Amir "Hardcore" Mansour seeks a resounding victory that would propel him up the rankings when he meets Joey "The Tank" Dawejko on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights."
The 10-round heavyweight bout headlines Friday's card at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET).
The southpaw Mansour (21-1, 16 KOs), 42, enters the fight fresh off recording a knockout of the year candidate against Fred Kassi last November. He has long been hopeful of facing the best in the division, looking to rebound completely from an April 2014 defeat to Steve Cunningham in a fight where Mansour scored a pair of knockdowns.
Mansour acknowledged that he needs a commanding win over Dawejko (14-3-2, 7 KOs). In fact, he's so convinced that he even predicted a win by knockout.
"Dawejko doesn't have the power or the warrior's mentality to go the full 10 rounds with me," Mansour said. "I'm not going to leave this fight in the hands of the judges -- I'm going to leave it in the hands of the paramedics."
Dawejko, 24, who enters this fight riding a six-fight winning streak, promises to be a thorn in the veteran Mansour's side. A native of Philadelphia who will be fighting in his hometown, Dawejko turned professional in 2009, but balance and victories have only started coming his way in this most recent stretch of his career.
Discipline and increased dedication appear to have transformed Dawejko into a knockout machine, to the point that he has had four fights in the last eight months and has demolished all of his opponents in the first round.
Dawejko's most recent bout, against the Enobong Umohette, took place in the same arena where Friday's card will be held and was an eliminator for the right to face Mansour for the vacant Pennsylvania heavyweight belt.
"I'm ready for greater things in my career," said Dawejko, who trained in Los Angeles with Buddy McGirt. "I'm making my debut on national television against Mansour and I want to showcase my talent. I think it's going to be a very explosive fight that will end up with Mansour out cold on the canvas."
Friday's fight between Mansour and Dawejko is unlikely to go the distance. Both fighters are heavy hitters and are fairly quick for the division. Dawejko has youth on his side, but Mansour has the physical advantages as the taller and longer fighter with better athleticism.
Mansour absorbs punches with his jab while awaiting his opportunity to blast through his opponent's guard and fire off power shots. He throws multiple-punch combinations and is never afraid to deliver a haymaker if the chance arises.
Dawejko, on the other hand, has a different style. He uses his feet, moving around the whole of the ring, and is more comfortable working from distance or counterattacking. He often surprises his opponents by slipping in and out of their range to unleash his combinations. He's lighter and faster than Mansour.
The evening's main undercard fight, an eight-round middleweight bout, pairs DeCarlo Perez (13-3-1, 5 KOs) of Atlantic City, New Jersey, against Jessie Nicklow (24-5-3, 8 KOs) of Baltimore, Maryland.