After being stepped over as Joe Joyce’s next opponent, Philadelphia fan favorite Joey Dawejko is calling out the highly touted UK-based heavyweight for taking the easy road.
Since turning professional, Joyce, the outspoken 2016 Olympic Super-Heavyweight Silver Medal Winner and now Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Champion, has made a habit of publicly calling out the division’s top contenders and champions.
But Dawejko says Joyce’s antics may be just for show, and in reality, his representatives are very protective of their charge.
Dawejko (19-5-4, 11 KOs) says he was offered and accepted the opportunity to face Joyce (5-0, 5 KOs) on the undercard of former welterweight champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter’s Saturday, September 8, showdown at the Barclays Center – only to find out Joyce had instead chosen to face Ohio’s Devin Vargas.
Dawejko has spent his professional career as a respected gatekeeper in the division. The 28-year-old has had competitive battles with several of the division’s best and even gave top contender Jarrell Miller the only blot on his undefeated record when he held him to a draw in 2013.
Vargas was a successful amateur boxer, but the former Olympian has sputtered as a professional. He has lost five of his last eight fights and is coming off a first-round knockout loss.
“I got the call the other day from my manager saying we had an offer to fight him and we accepted,” explained Dawejko, “then I found out he took an easier fight. I’m kind of pissed off about it because it was a good opportunity for me. They chose the safe route because they’re definitely protecting him. They talk a good game, but at the end of the day they just want easy fights.”
Dawejko says exposing Joyce would have given him the chance to finally break through to the upper echelon.
“They’re building this guy like he’s something special and he’s not. I see nothing special about him. He has size, but that doesn’t matter. I don’t think he’s as good as people are making him out to be. I could definitely beat him. He’s big and slow and gets hit a lot and his defense isn’t there. I know I could beat him.”
Not giving up, Dawejko wants Joyce to know he’d be happy to face him in his next fight… if Joyce isn’t too timid.
“If he really wants to challenge himself, step up and fight me. I‘m ready to go at any time. I’ll fight him any day of the week.”