Joey Dawejko Wins Gold at the 2008 Youth World Championships

Nov. 03, 2008, 10:20 a.m. (ET)
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Super Heavyweight Joey Dawejko (Philadelphia, Pa.) traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico for only his second major national event, and returned home with a gold medal draped around his neck. He recorded four victories at the AIBA Youth World Championships to win gold at the inaugural event, October 25-November 2. Flyweight Adam Lopez (San Antonio, Texas) and middleweight Luis Arias (Milwaukee, Wis.) joined Dawejko on the medal stand, winning bronze in their respective divisions.

Dawejko opened the event with two victories in preliminary round competition, and continued his winning streak into his semifinal and championship bouts on Friday and Saturday to claim his first international medal. He was the lone U.S. boxer to record a win in semifinal action, claiming an 8-3 win over Ukraine's Plevako Iegor to advance on to championship round action. Once again, Dawejko showed off his defensive prowess in his final round contest with Switzerland's Ergun Mersin, holding the Swiss boxer to only one point over four rounds. He claimed a 9-1 win over Mersin in their bout to win a gold medal. Dawejko becomes the first U.S. boxer to win gold at the event, previously known as the Junior World Championships since Juan McPherson in 2002.

Dawejko moved on to the semifinal round with a 16-4 win over the Virgin Island's Clayton Laurent in the first round and a 10-8 victory over Bauyrzhan Akshabay of Kazakhstan in quarterfinal round action.

Lopez put on a strong performance in his first major national event, advancing to the semifinal round but dropped a 12-3 decision to Jonathan Gonzalez of Puerto Rico. Arias' impressive run to the medal round ended in the semifinals with a 7-1 loss to Germany's Enrico Koelling.

The United States' three medals puts them in sixth place in the rankings by nation, following Cuba, Russia, home country Mexico, Germany and Ireland. The eight boxers joining the three medalists were: light flyweight Oscar Cantu (Kingsville, Texas), bantamweight Joshua Berrelleza (Riverside, Calif.); featherweight Kevin Rivers (Fort Washington, Md.); lightweight Traon Bynum (Fort Washington, Md.); light welterweight Roscoe Hill IV (Spring, Texas); welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas); light heavyweight Robert Brant (Oakdale, Minn.); and heavyweight Nicholas Kisner (Glen Burnie, Md.). Spence and Kisner advanced to quarterfinal action before being eliminated only one win short of a medal.

The U.S. team was led by Head Coach Candy Lopez (San Jose, Calif.), Israel Acosta (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Bill Meartz (Portland, Ore.). Bobby Lee (Hayden, Colo.) served as Team Leader with Don De Verges (Los Angeles, Calif.) working as the AIBA official. Dr. Garth Wright (Jackson, Tenn.) joined the squad as the Team Physician.

U.S. Results
November 1 - Championship Bouts
201+ lbs: Joey Dawejko, Philadelphia, Pa./USA dec. Ergun Mersin, SUI, 9-1

October 31 - Semifinal Bouts
112 lbs: Jonathan Gonzalez, PUR, dec. Adam Lopez, San Antonio, Texas/USA
165 lbs: Enrico Koelling, GER, dec. Luis Arias, Milwaukee, Wis./USA, 7-1
201+ lbs: Joey Dawejko, Philadelphia, Pa./USA dec. Plevako Iegor, UKR, 8-3

October 29 - Preliminary Bouts
Evening Session

152 lbs: Boturjon Mahmudov, UZB, dec. Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas/USA, 11-4
201 lbs: Ivan Dychko, KAZ, dec. Nicholas Kisner, Glen Burnie, Md./USA
201+ lbs: Joey Dawejko, Philadelphia, Pa./USA dec. Bauyrzhan Akshabay

October 29 - Preliminary Bouts
Afternoon Session

112 lbs: Adam Lopez, San Antonio, Texas/USA dec. Orlando Felix Perez Zapata, DOM, 12-3  
165 lbs: Luis Arias, Milwaukee, Wis./USA dec. Oskar Lakomy, CZE, 14-4

October 28 - Preliminary Bouts
Evening Session

152 lbs: Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas/USA dec. Makarov Taras, UKR, 15-1

October 28 - Preliminary Bouts
Afternoon Session

165 lbs: Luis Arias, Milwaukee, Wis./USA dec. Felix Rodriguez, PUR, 27-1

October 27 - Preliminary Bouts
Evening Session

125 lbs: Vitali Varabyeu, BLR, dec. Kevin Rivers, Fort Washington, Md./USA, 12-11
201 lbs: Nicholas Kisner, Glen Burnie, Md./USA dec. Martin Krelina, CZE, 11-4
201+ lbs: Joey Dawejko, Philadelphia, Pa./USA dec. Clayton Laurent, ISV, 16-4

October 27 - Preliminary Bouts
Afternoon Session

119 lbs: Jonathan Valarezo, ECU, dec. Joshua Berrelleza, Riverside, Calif./USA, 11-5
141 lbs: Alfonso Felipe Ugalde, MEX, dec. Roscoe Hill IV, Spring, Texas/USA, 15-12

October 26 - Preliminary Bouts
Evening Session

132 lbs: Juan Garcia, CUB, dec. Traon Bynum, Fort Washington, Md./USA, 16-8
165 lbs: Luis Arias, Milwaukee, Wis./USA stopped Tamas Gumdi, HUN, RSC-2 

October 26 - Preliminary Bouts
Afternoon session

106 lbs: Saul Tuarez, MEX, dec. Oscar Cantu, Kingsville, Texas/USA, 11-3
112 lbs: Adam Lopez, San Antonio, Texas/USA dec. Oualid Belaouara, FRA, 12-11
152 lbs: Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas/USA dec. Alex Theran, COL, 11-4

October 25- Preliminary Bouts
Evening session

141 lbs: Roscoe Hill IV, Spring, Texas/USA dec. Sandro Mrdenovic, CRO, 16-6

October 25- Preliminary Bouts
Afternoon session

112 lbs: Adam Lopez, San Antonio, Texas/USA dec. Geier Dieter, GER, 10-4
125 lbs: Kevin Rivers, Fort Washington, Md./USA dec. Tyrone McKenna, IRL, 16-5
178 lbs: Artur Schmidt, GER, dec. Robert Brant, Oakdale, Minn./USA, 10-10