Andre Dirrell Tantalized, Ronald Hearns Got Punctured

On Shobox Saturday, Harry Joe Yorgey ended the Ron Hearns experiment for the time being, as the light-hitting junior middleweight knocked out the son of legendary Thomas in the 9th. In the main event, super middleweight Andre Dirrell stopped underqualified Derrick Findley in the 6th when his corner ended the fight, but Dirrell probably could have done it in the 2nd if he really wanted to.

Yorgey, for all his puffed up record, could fight a little. Hearns, more a project than a prospect, showed some heart but all of his weaknesses were brutally exposed. In the 1st round, Yorgey was hitting him so flush that I thought to myself, “Man, if Yorgey could punch, this fight would be over.” Hearns can punch some, and against his opposition thus far, that was enough. Yorgey, though, could handle what Hearns gave him. I had Hearns winning the first three rounds, but in the 4th, Yorgey landed a flush right over Hearns’ dangling left hand (let that be a lesson to all you m-fers who think that’s such a cool thing to do, GOD that drives me crazy) and put him down. Hearns recovered, and, showing that heart, put Yorgey down in return. But he was the more hurt fighter, and in the 5th, the next right hand that landed made him even hurt-er. They alternated control of the next three rounds, but in the final round, Yorgey landed a combo that sent Hearns down again and he could do no more than climb to his knee. When he finally tried to stand after the count of 10, he stumbled over. Hey, it was worth a try, right? Hearns was a tall, powerful junior middle with a relevant last name, and I thought he had the chance to be a pretty good TV fighter. But if he can’t beat Yorgey, who early on acted like the dog who caught the car and didn’t know what to do with it, I don’t know who he can beat. Maybe with a few more years of seasoning, since he has no amateur background, he can rebound. Probably not. And Yorgey deseves great credit for the huge upset, even if Hearns’ team thought it was a 50-50 fight.

Dirrell has the extensive amateur record. When he opens up, he looks like the GOODS, man. That 1st round assault of Findley was spectacular stuff. Then, for no apparent reason, he switched practically into neutral. He was so much more talented than Findley that it didn’t matter for the purposes of the win or the loss, but that’s kind of not the entire point, is it? Or maybe he realizes he’ll get another Showtime date no matter how disinterested he is in putting on a good show. You’d think after the way he turned off everyone who watched him win easily and boringly against Curtis Stevens a couple years ago, he’d not return to that mode, but I guess if you’re a frighteningly gifted athlete who will get paid even when you sleepwalk through a win, you decide how much more money you want to make. Would that one of Friday night’s “opponents” on ESPN2, Carlos Vinan Soto, be blessed suddenly with Dirrell’s talents. It’s so wasteful for a guy to be so gifted, but to take it so for granted.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.