LAS VEGAS – Rising junior middleweight prospect Jermell Charlo made the best of his Showtime Championship Boxing debut with a sterling eighth round knockout of Harry Joe Yorgey on Saturday at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Charlo of Houston, Texas drilled Yorgeywith a right hand in the eighth, which put his foe to a knee, as referee Kenny Bayless reached the count of 10 at 1:09.
“I feel like I did the best that I could do,” said Charlo. “We are still rising, but right now I’m extremely happy. I knew this fight was mine from the get-go. Ronnie told me to get his respect from the first round.”
Charlo (20-0, 10 knockouts) buckled Yorgey with a series of shots in the second round then nailed him with a running left hook that put him down. Yorgey (25-2-2, 12 knockouts) beat the count but soon found himself on the canvas again after a big overhand right from Charlo.
Charlo dominated every round but Yorgey, 35, hung tough, doing little but absorbing the punishment and lasting rounds. In defeat, Yorgey of Bridgeport, Pa. proved to be game if nothing else.
Charlo, 22, showed an educated jab and good boxing skills, but lacked the killer instinct.
2012 U.S. Olympian Errol Spence Jr. made quick work of Nathan Butcher, on ShoExtreme, stopping him in the first round of their junior middleweight contest. Spence Jr. (3-0, 3 knockouts) backed Butcher into the corner with a series of shots before dropping him with an overhand left. Butcher (0-2, 0 knockouts) beat the count but was on unsteady legs when the referee stopped it.
Francisco Vargas (14-0-1, 11 knockouts) of Mexico City, Mexico made an impressive display of his power with a one-punch second round knockout of Ira Terry. Terry (26-11, 16 knockouts) went down hard from the shot and attempted to beat the count but had no sense of his surroundings. He needed to be helped to his stool after referee Vic Draculich reached the count of 10 at 1:46.
Philadelphia junior middleweight prospect Julian Williams continued his rise in the division with a seventh round stoppage of once-beaten Jeremiah Wiggins. Williams dropped Wiggins (10-2-1, 5 knockouts) in the fourth round when the ropes held him up and then finished him off at 1:05. Williams (11-0-1, 6 knockouts) had to go to the hospital for stitches on a cut over his eye he suffered from a clash of heads.
Julian Ramirez (7-0, 5 knockouts) dropped Juan Sandoval in the first round, but had to settle for a six round unanimous decision by scores of 59-53, 60-52 and 60-52. Ramirez dialed in with power shots for which Sandoval had no answer.
Charlo’s twin brother, Jermall Charlo, was also victorious on the card, stopping Joshua Williams in five rounds. Charlo was dominant in the junior middleweight contest, outboxing him and landing at will. In between the fifth and sixth, Williams retired on his stool. Charlo of Houston, Texas improved to 11-0 with 6 knockouts, while Williams fell to 8-6 with 5 knockouts.
Australian Chad Bennett scored a third round knockout of Ben Ankrah on the off-TV undercard. Bennett dropped Ankrah of Accra, Ghana twice, before finishing him off in the third round when the referee reached the count of 10 at 59 seconds.
In the opening fight of the card, Australian Will Sands (3-0-2, 1 knockout) and New Mexico’s Herb Gegay (0-0-2, 0 knockouts) battled to a four-round split draw. Scores were 39-37 for Begay, 39-37 for Sands and 38-38 even.