Local 793-sponsored boxers Mohamed “Mighty Moe” Zawadi and Ryan “The Bruiser” Rozicki are planning to make 2024 a year to remember. Zawadi has been in training for his next pro fight, taking place this weekend, and Rozicki’s camp has been busy angling for a world title shot.

Barrie-born Zawadi, a four-time national champion and Canada Games gold medallist as an amateur, enjoyed a productive 2023, improving his pro record to 7-1 after victories against Jesus Arriaga and Gregory Miller.

The 22-year-old now faces southpaw Alejandro Lopez on the IBC Championship card at the River Cree Resort Casino just outside Edmonton, Alberta, on Saturday, January 20. His opponent, from Ciudad Acuna on the Mexico-Texas border, has a 5-4-1 record and hasn’t fought since suffering a TKO loss to Jesus Arriaga on his last outing in May.

“My training has been going very well,” Zawadi told IUOE Local 793. “I recently re-located to Toronto, and I’ve been getting the best workout. It’s really been upping my game and my skills, and I can’t wait to fight in front of all my supporters this Saturday.”

The fight is available on pay-per-view and can be purchased on fite.tv: https://bit.ly/3SljaSm

Zawadi’s father, Mark, three uncles and a cousin are all members of Local 793.

“Local 793 has been a huge help and a big part of my professional career,” Zawadi said. “They have been supportive of me since Day One. In 2024, I plan to make big moves, have a belt wrapped around my waist and become world ranked.”

Rozicki, who channels the legendary Jack Dempsey when inside the ring, took a giant step towards becoming WBC cruiserweight world champion after he scored his 20th career win in last December’s first-round technical knockout (TKO) of Olanrewaju Durodola – a victory that secured him mandatory challenger status in the division.

Just three months earlier, Rozicki had won the WBC NABF North American title with a 10th round knockout of Alante Green, in what was ranked one of the fights of the year.

Talks are now well underway between Rozicki’s camp and cruiserweight champion Noel Mikaelian’s manager Don King to work out the details of a title fight in May.

“I’m not sure where it will be yet, but the fight is on, for sure,” Rozicki said. “His best chance to beat me is to box and use the ring to try to stay away from me and beat me in the long stretch or on points. That’s the kind of style we have been training for, but if he wants to stand and fight that’s something I’m always ready for – that’s my style.”

While trying to predict the future is never wise for a boxer, Rozicki is planning to be an active world champion.

“The fight is scheduled for 12 rounds and we’ve tried to plan back-to-back fights before and things haven’t worked out because of injuries and concussions and things like that. This is a pretty serious fight, so we’ll see what kind of state I’m in after the fight.

“If everything goes to plan and I knock him out in the first round then I’ll be fighting again right away within the month – that’s my ideal plan!”

Rozicki, who hails from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but fights out of Hamilton, is the son of Local 793 Baffinland site rep, Bobby Currie.

Rozicki believes having the Union in his corner has helped him on his long road to the top.

“It has been a big help,” he said. “Sparring partners cost a lot because I’m at the level now where I can’t just spar against anyone, I have to fly in guys from England or the States to spar with me and they have to be paid.

“Food is also pricey – it’s like a race car, right, you don’t just fill it up at the local gas station, you have to get the best. So, when it comes to food, I have to buy all that organic stuff and it’s expensive. All of those costs add up and sponsorship is the key to even be able to do these training camps.”

Follow Moe on Instagram @moeezawadi
Follow Ryan on Instagram @ryan_rozicki