Photos by Trey Pollard for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
FAIRFAX, Va.—Pennsylvania junior middleweight contender Harry Joe Yorgey (above right) made short work of Virginia’s Zain “Tiger” Shah at the Patriot Center on October 27th, dominating Shah from the start and stopping him in the first round.
Shah, who entered the bout unbeaten with a record of 5-0-1 (3 KOs), was clearly in over his head against the vastly more experienced Yorgey. Harry went straight after Shah and appeared to ahve him shaken up early, especially after a body shot that the referee deemed low. Shah took his time recovering, but it made little difference. Yorgey came straight after him and struck him down, forcing Shah to take a seat and not rise.
Words and Pictures by Trey Pollard
Fairfax, VA – The Jimmy Lange franchise is something that might be hard to understand for fight fans outside of Northern Virginia. If you look at the numbers on paper, you’d be excused for wondering how the Lange brand has become such a local success. After all, how can a guy whose main claim to fame is getting knocked out of the first round of NBC’s The Contender series eight years ago headline 14 straight shows in a sizable college basketball arena — all while facing some suspect opposition?
Saturday night’s event at the Patriot Center in Fairfax provided a rebuttal to those doubters – like me – as Lange topped an action-packed card of well-matched fighters that aren’t superstars, but who know how to whip the crowd into a frenzy. And, as it turns out, the reason why Lange cards are such a success is because they are so damn fun.
Zain “The Tiger” Shah cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Omar Sims on Saturday night at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Shah used his right counter to great effect against Baltimore-based Sims, who came in at 163 lbs. for the middleweight contest.
The fight ended with a furious final round which saw both fighters rocked by heavy right hands, with two of out of three judges judging Sims to have gotten the better of the sixth. But overall the Chantilly-based Shah was the busier fighter and looked at times just half his 36 years.
After the fight Shah seemed calm and underwhelmed with his performance, disappointed he hadn’t been able to floor his opponent. He claimed to be more fatigued than expected and explained that his nerves had prevented him from sleeping the night before.
Jimmy Lange is not big on trash talk.
The Herndon, Va.-based junior middleweight and Contender alum declined to extol his gifts or list his advantages over his opponent during our pre-fight interview last week in advance of Saturday’s contest against Joe Wyatt at George Mason’s Patriot Center in Fairfax.
"I’m not a talker, I let my actions speak for themselves," Lange said.
Lange does his talking inside the ring, but his face betrayed a steely resolve as well as a keen awareness that another setback like his controversial March loss to journeyman Chase Shields could serious dent his aspirations of a future title shot. If he wants to draw the attention of the sport’s top matchmakers, Lange knows he must impress on November 6th against Wyatt.
The Shields fight is a sore subject; a malfunction with the arena lights caused an unexpected stoppage lasting several minutes in the ninth round when Lange appeared to be gaining control of the fight. Father and manager Johnny contends that while “Jimmy didn’t show up,” the stoppage cost Lange, who was knocked down twice by Shields in the 11th round before ultimately losing a unanimous decision.
"I think it hurt my kid, he was peaking for the fight and I think it helped Chase," Johnny Lange said, arguing that while critics may dwell on the 11th round, Lange’s comeback to win the 12th on all three scorecards is proof of his character and class.
"That’s the type of fighter Jimmy is, he’s a throwback," Johnny said. "He’s not afraid of a brawl and at the same time he can still box, he’s a boxer-puncher and he’s a throwback."