PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - March 09, 2019  
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Story by Frank Bartolini
Photos Courtesy of


A foot of snow rested on roofs, mountains, and naked corn fields. Ambient wind chill temperatures tap-danced around zero degrees. The Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in Verona, NY, might as well have been in Siberia. It was here, where Philly native Joey Dawejko squared off against Russian Sergei Kuzmin. Stout and fit, Dawejko stepped off the scale at 250 pounds. Massive, from the size of his feet to his oversized cranium, Kuzmin weighed 248.5 pounds.  

Make no doubt, Dawejko was brought here to be a stepping stone, a gauge to evaluate Kuzmin, now and in the future.  

Not adhering to the script, Dawejko did everything a boxer is supposed to do to deserve a decision. Dawejko was cast as Rocky Balboa opposite Kuzmin’s Drago. Poor judging kept the Russian’s record spotless.  

Most of the fans in attendance were not familiar with Dawejko, and thought he was fodder for the Main Events-promoted prospect. However, by the end of the second round, Dawejko had won the crowd's favor and hearts.  

Kuzmin looked mean but fought soft. After Dawejko scored a booming right hand off the side of Kuzmin head in round five, the Russian became apprehensive. In the next couple of heats, Dawejko was in control, scoring well with rights to the body. Seasoned and adept defensively, Dawejko’s left uppercuts to Kuzmin’s gut were effective.  

With quicker hands, Dawejko looked the better fighter even though his face was a bit banged up. Maintaining a better pace, Joey seemed to have the fight wrapped up after eight stanzas.  

Giving it all he had, Kuzmin swept the last six minutes.  

As a response, cat calls and boos came from the seats when David Diamante announced that Kuzmin had won a majority decision victory, by scores of 95-95, and 96-94 twice. All of press row had Dawejko winning. This scribe saw it in Dawejko favor, 97-94, 6-3-1 in rounds.  

In disgust, Dawejko quickly left the ring with his dapperly dressed manager Mark Cipparone in tow. With this questionable loss, Dawejko is now 19-7-4 (11 KOs). Still having to prove that he is a worthy prospect, Kuzmin stayed undefeated, 15-0 (11 KOs).  

This fight was promoted by Matchroom Boxing and streamed live on the DAZN. 




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - March 09, 2019