As the hunt continues to find a replacement opponent to face Derek Chisora later this month, a heavyweight that is always on call has taken the steps to throw his name into the mix.
Joey Dawejko has been itching to return to the ring immediately after his latest bout, a 10-round win over divisional spoiler Rodney Hernandez this past July. The promoter of record for the card was Eddie Hearn, who also guides the career of Chisora (31-9, 22KOs) as well as former heavyweight titlist Joseph Parker (26-2, 20KOs), who suffered a spider bite and was forced to withdraw from the planned Oct. 26 clash at The O2 in London, England.
Hearn has since named an even half-dozen of potential candidates to land the assignment on short notice, although most of the names are a long shot. Michael Hunter and Alexander Povetkin are at the top of the list, although they are also on course to face one another on Hearn’s Dec. 7 show in Saudi Arabia.
Otto Wallin is coming off of a grueling, hard-fought loss to unbeaten Tyson Fury just three weeks ago in Las Vegas, not to mention Chisora’s not being keen on facing a southpaw. Manuel Charr has also been mentioned, but also hasn’t fought in nearly two years and also carries a lot of promotional baggage.
Dawejko (20-7-4, 11KOs) was not among the mentioned candidates, although it didn’t stop his team from reaching out in hopes of landing the assignment.
“Joey wants the fight badly,” Greg Cohen, Dawejko’s promoter told BoxingScene.com. “It would be a great fight and I hope Eddie agrees.”
The aforementioned win over Hernandez came as a consolation prize for Philadelphia’s Dawejko, who was due to face former cruiserweight titlist Murat Gassiev. The hard-hitting Russian plans to make a heavyweight run and hoped to begin with that July show, only to suffer an injury in having to withdraw.
Dawejko remained on the card, keeping his name fresh on Hearn’s mind as he also appeared on a Matchroom Boxing USA card in March when he suffered a close, disputed points loss to then-unbeaten Sergey Kuzmin. The 29-year old also served as a sparring partner for Anthony Joshua, making for a perfect simulation of Andy Ruiz ahead of Joshua’s eventual upset loss to the Mexican heavyweight in their unified title fight in June.
While lacking a career-defining win, Dawejko has still proven fits for many a heavyweight through the years. He offered a spirited effort versus Bryant Jennings in their all-Philly clash last April, and is also responsible for the lone blemish on the ledger of Jarrell Miller, fighting the otherwise undefeated Brooklyn heavyweight to a draw in 2013.
“Think about it, Joey is the American version of Derek Chisroa,” points out Cohen. “It’s the perfect fight!”
Regardless of whether Dawejko is chosen, Chisora will remain on the card in a supporting slot to the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound finals between unbeaten titlists Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox