room to the ring accompanied by the voice of The Godfather of Go Go—the late Chuck Brown—on his 1979 hit single Bustin’ Loose. It was a spectacular sight to behold as trainers Brother Nazim Richardson, Sharron Baker and Whitmore’s stable mate Jamaal “Da Truth” Davis led the way for the fighter who looked like a gloved Bootsy Collins.  Whitmore was successful as he dominated the action using his southpaw jab and working the body as his opponent Lamont Capers (1 win – 1 loss – 0 draws – 0 kos) of Hawley, Pennsylvania seemed intimidated and hesitant. Whitmore pitched a shut-out winning a unanimous four-round decision 40-36 on all three scorecards.

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier engaged in three epic battles, which concluded with The Thrilla in Manila to settle all disputes, erase any doubts and cement their place in history. It would be unfair to compare Yorgey and Kennedy to two legendary fighters fueled by the animus that lingered between them. There is no hostility between the two gentlemen. But, it is only natural to hope for a third battle after the first one ended in controversy and the second was so exceptionally good!  Allow me to revert to the 70’s—“Everything is copacetic baby, let’s do it again.”Continue to support the sweet science, and remember, always carry your mouthpiece!

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About George Hanson., Jr Esq.

George Hanson., Jr Esq. has written 106 post in this blog.

Hailing from New Forest, Jamaica, Hanson started boxing as a teenager in Philadelphia under the tutelage of former welterweight contender, Dick Turner. He excelled, capturing four Pennsylvania State Amateur Championships—his last while a junior at Drexel University studying Accounting. According to most who have seen Hanson fight, “He is the best fighter never to have turned professional.”



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