Joey Dawejko wins gold at youth world amateur championships


Joey Dawejko wins gold at youth world amateur championships

America also claims two bronze medals

Press Release: 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. 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.