On March 30, 2007 – Journeyman fighter James Wayka (14 – 6) traveled just short of 1,000 miles from his native Bowler, Wisconsin to challenge rising prospect Harry Joe Yorgey in Yorgey’s backyard of Phoenixville, PA. Best case scenario for the fighter who lost three of his last four fights was to pull off a possible upset of the year. Worst case was to make a few bucks and get back to the land of cheese. Truth be told – he had a better chance at hitting the Powerball than he did of winning this fight.
I hope the purse was a good one because two and a half minutes after stepping through the ropes, Wayka found himself being helped too a stool.
Yorgey pounced early, dropping his opponent three times en route to a 1st round knockout loss to the Pride of Bridgeport in front of a vocal crowd that packed the Phoenixville High School auditorium.
Now, there is a loud buzz that Yorgey wants a crack at Mike “No Joke” Stewart in a fight where I will be the first to say Yorgey is a strong favorite. I don’t care who Stewart has fought in the past or how much fame he has.
On the flip side, this proposed junior middleweight contest is one that Philly boxing needs right now and could be a very entertaining rumble. In all fairness, the weight may be a little heavy for Stewart.
Yorgey, fresh off of two wars came into this fight prepared to give it his all and come out a winner.
Before the fight, announcer Larry Tornambe dug into his trick book and asked the crowd “Who is here to see James Wayka?” and he was answered with a funeral like silence. He followed that by asking who was here to see Harry Joe Yorgey, the crowd popped like it was Hogan in his prime coming down the aisle.
Once the shenanigans were over and the two fighters got down to business, Yorgey quickly showed Wayka who’s boss with a left – right combo to the face causing Mr. Yorgey to scream out “that was beeeuuuuuuuteyful”, his son followed it with a right hook that put his opponent down on his knees.
Wayka was able to get to his feet and swiftly threw a right hand into Yorgey’s jock strap; a punch he says was unintentional. Harry shook it off and went right back to work, pressing the action and connecting with another left – right combo that knocked Wayka on his side and swelled up his left eye in the process.
Once again, the Minnesota roughneck beat the 10 count at a time where no one would have though less of him if he just stayed on his back. Seconds later, Yorgey put the nail in the coffin with a serious right hand that left referee Gary Rosado no option but to call a halt to the bout.
The crowd roared, Wankster boomed out of the speakers and Yorgey jumped on all 4 turnbuckles to give a shout out to his fans. Have a nice flight home James Wayka, nice to know you.
After the quick knockout and retaining his slot as the number one pound for pound fighter in the area, where does he go from here? There has to be offers on the table and you know Don Elbaum always has something up his sleeve.
Does the battle tested Mike Stewart take the risk of fighting this up and comer in a fight that if he loses knocks him out of the picture for another high profile fight? Would it be better for Yorgey to look further ahead and try to knock off a fellow undefeated junior middleweight coming up the ranks to speed up his ride to a title shot?
Does he stay local, giving the same all out effort that we are accustomed to and force the big networks to recognize that he is a made for TV fighter? Time will tell but I have the feeling that his next fight will be big news around town.
With the win – Harry Joe Yorgey improves to 18 – 0 9 ko’s. It is time to start stepping up the competition.
On the undercard
The night started off with a woman’s fight but this wasn’t the time to grab a beer and hot dog because Olivia Fonseca and Melissa St. Vil put on the most spirited fight of the year battling to a four round draw.
Those of you at the golden gloves asking if it was a home cooked decision, let me tell you, this was legit; these two ladies battled it out from start to finish. St. Vil won the first two rounds as she slugged it out with the Front Street Gym member. Leather was flying and both were connecting. In the second half of the fight it was all Fonseca who started to throw a left – right combo that is better than most of the men around town.
Fonseca has a huge 4th round as she peppered St. Vil with the left jab and picked her spots to crack her with a straight right which landed flush. St Vil was staggered near the end of the round but was able to stay on her feet. When the fight went to the cards, all three judges saw it 38 – 38.
A rematch is a must!
Baltimore’s Tim Coleman (8 – 0) came into the fight with a lot of hype but in this one he was hot and cold. His opponent John Lipscomb (3 – 9) landed a lot of left hooks flush and if he has any power, Coleman might have been in a lot of trouble.
Coleman did show some spark in spots, in the second round he out boxed Lipscomb landing his jab and doing some work to the ribs. Coleman’s best spurt came with about :30 left in the fight where he picked up the pace working the body and also landing some good shots to the face.
The fight went to the cards and they read 40- 36 x2 and 39 – 37 in favor of Coleman.
Latif Mundy (5 – 0) and Manuel Guzman (2 – 3) from Terry Nye’s gym had a nice four round scuffle that I felt was much closer than the score cards indicated. Mundy showed versatility, at times he would load up on his punches which landed with a thud, at other times he would show his speed popping off 4 and 5 punch combos to the body.
While his hands were nice downstairs, Guzman constantly caught him with hard rights and lefts to the head and at times seemed to stun the undefeated fighter. Mundy would also mix in an uppercut while working the ribs and it would snap Guzman’s head back. The second round was the best as Mundy started off fast but Guzman decided to bang inside with him. Soon after Guzman started to throw the hook up top and landed at a good rate, a few of which made the crowd go oooooh.
After an uneventful 3rd, Guzman starts the 4th strong landing once again upstairs. Mundy was able to regroup and started using that speed again although it wasn’t as effective as it was earlier in the fight.
Both try to bang inside towards the end but nothing significant lands. The fight ended up in the hands of the judges and all 3 saw it 40 – 36. I beg to differ.
Reading Heavyweight Travis Kauffman (9 – 0 7ko’s) dropped Kevin Hood (4 – 6) three times en route to a 2nd round knockout and overall made easy work of a guy who has never been stopped before.
Team Kauffman vows to run roughshot over anyone and everyone out East and soon after the world! Hey Mendy, have you considered the Great White Hope vs. The West Philly bad boy Levon Warner on April 26th? Could be a good one!
Jules Blackwell was scheduled to fight but his opponent had to pull out at the last minute. Not wanting to disappoint his hometown crowd, he strapped on the helmet and put in the fluffy gloves for an exhibition against Front Street Gym representative Bryheim Douglas showcasing what could be a very entertaining fight sometime in the future.
In the opener, Manayunker Joey DeMalavez starched Phil Hinklin early in the fight round. DeMalavez jumped on Hinklin early and rocked him with a three punch combo that left Hinklin wanting no more.
The card was brought to you by Jimmy Deoria Jr. and proceeds went to benefit the Phoenixville PAL.
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