Italian-born heavyweight Joey Cusumano will welcome London’s Daniel Dubois in Dubois’ US debut on August 29 and the 33 year old is really looking forward to the fight. Cusumano, who is 19-3(17) and has never been stopped, says he believes the fight with Dubois will be nothing but an action-packed affair.
Very kindly taking the time to speak with ESB, Joey says he will “make everyone proud” on the night of August 29th.
Q: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. Firstly, is it Joe or Joey?
Joey Cusumano: “Joey’s good, or Joe.”
Q: You were born in Italy, right?
J.C: “Yes, I was born in Sicily.”
Q: You have the big fight coming up with Daniel Dubois. How much have you seen of Dubois?
J.C: “Oh, man, I’ve seen a lot of his fights. I’m also a boxing fan, so I love watching fights and he’s always been an exciting fighter. His mentor was Mike Tyson, the same as me – I loved Mike Tyson also, especially when growing up. So yeah, he’s [Dubois] a great fighter. I’m pleased to fight him, I’m happy about it, this is a dream come true for me. He’s a great fighter and I’m very excited.”
Q: When did you get the fight and have you had enough notice?
J.C: “Yeah, you know, I got about a four week notice for the fight. Usually it’s a little bit more time, but I was in the gym, so I was staying kind of ready anyway. So then we picked it up [training] as soon as we got the phone call.”
Q: For those fans who haven’t seen you fight; how would you describe your style?
J.C: “I just like to fight! I’m a fighter, I grew up loving fights, watching fights. My father was a big-time boxing fan as well. So I get in there and I do what I gotta do, to survive, and to land some big punches. I think once I land my punches, that’s when the fight goes my way.”
Q: And your favourite punch?
J.C: “My jab.”
Q: This is Dubois’ US debut and he wants to make a statement. Has he picked the wrong guy?
J.C: “You know, it’s heavyweight boxing. This is the heavyweight division. I’m a very humble guy, I just know it’s gonna be a great fight. I’m coming to do my part and I’m sure he’s coming to do his part. We both have many knockouts – I have 19 wins, 17 by KO, he has 15 KO’s out of 16 wins. And someone’s getting knocked out I believe.”
Q: You’ve never been stopped. You have three decision losses on your record – to Daniel Martz, in your third pro fight, to Robert Simms and to Steve Vukosa. Were they all fair decisions against you?
J.C: “I think in two of them, it could have gone my way, and a lot of fans felt that also. But like I said, it’s boxing – if you let it go to the judges’ hands you never know what’s gonna happen. That’s part of the game.”
Q: What was your amateur record?
J.C: “I had 20 amateur fights; I was 20-0. I went pro at age 22.”
Q: You’ve sparred some big names, like Deontay Wilder. Anyone else?
J.C: “Over the years that I’ve been fighting, it’s been a whole bunch of fighters. A lot of great fighters. I lived in Philadelphia for a long time, I lived in Jersey, I lived in New York. You have a lot of great fighters out there. But often, believe it or not, a lot of the fighters that gave me the best sparring I’ve ever had, they’re people that nobody knows of.”
Q: Will you spar a lot of rounds for this fight?
Q: And you worked for a time with Vinny Paz?
J.C: “Yes, we stay in touch. I’m not with him for this camp, but Vinny Paz is, wow, he’s a legend. He has a lot of knowledge; he gives me great pointers and I’m glad to have him in my corner.”
Q: And your team offered a fight to Mike Tyson last year?
J.C: “We went for it but it didn’t happen, he didn’t want to go back to being a professional, he just wanted to do exhibitions. We saw an opening and we went for it, but he didn’t want it. We tried.”
Q: That would have been amazing, you fighting your boxing hero!
J.C: “I know, I know! I was really praying that would happen, but…. But I don’t want to hit my hero, you know what I mean (laughs).”
Q: Who are your other boxing heroes?
J.C: “I like Evander Holyfield, I watch a lot of Rocky Marciano, I watch a lot of the older tapes. Rocky was a monster. There’s been a lot of great, great fighters. I watch all of ’em, they’re all different in their own way.”
Q: What do you think to the current heavyweight division? Who is the best in the world today?
J.C: “I’m gonna have to say Tyson Fury right now, just because of how big he is, and how aggressive he is. You’ve never seen a heavyweight that big move like that. So I believe he’s probably the harder fighter to beat right now in the heavyweight division.”
Q: You sparred Wilder – how do you see the third fight going on October 9?
J.C: “Wilder is the kind of guy who, if he hits you one good time the fight’s over. So if he can hit Tyson Fury with a good punch, it’s over. It’s over. Tyson Fury will go to sleep. But the thing is, Tyson Fury is such a great fighter, he’s a boxer, he’s technical, he knows how to move. But he cannot make any mistakes, because if he does it will go Deontay’s way. If he doesn’t make any mistakes, it will go Tyson Fury’s way. That’s how I see it – 50-50.”
Q: How many rounds did you spar with Wilder?
J.C: “Altogether, maybe 20 to 25 rounds. He has a lot of power, and he felt my power, too. It was a great sparring session.”
Q: What would a win over Dubois do for your career?
J.C: “Oh, right now I’m just focused on this fight. It’s a big opportunity for me and I’m just happy to be a part of it. It’s a dream come true just to make it this far. So now we’re here, I’m gonna give it all I got and we’ll go from there.”
Q: It’s going to be a real slugfest?
J.C: “Yeah, I believe so. I mean, it’s in our blood. From where Daniel’s from, it’s in you guys’ blood to be fighters, and it’s in my blood to be a fighter. So, yes, I believe it’s going to be a very action-packed fight.”
Q: We wish you all the best for August 29.
J.C: “Thank you so much for having me. I’m gonna make everybody proud.”