Amir Mansour and Joey Dawejko lock horns on May 8 in Philly
Amir “Hard Core” Mansour, of Wilmington, DE, and Joey “The Tank” Dawejko, of Philadelphia, will collide in the most anticipated local showdown in years when they battle over 10 rounds—or less—for the vacant Pennsylvania State Heavyweight Title on Friday evening, May 8, at the 2300 Arena.
The Mansour-Dawejko contest, which will be televised live by ESPN 2, tops a seven-bout card that begins at 7 p.m. The ESPN 2-televised portion of the program begins at 9 p.m.
Mansour (above right), a powerful southpaw, is one of the most feared heavyweights in the world and constantly has been avoided by the big names in the division. At 42, and with time running out, he makes his ESPN debut after piling up a record of 21-1, 16 K0s.
A former USBA heavyweight champion, Mansour lost that belt to Steve Cunningham, who survived a pair of fifth-round knockdowns last year to earn a 10-round decision in Philadelphia.
Because of his inability to get the big- name contenders to fight him, Mansour is rated no higher than No. 24 by the WBC, which most boxing fans consider an insult to Mansour’s record and to his ability.
In his last fight Nov. 8 at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem (PA), Mansour scored what Sports Illustrated claimed was the Knockout of the Year when he flattened Fred Kassi, of New Orleans, LA, with a single right hand in the seventh round of their scheduled 10-rounder.
Mansour believes a win over Dawejko will get him back into the world rankings
“I’m gonna smash this kid,” Mansour said. “He doesn’t have the power or the skill level or the warrior’s mentality to go the full 10 rounds with me. I’m not going to leave it in the hands of the judges; I’m going to leave it in the hands of the paramedics.”#
Dawejko (above left), 24, comes into this fight riding a six-fight winning streak, including a stretch of four consecutive first-round knockouts.
A pro since 2009, Dawejko is 14-3-2, 7 K0s, but he survived the first four and one-half years of his career by managing and promoting himself, accepting fights on short notice when he was out of shape.
Now, under new management (Club 57), Dawejko is finally living up to the promise he showed as a world-class amateur.
He opened 2015 with an eight-round decision victory over fringe contender Derric Rossy, of Medford, NY, then followed by beating former amateur rival Mark Rideout, of Philadelphia. His four first-round knockout victims may not have been world-beaters—David Williams, Philadelphia; Yohan Banks, Redwood City, CA; Rayford Johnson, Longview, TX; Enobong Umohette, Milwaukee, WI—but Dawejko needed less than six minutes combined to demolish all four of them.
“I can’t wait to step into the ring May 8 in my national TV debut,” Dawejko said. “It’s going to be an explosive night. I’m going to steamroll Mansour ’cause I’m the tank.”
The Mansour-Dawejko contest headlines a seven bout card at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Doors open at 6 pm; first fight is 7pm. The card will be televised live by ESPN 2 at 9 pm. Tickets are $55 and $80 and can be purchased by calling Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and Wanamaker’s Tickets (215-568-2400). Tickets also can be purchased online at www.peltzboxing.com and www.wanatix.com. The May 8 card is promoted by Peltz Boxing, Joe Hand Promotions and BAM Boxing.