NEW YORK – Joey Dawejko took one look at Frank Sanchez and immediately determined that there’s no way Sanchez is two years younger than him.
Sanchez’s listed age is 27, but Dawejko thinks his upcoming opponent comes from a long line of Cuban professional athletes that are believed to be older than they claim. An amused Dawejko mocked Sanchez’s listed age during an interview with BoxingScene.com following a press conference Thursday at The Tillary Hotel in Brooklyn.
“He looks like he’s 45 years old, man,” Dawejko said. “There’s no way he’s 27 years old. As soon as I heard of him and figured out who he was, I knew he wasn’t 27.”
Dawejko (20-7-4, 11 KOs) is scheduled to face Sanchez (14-0, 11 KOs) in a 10-round heavyweight bout Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The highly touted Sanchez, who’s trained by Eddy Reynoso, is listed as a 10-1 favorite to defeat Dawejko in a fight FOX will air as the opener of a three-bout broadcast from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Philadelphia’s Dawejko is considered a step up in competition for Sanchez, who was a decorated amateur before making his pro debut in September 2017. The experienced, durable Dawejko has fought former IBF champ Charles Martin, contenders Bryant Jennings and Jarrell Miller, and fringe contenders Sergey Kuzmin and Amir Mansour during his 10-year pro career.
“From what I’ve seen of him, he has a lot of improvements to make,” Dawejko said. “I know everybody could say that about me, too, but from what I’ve seen, because I’m fighting him and I’ve studied him, he has a lot of improvements to make. We’ll see what happens.”
Dawejko must overcome at least a six-inch height disadvantage against the 6-feet-4 Sanchez, whom Dawejko predicted during the press conference he’ll knock out and “treat like a little kid.” Youth is one thing the 29-year-old Dawejko is certain isn’t an advantage for Sanchez.
“There’s no way he’s 27,” a laughing Dawejko said. “Get the f-ck out of here.”
After airing Sanchez-Dawejko, FOX will broadcast another 10-round bout between Nigerian heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (12-0, 10 KOs) and Romanian veteran Razvan Cojanu (17-6, 9 KOs). The main event will feature Brooklyn’s Adam Kownacki (20-0, 12 KOs) in a 12-round WBA heavyweight elimination match against Finland’s Robert Helenius (29-3, 18 KOs).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.