It's an all-Philly heavyweight clash tonight on ESPN Friday Night Fights, as Amir Mansour takes on Joey Dawejko in a 10-round fight from the 2300 Arena, live on ESPN2 at 9:00 pm EST.
Mansour (21-1, 16 KO) is looking to pick up his second straight win after a spirited loss last year to Steve Cunningham, another Philly fighter. The 42-year-old southpaw is a pretty fun heavyweight to watch, and both he and Dawejko (14-3-2, 7 KO) will be looking to impress in their hometown.
The co-feature will be an eight-round middleweight fight between Atlantic City's Decarlo Perez (13-3-1, 5 KO) and Baltimore's Jessie Nicklow (24-5-3, 8 KO). Nicklow has lost his last two fights to Scott Sigmon and top prospect Ryota Murata. Perez has won two straight since a January 2014 loss to Wilky Campfort.
Connor Ruebusch will be here with live updates and round-by-round coverage of the third-to-last edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights. Join us?
Amir Mansour defeats Joey Dawejko by Unanimous Decision (96-94, 98-92, 97-93)
David Gonzalez and Ryan Belasco go to majority draw (58-56, 57-57 x 2)
DeCarlo Perez defeats Jessie Nicklow by Unanimous Decision (79-73 x 3)
AMIR MANSOUR vs JOEY DAWEJKO
Round 1: Mansour weighs 20 pounds less than in his last fight, and he looks it tonight. Looks to have picked up some speed in the process, though, and he jabs Dawejko in the chest a couple times early. Dawejko moving his head and eyeing Mansour, evidently looking to time Mansour with a counter. Mansour flicking the southpaw jab, but he can't get anything off. Dawejko lunges in with a left hook, and clips Mansour hard on the chin with a right hook on the break. Mansour looks for a 1-1-2, but Dawejko slips out of range. Good counter right from Dawejko just before the bell. 10-9 Dawejko
Round 2: Mansour seems to be done measuring now, and he cracks Dawejko with two good left hands, partially landing on the chin, partially on the chest. Left hand to the body from Mansour, and he's looking very light on his feet here. Mansour gets in with three solid right hooks, but he gets a big cut over his right eye in the process. Mansour has Dawejko cornered now, and Dawejko tries to escape with a big right hand that forces Mansour to pull away. Dawejko cornered again, and this time he runs into a Mansour jab on the way out. They clinch, and Mansour trips Dawejko to the canvas a la judo white belt Willie Pep. 10-9 Mansour, 19-19
Round 3: According to the replay between rounds, it was a clash of heads that caused the cut over Mansour's right eye. Blood seems to have stopped flowing for the moment. Mansour jabbing to the body, and lands a short left hand to the chest. Mansour jabs the body again, and follows up upstairs with the hook, but Dawejko avoids the punch and shows Mansour his tongue. Sharp jab from Dawejko, and he's walking Mansour down now, deftly dodging counter right hooks as he comes forward. They trade 1-2s, and both miss with their heavy power hands. Solid up-jab from Dawejko, and he slams his head into Mansour's as he tries for the right hand, and now he's cut badly over the eyes. Ouch! 10-9 Mansour, 29-28
Round 4: Both men cut now, and neither bleeding. Mansour steps in with a jab, and eats a hard left hand that sends him reeling off balance. I think Dawejko actually threw that counter from southpaw. Mansour doesn't look too hurt though, as he comes in with flurries of hard punches, landing the right hook upstairs and the left to the body. He's hunting Dawejko down now, but Dawejko has proven himself a threat. More blood over Joey's left eye, and now Mansour's cut is bleeding again as well. Mansour looks for his own cross counter and misses by an inch. Dawejko lands a decent counter hook, but Mansour reaches across his body to counter with a crooked left. 10-9 Mansour, 39-37
Round 5: Mansour still looking very fresh. Dawejko switching to southpaw again, but Mansour is jabbing and occupying his eyes to set up a big punch, not just lunging in. Good slugging right to the body from Dawejko, and a hard left hook after. Mansour fires back with a few right hooks, but can't land anything clean. Left hook to the ribs from Dawejko. Nice lead right gets in for Dawejko, and he beats the Mansour reply with a counter hook to the belly. 10-9 Dawejko, 48-47 Mansour
Round 6: Mansour boxing again, not able to land anything. Dawejko hits a neat little shift step and slugs Mansour in the chest with a southpaw right hook. Dawejko settles in to the southpaw stance, and he's feinting Mansour, trying to set up another big counter left. Back to orthodox now, and Mansour misses with a big left hand. Solid right to the body from Dawejko. Mansour jabs the body, and Dawejko just misses with a sweeping uppercut. Deftly defends a Mansour combination, and he seems to be building confidence as this fight continues. Dawejko counters the Mansour jab with a hard body shot to close the round. 10-9 Dawejko, 57-57
Round 7: Dawejko boxing from the orthodox position again, giving Mansour different looks and angles, trying to invite a big punch from Mansour. Mansour obliges with a combination--he misses every punch, but keeps Dawejko from countering. Dawejko hooks to the ribs again, and rolls under a wide hook from Mansour. And again, now switching to southpaw again. Mansour throwing big, but missing everything except a jab to the chest. Mansour with a hard right hook at the bell, and he won that round on activity alone. 10-9 Mansour, 67-66
