Yorgey faces Murtagh for WBU world title

Photo by Barry Taglieber Professional middleweight boxer "Lightning" Harry Joe Yorgey is preparing for his Nov. 30 WBU world title fight against Irish champion Lee Murtagh.
Photo by Barry Taglieber Harry Joe Yorgey smiles as he speaks to the crowd during a press conference to promote his Nov. 30 WBU middleweight world title bout against Lee Murtagh at the Santander Center in Reading.

The stakes are high once again for professional middleweight boxer “Lightning” Harry Joe Yorgey, a native of Bridgeport, Pa.

Yorgey has his sights set on a World Boxing Union (WBU) world championship belt. He is scheduled to face Irish champion Lee Murtagh in a scheduled 12-round feature bout Saturday night, Nov. 30, at the Santander Arena in Reading.

King’s Boxing is promoting the card that includes Yorgey, who began his career with the Phoenixville Area Police Athletic League (PAL) program.

Yorgey will enter the ring with a 27-2-1 record that includes 12 knockouts. Murtagh, who hails from Leeds, England, is 33-15-1 with one KO in 18 years as a professional fighter.


Yorgey last fought on June 15 when he defeated Julius Kennedy with a 10-round majority decision at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in a rematch of a close earlier victory by Yorgey three months earlier at the same site.

Murtagh made his American debut on Aug. 8, 2013, when he dropped a close decision to Hector Camacho Jr.

“He (Murtagh) is very experienced,” said Yorgey. “He has had a lot of lights, a lot of rounds. He is always in shape.”

Murtagh is also left-handed, which has created an extra dimension for Yorgey to prepare for. He has sparred against several southpaws while training hard in preparation for this matchup.

Yorgey has watched Murtagh on film and said his opponent has a tendency to throw low blows with head butts. While Yorgey is aware of that type of game, he said it will be up to the referee to control the fight and call the shots in the ring.

“This is the biggest fight,” said Yorgey. “It is for a world title. It is a very big thing. This can lead to big things. I have to stay on the guy and stay active. If you get a loss, you have to get right back and get active. You have to just keep winning.”

Yorgey’s signature victory came against Ronald Hearns, son of former pro star Tommy Hearns, who had a perfect 21-0 record at the time of the meeting. Yorgey won that fight on a ninth-round TKO. Yorgey’s two losses were to Alfredo Angulo in an HBO-televised WBO title fight and to Jermell Charlo, who had an unbeaten mark when the two boxers squared off.

Yorgey plans to end his sparring at the end of this week and then taper off training for the bout in the final days prior to showtime.

Yorgey is anxious to have another fight close to home so his many followers, family and friends, can come out to watch him in action.

“The promoter put it up here (in Reading),” said Yorgey. “They were going to take it somewhere else. I am happy it is right here in Reading, not far from my home.

“I want to be the first-ever world champion from Montgomery County. I hope everybody comes out for this historic night.”

Yorgey promised another exciting fight in his career.

“I am in shape for whatever has to be done,” said Yorgey.

In a 10-round co-feature, heavyweight Travis Kauffman of Reading will tangle with Manuel Quezada for the WBU Intercontinental title. There are numerous other bouts scheduled on the card.

Tickets cost $100, $75, $50 and $35. They are available by calling John Yorgey at 484-685-8785.