- Las Vegas, NV
- Frank Espinoza
- Ismail Salas
PHILADELPHIA (March 22, 2018) — There will be no Brotherly Love when JESSIE MAGDALENO defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior featherweight title against No. 1 contender ISAAC DOGBOE on Saturday, April 28, at The Liacouras Center.
The Magdaleno-Dogboe fight will headline a card with plenty of local flavor, as Philadelphia heavyweights BRYANT “BY-BY” JENNINGS and JOEY DAWEJKO rekindle an old rivalry, and Philadelphia native JESSE “Hollywood” HART continues his drive back to a world title challenge when he faces DEMOND NICHOLSON in a super middleweight bout.
Appearing on the undercard will be 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (5-0, 2 KOs) of Newark, N.J., in an eight-round featherweight bout against Roxberg Riley (12-0, 6 KOs) of Dallas, Ga.
Magdaleno-Dogboe, Jennings-Dawejkoand Hart-Nicholson will be televised LIVE on ESPN and stream in English and Spanish on the ESPN App at 7 p.m. ET. Undercard bouts will stream on the ESPN App beginning at 4 p.m. ET. ESPN Deportes will air the fight at 10 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets, priced at $100 (ringside), $65 and $35, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased at The Liacouras Center Box Office and www.liacourascenter.com, or by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922.
Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs), a southpaw from Las Vegas, won the world title with a unanimous decision over four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire on Nov. 5, 2016. Last April, he made quick work of Adeilson Dos Santos, stopping the Brazilian contender in the second round. He was scheduled to fight on Nov. 11, but an injury kept him out of action. Magdaleno rested and recovered, looks forward to defending his title.
Magdaleno and Dogboe, however, are not strangers. The two sparred years ago in Las Vegas, with each man claiming to have gotten the better of the sessions.
“I feel like this going to be a very exciting fight. I’m excited to be defending my title for the second time,” Magdaleno said. “All the fans are going to see a great fight from Jessie Magdaleno. I’m going to do things the fans have never seen from me. I have a great undefeated opponent in front of me. Someone’s ‘0’ has got to go, but mine isn’t going anywhere.”
Dogboe (18-0, 12 KOs), a 2012 Olympian from Accra, Ghana, won the interim WBO junior featherweight title on Jan. 6 in Accra, thrilling the hometown fans with a fifth-round TKO of former world title challenger Cesar Juarez. A sweeping left hook knocked Juarez down, and referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight. Dogboe has won four of his last five fights by knockout.
Jennings and Dawejko will battle it out in classic neighborhood battle, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in Philadelphia in decades.
“In my opinion, Dawejko vs. Jennings is the biggest Philly vs. Philly fight in 36 years,” said Hall of Fame promoter J Russell Peltz, president of Peltz Boxing. “I have to go all the way back to 1982 when Jeff Chandler defended his WBA world bantamweight title against former high school classmate Johnny Carter in a nationally televised fight from Pennsylvania Hall at the Civic Center. There have been other outstanding all-Philly fights since then, but they pale in comparison to Dawejko vs. Jennings. Plus, Dawejko beat Jennings in the amateurs, and that’s just one of several subplots in this matchup.”
“I’m very excited for this all-Philly battle, to get the opportunity to put on for my city,” Jennings said. “Hopefully, when this is a success, we’ll be able to bring boxing to the city on an even bigger scale. After I beat Joey Dawejko, I hope to one day fight for, and defend, the heavyweight title in Philadelphia.”
The rivals have come a long way since their amateur days when Dawejko defeated Jennings in Jennings’ third amateur fight.
“The judges said he won, but I really won,” Jennings said.
As for Dawejko, he remembers things differently.
“It was the last fight of my amateur career, and I know he felt he won,” Dawejko said. “I already knew I was turning pro. I didn’t care about the fight, and it was an easy win. If he feels he got hosed in our amateur fight, I’m gonna down that motherfu**er in our pro fight.”
Jennings (22-2, 13 KOs), born in North Philadelphia, didn’t start boxing until December 2008, when he was 24 years old. His amateur career spanned only 17 fights, but he found success rather quickly as a pro. He won his first 19 bouts before challenging heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko on April 25, 2015, at Madison Square Garden. Jennings gave Klitschko one of the toughest tests of his championship reign, ultimately dropping a unanimous decision. Following a seventh-round TKO loss to Luis Ortiz on Dec. 19, 2015, Jennings took a 20-month sabbatical from the ring. He signed with Top Rank and has won two fights in a row. In his last bout, on Feb. 16 in Reno, Nev., Jennings knocked down Akhror Muralimov five times en route to a third-round stoppage.
Dawejko (19-4-4, 11 KOs) is riding a seven-fight unbeaten streak dating back to May 8, 2015, when he lost a unanimous decision to Amir Mansour. He is no stranger to Philadelphia crowds, having fought there 10 times as a pro. In his last bout, on Dec. 1, he beat the previously undefeated Kelvin Nunez via eight-round decision to win the vacant WBC FECARBOX belt.
Hart (23-1, 19 KOs) is a former amateur standout, winning the 2011 National Golden Gloves and U.S. National championships at 165 pounds. A 2012 U.S. Olympic alternate, Hart turned pro in 2012 and won his first 22 bouts prior to challenging Gilberto Ramirez for the WBO super middleweight title on Sept. 22, 2017. He fought valiantly that night, ultimately dropping a close unanimous decision. Hart last fought on the Ramirez-Habib Ahmed undercard on Feb. 3, knocking out Thomas Awimbono in the opening round. Against Nicholson (18-2, 17 KOs), he is facing one of the division’s most fearsome punchers.