Round 8: Mansour clips Dawejko with a right hook as Dawejko moves his head. Mansour is tentative, but he gets in with a glancing left hand on the inside. Nice double right hook from Mansour there, and now Dawejko is back on the retreat. Mansour nearly lands the right hook again. Dawejko steps in with a jab and Mansour counters nicely with the hook, eliciting a show of mock surprise from Dawejko. Dawejko with a nice counter uppercut to the body, but he's not throwing enough to convincingly win these rounds, and Mansour sneaks in another right hook to seal the round. 10-9 Mansour, 77-75
Round 9: Dawejko misses on a body shot, blocks Mansour's counters. Mansour blocks a body shot, misses a counter. Both men struggling to land cleanly as much as most of us expected them to.Dawejko is back on the offensive, and he walks into a lamppost jab from Mansour. Mansour forces him back into his defensive shell and stings him with a right hook. Nice low left hand from Mansour that seemed to catch Dawejko's head mid-slip. Body jab from Mansour, and he's convincingly stolen the momentum in this fight. Mansour putting his punches together well, scoring with the right uppercut after Dawejko avoids the 1-2. Good round for Mansour. 10-9 Mansour, 87-84
Round 10: Buddy McGirt told Dawejko that he didn't need the knockout to win, just to win this round. You'd have a hard time finding someone who agrees with him, but let's see what Dawejko can do with the next three minutes. Both men tentative in the first minute, as Mansour stalks and feints. Dawejko looks for a big lead right, but Mansour slips and ties him up. Nice counter jab from Mansour, and he's got Dawejko on the run now. Dawejko looks for the counter uppercut--misses once and then lands soon after. Mansour comes back with an uppercut of his own, smashing into the chin of Dawejko, and following up with a nice right hook. Mansour with a big straight left to the body, and Dawejko inexplicably spends the final ten seconds of the round just walking around, until Mansour stings him with three hard punches just before the bell. 10-9 Mansour, and I have him winning 97-93
DAVID GONZALEZ vs RYAN BELASCO
Round 1: Belasco jabbing a lot early, and Gonzalez quickly counters him with the overhand right, rocking Belasco back on his heels. Now Belasco starts jabbing again, but he seems to be pulling his punches for fear of another counter. Gonzalez counters him again, this time with a jab of his own. Gonzalez fires off another big right hand, and a left hook that hits Belasco's guard. Both fighters more tentative now as we near the final seconds of this round. Messy mix-up at the end of the round as Belasco grits his teeth and throws, and both fighters end up in a tie-up. 10-9 Gonzalez
Round 2: More big punches from Gonzalez. He goes to the body with the right hand and lands a left hook upstairs right after. Another straight to the body. Another overhand from Gonzalez, landing with digits rather than knuckles. There's a decent left hook from Gonzalez that clips Belasco as he tries to counter the right hand that came before it. Another mid-exchange hook from Gonzalez, and Belasco is hurt! Gonzalez chases him down but can't land anything clean; they reset in center ring. And the rest of the round expires without anything significant landing for either fighter. 10-9 Gonzalez, 20-18
Round 3: Gonzalez feinting now, looking for an opening. He runs into a short jab from Belasco as he tries to sit down on another overhand right. Belasco seems to be looking for counters almost exclusively now. He misses with two as Gonzalez bobs and slips, and eats a left hook from the younger fighter as well. Belasco runs into a nice body shot from Gonzalez. Belasco's jab has all but disappeared by now, and Gonzalez is owning the fight at range as a result. 10-9 Gonzalez, 30-27
Round 4: More of the same, as Gonzalez feints and moves at range, leads when he wants, and then counters Belasco's counters with that hard left hook. Belasco tries to counter again, and misses again. Not an eventful round, but definitely Gonzalez's. 10-9 Gonzalez, 40-36
Round 5: Gonzalez still looking for that one big punch, but he's got an awkward customer in front of him. Belasco bites down on a counter hook after avoiding the Gonzalez right hand, but can't land cleanly. Hard right hand from Belasco, but Gonzalez quickly replies with a winging right of his own. Belasco's getting closer with the straight counters, though. Gonzalez could find himself in trouble in the final round. Another clipping right hand from Belasco, and his confidence seems to be finally growing. And Belasco's jab appears, pinging off the chin of David Gonzalez. Good counter right from Gonzalez after Belasco's next jab, but Belasco is unfazed. 10-9 Belasco, 49-46 Gonzalez
Round 6: Gonzalez and Belasco go down in a messy clinch, and Gonzalez almost went for a Sakuraba-esque double wrist lock on the way down. Hard counter right from Belasco after the reset, and Gonzalez clinches with him. Gonzalez is still swinging, but he's missing everything he throws. Unfortunately for Belasco, he's struggling to land those counters, and can't capitalize. Hard left hook at the bell from Belasco, but that won't be enough to win the fight. 10-9 Belasco, and I have Gonzalez winning 58-56
