Joey Eye - Have Cut Will Travel! - Interview
Interview by Ken Hissner (May 18, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
How many times have you looked at the tube and seen this guy in the corner of a fight with swab’s over his ears and a big eye on the back of his red shirt? That is Joey Intrieri, better known by fight people as “Joey Eye”!
He has his hand in so many things such as his “Bam” title belts, acting career, cut man and advisor and just the kind of person when he enters the room you want to meet him! He is a trademark not only in South Philly where he run’s his gym at 15th and Washington but wherever the need for a top notch cut man is needed!

Intrieri is a member of the VBA Ring One. It’s the oldest fight group in the United States. In a business of cut throats and jealous back stabbers “Joey Eye” has been on the border of entering the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame for the past six years. One of his favorite cut men Eddie “The Clot” Aliano just got in last year so “Joey Eye” can’t be far behind. The city of Philadelphia has had some of the best over the years in Aliano, Adolph Ritacco, Milt Bailey, Leon Tabbs, Jimmy Williams, Willie Foulk, Ralph Citro, Stan the Cut Man and many others.
He took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions of which I am most appreciated to have him answer. Certainly some I never knew about him.

KEN HISSNER: Your favorite cut man would be who?

A tie between Eddie Aliano and Adolph Ritacco, and Stan the Cutman a close second. I learned so much from all three just listening and observing the ways they worked the corner.

KEN HISSNER: Who was your favorite fighter to work with? (He’d of had a field day with Henry Cooper or Chuck “The Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner.

Another tie, for I love to work with the guys who cut easily and are crazy characters, so they would have to be Joe Christy from South Philly and Matt “The Preditor” Vanda from Minnesota. Both are a real handful, crazy in and out of the ring, full of heart and always getting cut.

KEN HISSNER: Tell us something about your film background.

I got started in the movie business about 15 years ago when I ran into a guy who was in the biz, at a junk yard. He immediately saw me and said “hey kid you should be in the movies!” He liked my rough fighter’s face, with my pushed in nose and rough exterior, so with his help I dove in head first and haven’t looked back. I have been in about 25 movies, 3 plays, 2 commercials and 2 music videos. I have my own independent film production company called Lupara Productions. We have what is called a webisode show on the internet, called “Finders Keepers”. I play a rough mobster named Lil Nicky Scorzo. I also have started my own internet talk show called what else, “The Joe Eye Show”. This is where we have a ball with our guests who are from all aspects of show biz, movies, TV, singers, dancers, comedians, athletes and especially boxing people who always have the most interesting stories! My character on the show is a combo of Dean Martin and Andrew Dice Clay. Sort of a love me or hate me kinda guy. It comes easy for me as I am never at a loss for words!

KEN HISSNER: Tell us something about your brand new gym at 15th and Washington in Philly.

My show is filmed in my gym. The gym is doing remarkably well. We have people from all walks of life coming in to learn the great art of boxing. Many local fighters come in to ply their trade and many just stop by for some good sparring. We have a friendly clean atmosphere with 2 rings and brand new showers. Are all welcome!

KEN HISSNER: How did you get started in the boxing business?

I got started at the age of 10 when a friend was taking boxing lessons. The older kids used to make him beat on me to show his boxing skills. He convinced me to come with him to the Kensington Rambler Gym. I immediately fell in love with everything about it at the same time I was given the chance to run with Stallone in Rocky 2. I wound up on his shoulders. That really did it for me. I was definitely going to be a fighter!

KEN HISSNER: How’s that son of yours that you sometimes bring to our meetings?

My oldest son seems to be following in the old mans footsteps. He is only 11 years old but has already boxed in many bouts even at the legendary Blue Horizon. He was the star of a famous rock video and has acted in a few movies with me. They say he is a natural actor which I always give boxing credit with giving us the confidence to do our best at whatever we do. When he was born I named him after one of my favorite fighters, Vinny Paz. One of my son’s highlights was when I surprised him with a visit from Paz. He couldn’t believe his eyes when Paz walked in to meet him. He gave him some pointers and told him to always listen to your pop! He has your best interests in mind! We call my son “Baby Kid Paz”.

KEN HISSNER: How long have you been doing cuts?

I have been doing cuts continuously now for over 15 years, but I got my first experiences as a cutman while I was still an amateur fighter over 20 years ago. I had a friend who was fighting and wasn’t in shape and took the fight at the last minute. He asked me to work his corner. I could never let a friend down so I accepted. He got cut. I stopped the bleeding and the rest is history because I knew right then and there that is what I wanted to do when I got done fighting. Plus I had worked in a funeral home as a kid and took a liking to all the blood, kind of strange, but I’m definitely not a normal cat!

KEN HISSNER: What was the worst cut you had to take care of in a fight?

A few years back with local heavyweight John Poore. He was cut really bad over his left eye early in the fight. His eyebrow was almost hanging over his eye, but I stayed calm and cool plying my tricks and got him through the fight to a victory. All the while his well known promoter was screaming to me “save him Joey”! The other corner had Bronco McKart’s father in it and he said after the fight, “that lil’ s.o.b. really knows his shit”! Last weeks fight with Victor Vasquez wasn’t as bad a cut but it didn’t want to stop, because he drank a 5 hour energy drink before the fight which thinned his blood and pumped up his heart rate. I still just took care of biz and got him through to a disappointing draw.

KEN HISSNER: Do you have a day job?

Yes, I own my own auto salvage biz in south Jersey. Before that I had my own cement contracting company for 20 years. My company name is Hercules Auto Salvage. We buy junk cars and trucks for different metals and recycle them.

KEN HISSNER: Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, I love working on old classic cars and I used to do a sort of tribute to Evil Knievel. I called myself “Evil Eye” and I would jump an old motorcycle over 5 cars through a ring of fire. Sounds a little nuts but I love the adrenaline rush! It has been good talking to you and keep on punchin!

On June 4th Diane Fischer’s Dee Lee Promotions will headline at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City with North Philly’s Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante, 9-0, and formerly of South Philly and now out of Wildwood, Chuckie “The Professor” Mussachio, 15-1-2. TheWorld Boxing Federation U.S. light heavyweight title is at stake. Both boxers use “Joey Eye” in their corner so the Eye Man will end up in the corner of Mussachio due to also serving as an advisor for the popular boxer.

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