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Recovering Norwalk addict says boxing saved his life

When Norwalk's Joey DiMeglio hit the boxing scene in Las Vegas back in the '90s, he was on top of the world. But drugs and alcohol put him on a downward spiral that led to jail time. Now, he wants to give back.

Mark Sudol

Sep 28, 2022, 9:19 PM

Updated 661 days ago

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When Norwalk's Joey DiMeglio hit the boxing scene in Las Vegas back in the '90s, he was on top of the world.
But drugs and alcohol put him on a downward spiral that led to jail time. Now, he wants to give back.
"For me to be standing here, it's a shocker, it's a miracle," said DiMeglio.
The 57-year-old was a heavyweight champ in the '90s, taking jabs at his opponents on the Vegas Strip. He won nine of his 10 pro fights.
DiMeglio even had a chance to spar with Mike Tyson, but then an addiction to drugs and alcohol dealt him a heavy blow.
"You steal, you rob, you do things that is out of your character," said DiMeglio.
That led to 21 years in jail in both Nevada and Connecticut. At his lowest point, he realized he needed to teach the sport he loves to the next generation.
"Boxing saved my life - because if it wasn't for boxing, I wouldn't be standing here today," said DiMeglio.
DiMeglio believes boxing can help many addicts get back on their feet.
"It all stems right here. How you think, how you wake up in the morning and start thinking. The discipline from boxing helps to keep me straight today," said DiMeglio.
He says he's been straight for 10 years. DiMeglio is now teaching boxing classes at Hands Up Boxing in Norwalk.
"Never give up. Never give up because you can make it. I'm proof," said DiMeglio.


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