BRIDGEPORT - 'Lightning' Harry Joe Yorgey already owns three professional boxing championship belts. Now he has his eyes focused on grabbing a third belt.
Yorgey, a middleweight from Bridgeport who began his career with the Phoenixville Area Police Athletic League (PAL) program, has a rematch against 'Vicious' Julius Kennedy from Virginia set for Saturday night, June 15, at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia.
Yorgey and Kennedy battled three months ago to the day, back on March 15, and Yorgey won a unanimous, close six-round decision. This time it will be a 10-round affair with the vacant WBF title on the line.
Yorgey will enter the ring with a 26-2-1 pro record that includes 12 knockouts. He has been ranked as high as number four in the world in his weight class. Kennedy has a 7-5-1 mark with three KOs.
The rematch is the main event on a card promoted by Marshall Kauffman's King's Promotions in association with Marty Feldman and his son, David Feldman. Kauffman is based in Reading.
A press conference promoting the card was held Tuesday night, May 28, at The Point on 23 in Bridgeport.
'We have a great relationship with Valley Forge Casino,' said Kauffman. 'We want to build on that with local talent and great fights.
'Harry was a last-minute add for the March 15 card and he wasn't in his best shape. Julius Kennedy surprised us all. He gave Harry all he could handle. We have a great card and this is the main event. I am really excited about it. We have a rematch for the title with a belt on the line.'
Yorgey has fought on ESPN television as well as Showtime and HBO. He hopes to use his experience factor and better preparation to win the rematch against Kennedy, who felt he was robbed by the judges at ringside during the initial confrontation.
'It is always special for me to come back to my hometown,' said Yorgey. 'The fight is the day before Father's Day and I am dedicating this fight to my kids and charity. I have two belts already. I am training hard to do my best, and Julius Kennedy will do his best.'
Yorgey admitted he made mistakes in the first fight.
'I will leave no doubt this time,' said Yorgey. 'I will take care of business. Julius Kennedy has a great chin and body physique. I am where he wants to be. I was there, but I have the experience. This fight is for my children so there is no way I am losing this fight.'
In the first fight, Yorgey said Kennedy kept coming forward with his hands held high blocking his face.
'He was relentless coming forward and I allowed him to do that by backing up,' said Yorgey. 'He was busy and I wasn't. The biggest thing is he surprised me. I wasn't in tip-top shape, but this time I will be.'
Since he feels healthy, Yorgey is anxious for the rematch so close to his last bout.
'With no injuries, I would fight every two months,' said Yorgey. 'With no injuries, they can put me on the card. I like to fight. I like to perform.'
Yorgey plans to weight in around 160 pounds for this encounter, up from 154 when he first turned pro.
'I feel just as good,' said Yorgey. 'I want to work on some punching power.'
Kauffman has put him in the ring against some top-flight sparring partners with various statures and styles so Yorgey is acquiring rugged training for the showdown.
'This guy has got some big wins,' said Yorgey. 'No matter who you fight, you've gotta be prepared.'
The Yorgey-Kennedy fight is expected to start at 10 p.m. with the first bout to go off at 7:15 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
Tickets are $45 for general admission, $75 for ringside and $125 for VIP seats.
NOTES The co-main event features an eight-round Philly lightweight scrap between Tevin 'The American Idol' Farmer (10-4-1, 1 KO) and Victor Vasquez (16-7-1, 7 KOs). ... Also on the card are Pottstown's Travis Thompson, as well as Frank Dealba, Damon Allen, Jeremy Stauffer, Wahid Rahim, Todd Unthankmay, Javontae Starks and Anthony Flores.