Jennings-Dawejko Media Day in Philly

Report/Photos: John DiSanto –

Anticipation for the biggest Philly fight card in years surged on Tuesday when Bryant Jennings, Joey Dawejko, and others featured on Saturday night’s show held a media day workout for fans and press at the Joe Hand Boxing Gym in Philadelphia.

Both Jennings and Dawejko train outside Philly – Bryant in Florida and Joey in California – so this was the first chance for the people to catch a glimpse of the heavyweights. Also participating in the media day were super middleweight Jesse Hart, bantamweight Christian Carto and junior lightweight Joseph Adorno.

As Dawejko wrapped up his allotted time slot, Jennings jumped in the ring and playfully told Joey that his time was up. Dawejko joked back that he wasn’t finished yet. Both Philadelphians then shook hands and posed for photos. It was a welcome display of sportsmanship by both boxers.

Although the pair has always been likeable individually, it wasn’t certain how they would act toward each other this close to fight night. To their credit, they were both gentleman and left any potential hostility for Saturday night.

Fresh from his West Coast training camp, Dawejko appeared to be in terrific shape, solid and firm. Conditioning has been the one nagging issue for Dawejko during the lead up to the fight, and his appearance yesterday calmed any doubts that his fans may have had about the topic. Of course we’ll see for sure on Saturday, but so far, so good.

As expected, Jennings, always trim and bulging with muscles, looked to be in perfect condition at media day. He couldn’t resist pulling up his shirt several times to display a perfectly sculpted rack of abs. He looked good and may have even grown a few extra muscles for this all-Philly showdown.

Each fighter ran through a brief four-round workout and then took questions from the media individually, before the next fighter took their turn. The one exception was Jesse Hart, who breezed in toward the end of the event, mingled with the crowd, answered a few questions, one on one with several reporters, and then shadow-boxed for a single three minute round. Once the bell sounded ending that round, he declared, “That’s it!” Hart then posed for some photos and mingled a little more.

Here is what they had to say.

“Fight week is very particular. You’re always anxious. The fire builds up. The closer to the fight is the closer to the fire.”

“They say he (Dawejko) will gas in five rounds because that’s a repeated thing of his. I don’t depend on that, because when surprises come, they can hurt. So, I look forward to and go by what he says (he will be).”

“In boxing, we always understand our duties. Our goal is to go out and win the fight. Once the fight is made, once you agree, once you sign that paper, then you know exactly what you have to do. I only have to worry about my responsibilities. The opponent’s responsibilities don’t matter to me. I understand that he has a family, and I’m not saying that that’s not my problem, but I have mine. We both have separate responsibilities. So I have to do what I have to do.”

“I fought at Madison Square Garden in front of 17,000 people, but I still don’t remember it. I still never lived it. My homies can tell you right now… the whole crowd was cheering… I’m like damn! I wish I was there. I was in it, but I wasn’t there because I had my mind so focused on what I needed to focus on. I don’t add that pressure until it’s over.”

“I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m ready to go ten, if I have to. We’ll see what happens. I don’t want to do ten. I can if I have to, but I don’t want to do it. I’m going to knock him out.”

“There’s no feeling-out round with me. I go right at him and fight my fight. I make quick adjustments, so I don’t need a feeling-out round. I’ll feel him out in the first ten seconds.”

“I’m the better fighter. I’m the better puncher. I’m a better boxer. I’m ready to go, man. I wish the fight was last week.”

“I came from the airport, and I saw my billboard (advertising the fight) that my manager, Mark Cipparone put up. So that was a great feeling.”

“What can I say? We know who the main event really is. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I think the show is great. Bryant Jennings and Joey Dawejko is a great match-up, but a lot of people want to see Jesse Hart. They want to see how I grew from the Ramirez fight.”

“They got me in absolutely perfect condition. It’s all about me now. It’s about my mind. It’s about my attitude going into that fight. Demond Nicholson is a good fighter. I can’t take nothing away from him, but I want to perform, be great. You have good fighters and you have great fighters.”

“We’re working on a lot of mental things. I can’t get away from my game plan. Last time I fought here (a thriller with Dashon Johnson in 2016), I got caught up in that crowd. Sometimes I want to show them that I have enough heart and that I can be in a knockdown, drag out fight. I may be pushed to that point again, and I want people to know that the heart is there.”

“It’s a great card to be on, and I’m excited to be fighting on it with other great fighters. It’s exciting to be fighting on a card this big.”

“There are a lot of prospects coming up today (in Philadelphia) – Jaron Ennis, Avery Sparrow, Stephen Fulton, Tight (Darmani Rock). I’m missing a lot of people, but there’s a ton of people coming up in Philly that are going to be contenders for a belt.”

“It’s very exciting. I know he (opponent) is three wins, three knockouts, one defeat. He lost his second fight and then came back and knocked two guys out. So, I’m up for a fight.”

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