JESSIE NICKLOW vs DECARLO PEREZ
Round 1: Nicklow starts aggressively, throwing the jab to the body, but Perez does a nice job of jabbing him back and landing some solid lefts to the body in close. Nicklow wants to corner Perez, and does so successfully. And there's a massive right hand from Nicklow that stunned Perez! They are separated by the ref, and Nicklow charges in with another wide right hand to the temple--this one a little less clean. Perez seems to have recovered now, and they're back to exchanging jabs in center ring. There's another heavy right hand from Nicklow, and a left hook counter as Perez tries to back up behind his jab. 10-9 Nicklow
Round 2: Perez busy with the counter uppercuts to stymie Nicklow's renewed assault, and he blocks the same right hand that had him in trouble last round. And rolls away from another one right after. Good work from Perez. Sharp straight punches down the middle from Perez, and he attacks the body, though Nicklow blocks with his elbows. Two digging jabs to the body from Nicklow, and a hard uppercut as the taller man ducks down. Now Perez works his uppercut as Nicklow leans into him, but Nicklow comes back with a solid left hook. 10-9 Nicklow, 20-18
Round 3: Nice little Fitzsimmons shift from Nicklow, but Perez has started to attack the body whenever his shorter opponent comes inside, and he lands a few good uppercuts up the middle. They separate, and Perez gets busy with combinations of quick, effortless punches, most of them landing clean. Uppercut to the chin from Perez, and he separates with a few snapping jabs. Perez is doing a much better job of maintaining his distance--when Nicklow closes, he shoves him back and beats him up with snapping left hooks. Great round for Perez. 10-9 Perez, 29-28 Nicklow
Round 4: Nicklow partially lands an overhand right over Perez's jab, but Perez rolls his head to take off some of the sting. Nice uppercuts from Perez inside, though one of them looked to have gone pretty low. Perez is being very active now, and it's allowing him to shut down Nicklow's offense even when he isn't landing very cleanly. More light combos from Perez--the uppercut and left hook seem to be his staples, mixed with an occasional right hook to keep Nicklow's guard up. Another good round for him. 10-9 Perez, 38-38
Round 5: Nicklow is still coming out aggressively, but he's having to run through uppercuts and straights from Perez in the process. Nicklow barging his way into the clinches now, but hardly getting any work done once he gets there. Perez unleashing snapping jabs and cutting small angles as Nicklow charges forward. Perez lands a right hand behind Nicklow's ear that looked to hurt him. He's really starting to look exhausted now, just looking for the refuge of the clinch but finding no solace in Perez's arms. 10-9 Perez, 48-47
Round 6: Nicklow takes some clean punches and drops his hands to taunt Perez, who politely recommends that he put his gloves back up with a 1-2. Nicklow keeps getting stuck right on the end of Perez's jab. He stands in front of Perez, moving his head back and forth, eats two or three jabs, tries to follow one back into the pocket, and walks into a sharp combination from Perez. Perez is still hitting Nicklow's gloves more often than not, but his punches are finding the mark more and more, and more importantly the activity alone is keeping Nicklow's hands at home. Hard left hook to the body from Perez, followed by a low blow, for which the refereee warns him. And there's a low low in response from Nicklow--no doubt deliberate. 10-9 Perez, 58-56
Round 7: Good jab from Nicklow to start the round, and Perez didn't like it. He fires back with a 10-punch combination, hitting gloves upstairs but getting in to the body with a wide right and an uppercut. Nicklow lands a nice right hand and a left hook, but Perez immediately comes back with a counter combination, once again finishing off strongly to the body. Short left hook from Perez catches Nicklow on the way in. Nicklow grits his teeth and throws at the ten second mark, but Perez counters inside with a pair of hooks and wins the exchange, and the round. 10-9 Perez, 68-65
Round 8: Nicklow seems determined to get inside, and quickly does so, but all it takes is a short backward step from Perez to nullify his hard work. And a hard right hand from Perez right after. Solid uppercut from Perez now, after a decent left from Nicklow, who is at least fighting hard for the win in this final round. Perez tries to get flashy with a shoulder roll and counter right hand, but misses the mark. Nicklow drops his gloves yet again and invites some punches from Perez, who snaps his head back with five right hands in a row. Fortunately Perez doesn't have any pop, but that certainly won't help Nicklow, who didn't even try to counter, to win the round. Nicklow swings wild at the end of the round, and does get in with a good right hand and a left hook after, but that's not enough. 10-9 Perez, and I have him winning this fight 78-74.