Joey Dawejko is always ready to put the work in.
It’s what made him a professional boxer, and it’s also what made him want to start his own business.
“People will tell you it’s hard to own your own business, but I love it,” said Dawejko, a Tacony native and former Abraham Lincoln High School student who opened Tank’s Knockout Roofing earlier this year. “I love waking up and going to work. I love it. Now I have my own company, I’m up before my alarm. I know what it takes to get through the day, what needs to be done, my whole schedule before I even know it. I enjoy working. I’ve always loved it.
“A big part of it is because of who I’m working with, my Uncle Joe and Uncle Timmy. I have a great crew. They’re all really good. I love working with them.”
Please forgive Dawejko, though, if he misses some work over the next few weeks.
The Tank is back, and he’s in full training.
Dawejko, who is 21-10-4 in his career with 12 knockouts, thought he had moved on to the next phase of his life.
But he started messing around at Team Chaos near Woodhaven Road, training a little, sparring a little, and getting the boxing juices flowing again.
Then he spoke with J Russell Peltz, and it didn’t take him long to agree to get back in the ring.
“I was 100 percent fully retired, but I talked to Russell Peltz, he is a legendary promoter, and we were talking and he said I should get back and fight in Philadelphia in front of my family and friends,” Dawejko said. “My last fight was in January, and it was a good fight, but it wasn’t here, and I had no time to train for it. I was training for a week in California, so it wasn’t like being here and fighting.”
Dawejko is returning to the ring and he’ll be the crowd favorite when he main events a card at Parx Casino on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.
His opponent will be Mike Marshall of Danbury, Connecticut, and the fight is scheduled for eight rounds. If Dawejko has his way, he won’t need that long, but he knows he’s in for a great fight.
“I sparred him last year, so we know each other, and he’s very good,” Dawejko said. “He’s a good fighter, he comes to fight, he’s a slick fighter, it’s going to be a good fight.”
Also on the card is a four-round middleweight clash between Soslan Alborov and Brendan O’Callaghan. Daiyann Butt (super-lightweight) and ex-Pennsylvania Golden Gloves champion Karl Wylie (lightweight) will fight on the undercard.
For Dawejko, getting ready to return to the ring is a lot of work, but he’s been a hard worker his entire life, and going to the gym is a lot different than roofing.
It just so happens he’s pretty good at both jobs.
“I think fighting is easier, believe it or not, but I love it,” Dawejko said. “I love both jobs, I’m really lucky. I love fighting, I’ve been doing it my whole life. Roofing is hard work, but I have things down, so it’s going well. I can fight because I have great people working with me. This was just a perfect opportunity.
“I think because I’ve been doing it so long and I love it so much, fighting might be a little easier. But fighting and running your own business, they go hand in hand. It might sound crazy, but there’s a lot of the same things involved.”
Dawejko isn’t looking to put on a great fight. He’s looking to win. But he knows this fight at Parx, because of all his fans, will be a giant party.
“I really never fight this close to home,” Dawejko said. “I fought at the Armory before, so that might be closer, but this is my first time fighting at Parx, which is really cool. And I know a lot of people are going to come out to see me. So it will be fun. My family will be there, so that makes it special, too.”
Everything Dawejko does, he does for his family.
And he makes a very good girl dad!
He’s a loving fiancee to Maria Sagias, and the perfect father to the couple’s four daughters, Hailey, Jayla, Giamaria and Meadow. And when he’s not knocking people out, he’s playing house or getting a nice manicure, courtesy of his young daughters.
“I love being a dad of all girls,” Dawejko said. “Everyone asks, when are you going to try for a boy? I have four girls. I already did. But having girls, it’s the best thing to ever happen to me. Being a dad of all girls, it settles me down. And it makes me understand I don’t have to hurt people. I’m a fighter, but I have a soft side.”
He is a great dad, but he couldn’t be the fighter he is without a great partner.
“(Maria) is a big part of this,” Dawejko said of his fiancee. “She’s great, when I was training in California, she stayed home and kept the girls going to school so they didn’t have to miss anything. She was a mom and dad. She gets to chill out now because I’m there, too. But she’s a great mom. She’s great.”
Dawejko has been putting in more than his share of overtime as of late. He’s still working on his business, but he’s always at the gym, putting in more ring time.
“It’s going great,” Dawejko said. “The owner of the gym has a son who is a big up-and-coming fighter. It’s a great type of setting. It’s really good for me. I was retired. I came, just to work out, so it wasn’t like a job. It was fun. But now I’m fighting. It will be fun.”
He credits his work ethic to his mom, and his grandfather Terry Tobin, who was the man who got him into boxing.
“My grandfather was a big part of why I work so hard,” Dawejko said. “He always took me to the gym. Him being the type of guy he was, he’d say if you’re not there at 4:30, we aren’t going. That made me always be on time. I loved the gym. That helped me run on schedule. The way he was made me who I am.”
And that work ethic should serve him well on Sept. 1.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Dawejko, who no longer considers himself retired. “We’re going to see what happens. I’m really excited to fight at Parx against a great boxer. It should be a great night.”
For tickets to the event, email Dawejko at firstname.lastname@example.org or search Joey Dawejko on Facebook and send him a message. You can do the same if you’re looking to get work done on your roof.