While it’s not Atlantic City or Las Vegas, Miami has made a name for itself in professional boxing circles.
It takes another step forward Saturday night when three up-and-coming fighters step into the ring as part of a card at the Buffalo Run Casino that will be aired nationally on the “ShoBox: The New Generation” series.
Andre Dirrell of Flint, Mich., the No. 1 super middleweight contender in the WBO, faces Derrick Findley of Gary, Ind., in the main event while Ronald Hearns of Southfield, Mich., and Harry Yorgey of Bridgeport, Pa., tangle in a battle of unbeaten lightweights.
“You can ask any boxing writer in the country and this is the biggest ShoBox event of the year,” promoter Tony Holden said. “We have the No. 1-ranked super middleweight in the world in Dirrell. He is by far known as the kid that is the next big-ticket seller and pay-per-view fighter. There’s all kinds of money behind this kid.”
Dirrell is 17-0, winning 12 times by knockout. Hearns and Yorgey are both 21-0, Hearns with 17 knockouts and Yorgey with nine.
“Hearns and Dirrell are very attention grabbing fighters, for different reasons,” ShoBox analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood said by phone earlier this week. “Dirrell because he has the amateur experience and is physically, incredibly gifted. Has a fighter’s mean streak in him too. Hearns because he was a basketball player.”
Hearns started at guard for two years at American University in Washington, D.C.
Before that, he made the all-tournament team at the NJCAA men’s national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., while playing for Vermillion (Minn.) Community College.
“Yorgey is the best opponent Hearns will have fought,” Farhood said. “He’s a ‘cutie’ who is a little bit of a boxer. Ronald still has the physical advantages. He’s clearly the most accomplished fighter he’s faced.”
Promoters Gary Shaw and Lou DiBella are working with Miami native Tony Holden on the production.
A total of eight fights are on the card, which starts at 8 p.m. The ShoBox telecast starts at 9 p.m.
Tickets, available at the Showplace box office at the casino, are $35, $45 and $60.