Hart is trained by his father, Philadelphia boxing legend Eugene ‘Cyclone’ Hart.
“I’m very excited to fight in front of my hometown people,” Hart said. “My dad will definitely be there, and even more exciting is my daughter, Halo, will be there. She hasn’t been to a fight since 2014, so this night will be extra special.”
Nicholson, a native of Laurel, Md., turned pro in 2013 after going 110-15 in the amateur ranks. Two fights ago, on June 9, 2017, he dropped a hotly contested eight-round split decision to the undefeated Steve Rolls but rebounded with a second-round stoppage of Josue Obando on Aug. 25. Nicholson has 10 first-round knockouts on his ledger and hopes to bring that power to the ring against Hart, the WBO’s top contender.
For more information visit: www.toprank.com, www.espn.com/boxing, Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing, facebook.com/espndeportes; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing, @ESPN @ESPNBoxeo @ESPNDeportes. Use the hashtags #MagdalenoDogboe, #HartNicholson and #JenningsDawejko and to join the conversation on social media.
J Russell Peltz: 215-765-0922/ [email protected]
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"I dream about the Ramirez rematch every night. I want it! I want so bad! I know now that I can't make mistakes when I'm in the ring with him. Let's make it happen!"Jesse Hart
"I was just coming on, man. The ref shouldn't have stopped the fight. I was ready to continue. I'm going to talk to my team and we are going to file a protest with the commission"Desmond Nicholson
"Yo estaba subiendo mi nivel de pelea. El referee no debió haber parado la pelea. Yo estaba listo para continuar peleando. Voy a hablar con mi equipo y vamos a tramitar una protesta con la comisión"Desmond Nicholson
"That's pretty much the Joey that I expected. There was a lot of hesitation from the both of us. As many prayers as he launched, he didn't really land any. He landed a couple, but he was launching prayers. Joey has thick legs, and I just trying to be cautious and not get caught with some desperate shot. I knew going into the eighth, ninth and 10th rounds that I was winning."Bryant Jennings
"I did my best, I fought 10 hard rounds, but I should've picked up a little bit more. I came in in the best shape of my life, but it is what it is."Joey Dawejko
"Hice lo mejor que pude. Batallé 10 asaltos duros, pero debí haber puesto un poco más de presión. Llegué a esta pelea en la mejor condición de mi carrera, pero tengo que aceptar el resultado"Joey Dawejko
“I’m the same Shakur. This training camp, we’ve been working on power. Nobody wants to be on my side when I’m going six rounds or eight rounds straight and doing good against these opponents. Now, with these knockouts, everybody is going to be on my side."Shakur Stevenson
“Soy el mismo Shakur. En este campamento de entrenamiento, trabajamos duro en el poder. Nadie quiere estar de mi lado cuando voy seis u ocho asaltos y luzco bien contra mis oponentes. Ahora, con estos nocauts, todos van a querer estar de mi lado”Shakur Stevenson
“I have to go back and look at the tape, but he was a really tough kid. He threw a lot of punches. I definitely could have kept my hands up a little more and blocked some of those wild shots.”Christian Carto
"I thought I was the busier fighter. I thought I pulled it off. I needed the work. I needed the rounds, and it's going to help me out later in my career."Kent Cruz
"Pensé que fui el peleador más agresivo. Pensé que había logrado la victoria. Necesitaba el trabajo. Necesitaba los rounds, y esto me ayudará más adelante en mi carrera.”Kent Cruz
“Coming into this fight we thought Jorge Padron was a tough fighter because he went the distance with Gabe Flores Jr., but clearly he couldn’t take my power and I knocked him out in the first round. "Joseph Adorno
“Cuando aceptamos la pelea pensábamos que Jorge Padrón era un peleador duro porque le duró la distancia a Gabe Flores Jr., pero claramente no aguantó mi pegada y lo terminé en el primer asalto.”Joseph Adorno
“I feel like this going to be a very exciting fight. I’m excited to be defending my title for the second time. All the fans are going to see a great fight from Jessie Magdaleno. I’m going to do things the fans have never seen from me. I have a great undefeated opponent in front of me. Someone’s ‘0’ has got to go, but mine isn’t going anywhere.”Jessie Magdaleno
"In my opinion, Dawejko vs. Jennings is the biggest Philly vs. Philly fight in 36 years.” I have to go all the way back to 1982 when Jeff Chandler defended his WBA world bantamweight title against former high school classmate Johnny Carter in a nationally televised fight from Pennsylvania Hall at the Civic Center. There have been other outstanding all-Philly fights since then, but they pale in comparison to Dawejko vs. Jennings. Plus, Dawejko beat Jennings in the amateurs, and that's just one of several subplots in this matchup."J Russell Peltz - Hall of Fame Promoter, Peltz Boxing
“I’m very excited for this all-Philly battle, to get the opportunity to put on for my city. Hopefully, when this is a success, we’ll be able to bring boxing to the city on an even bigger scale. After I beat Joey Dawejko, I hope to one day fight for, and defend, the heavyweight title in Philadelphia.”
“The judges said he won, but I really won,”Bryant Jennings
“It was the last fight of my amateur career, and I know he felt he won.” I already knew I was turning pro. I didn’t care about the fight, and it was an easy win. If he feels he got hosed in our amateur fight, I'm gonna down that motherfu**er in our pro fight."Joey Dawejko
“I’m very excited to fight in front of my hometown people. My dad will definitely be there, and even more exciting is my daughter, Halo, will be there. She hasn’t been to a fight since 2014, so this night will be extra special.”Jesse Hart