Jay Dehmalo, who also boxed under the names Jay D’mallo and Jay Dimalo, has dedicated over three decades of his life to training and coaching boxers, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Currently based at Title Boxing in Westlake, Ohio, Jay works alongside notable figures like Wilkins Santiago. Jay’s boxing journey began with Jake Luce from Erie, Pennsylvania, who managed him and suggested the name changes to enhance his ring presence. He fought out of Johnny Tocco’s gym in Las Vegas during the 1980s, where he followed in the footsteps of legendary coach Johnny Tocco, who trained former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston, forever connected to the historic bout against Cassius Clay, who later became known as Muhammad Ali.
Dehmalo’s experience extended beyond the ring, as he served as a sparring partner to heavyweight champions Trevor Berbick and Bonecrusher Smith, enhancing their skills and contributing to their successful careers. In addition to his contributions to the boxing community, Jay played a significant role as a case officer in a high-profile legal matter, involving the conviction and deportation of John Demanyuk, also known as “Ivan the Terrible,” a convicted Holocaust criminal.
Jay’s commitment to charitable causes is evident through his monthly donations to St. Jude’s in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also a proud member of organizations like EX-Boxers.com, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 2260 in Westlake, Ohio, and TWS, showcasing his dedication to various communities. With a professional boxing record of 5 wins and 3 losses between 1985 and 1986, Jay Dehmalo’s impressive legacy in the boxing world, military service as a US Army veteran, and involvement in the international boxing hall of fame invite in Canastota, New York in 2022 highlight his multifaceted contributions and unwavering commitment to the sport and his community.
Can you elaborate on your role as the appointed liaison officer for all the northern counties and sheriff’s jurisdiction of northern Ohio as an Enforcement Agent for the Department of Homeland Security? What were your primary responsibilities, and how did you collaborate with the sheriff’s office during your tenure from 2008 to 2016?
As a liaison officer, my primary responsibility was to establish and maintain communication between the Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement agencies in northern Ohio. This involved coordinating joint operations, sharing intelligence and information, and providing training to ensure that we were all working towards our common goal of ensuring public safety. I worked closely with the sheriff’s office to identify potential threats, respond to emergencies, and provide support whenever necessary. This collaboration was vital in effectively addressing the challenges faced by our community and protecting our citizens.
As part of your responsibilities, you provided in-person training and law enforcement briefings. Could you share specific instances where you conducted training sessions, especially focusing on protocols when encountering subjects with outstanding federal warrants and detainers?
One specific instance that stands out is when I conducted training for the Cleveland Police Department on handling subjects with federal warrants and detainers. During this session, I emphasized the importance of following proper protocols and procedures to ensure the safety of both officers and the subject in question. This included having a clear understanding of the warrant or detainer, obtaining accurate identifying information, and making necessary notifications to the appropriate agencies. I also stressed the importance of proper communication and de-escalation techniques to avoid any potential conflicts or risks.
During your time at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, how did your education contribute to your later roles, particularly in law enforcement and liaison work? Were there specific experiences or courses that influenced your career path?
My education at North Central College played a significant role in shaping my career path. The liberal arts curriculum provided me with a well-rounded understanding of various subjects, including history, politics, and sociology. These courses helped me develop critical thinking skills and an appreciation for diverse perspectives, which were crucial in my later roles as a law enforcement officer and liaison. In addition, I was able to participate in internships and volunteer opportunities that allowed me to gain hands-on experience and further solidify my interest in public service and community engagement. My time at North Central College greatly influenced my career path, leading me towards a meaningful and fulfilling career in law enforcement.
You have represented Vietnam veterans as a service officer for the VFW, specifically regarding petitions for Agent Orange exposure and successful appeals to the VA Board of Appeals. Can you discuss your advocacy work in more detail and share the strategies that contributed to your impressive track record of never losing a case?
My work as a service officer for the VFW allowed me to assist Vietnam veterans who were seeking benefits and compensation for Agent Orange exposure. This was a highly complex and challenging process, but I was determined to help these veterans receive the support they deserved. My advocacy work involved extensive research, gathering evidence, and building strong cases to support their claims. I also worked closely with medical professionals and other experts to ensure that all necessary information was included in the appeals. Additionally, I focused on effective communication and building relationships with VA officials to address any concerns or challenges that arose during the process. Ultimately, my strategy of thorough preparation, attention to detail, and collaboration enabled me to successfully represent Vietnam veterans and never lose a case. Overall, my experience as a service officer reinforced my commitment to serving others and fighting for justice and fairness. It was an honor to represent these veterans and make a positive impact on their lives. So, even after leaving the VFW, I continue to advocate for veteran’s rights through organizations like EX-Boxers.com, supporting initiatives that seek to improve the lives of our brave servicemen and women.
Your involvement as a sparring partner to heavyweight champions Trevor Berbick and Bonecrusher Smith is notable. How did this experience shape your understanding of boxing, and what contributions do you feel you made to their successful careers?
Sparring with champions like Trevor Berbick and Bonecrusher Smith was a fantastic opportunity that allowed me to gain valuable insights into the sport of boxing. I learned about the physical and mental demands of being a professional boxer and how crucial training is to success in the ring. As their sparring partner, I provided them with intense and challenging sessions that helped them improve their techniques and endurance. Additionally, I was able to share my knowledge and experience with them, providing advice and tips that they could incorporate into their training. Ultimately, it was a mutually beneficial relationship where we both learned from each other and contributed to each other’s success in the sport.
How about your role as a case officer in the conviction and deportation of John Demanyuk, also known as “Ivan the Terrible.” Can you delve into the details of this high-profile legal matter and your contributions to the case?
My role as a case officer in the conviction and deportation of John Demanyuk was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career. Demanyuk, known as “Ivan the Terrible,” was a former Nazi concentration camp guard who had been living in the United States for decades under an assumed identity. As part of a team investigating his crimes, I was responsible for gathering evidence and conducting interviews to build a strong case against him. This involved extensive research, coordination with international agencies, and collaboration with other law enforcement officers. After years of diligent work, Demanyuk was finally brought to justice and deported to Germany to stand trial for his crimes. It was a significant victory for the victims and their families, and I am proud to have played a role in bringing justice to those affected by his actions. It also reinforced the importance of international cooperation and coordination in solving complex criminal cases.
In addition to your boxing career and law enforcement work, you’ve been committed to charitable causes, including monthly donations to St. Jude’s in Cleveland, Ohio. What motivates your philanthropic efforts, and are there specific causes or organizations that hold a special significance for you?
Giving back to the community has always been a core value for me. Throughout my career, I have witnessed firsthand the struggles and challenges that many individuals and families face, and it has inspired me to do what I can to make a positive impact. St. Jude’s in Cleveland, Ohio is a cause that holds a special place in my heart. I have seen the incredible work they do in providing medical care and support to children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. This selfless act of helping those in need resonates deeply with me, and I am honored to be able to contribute to their mission.
As a proud member of organizations like EX-Boxers.com, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 2260 in Westlake, Ohio, and TWS, how do you see the role of community involvement in your life, and what benefits do you believe these affiliations bring to the communities you are a part of?
Community involvement is essential to me because it allows me to give back and make a positive impact on the people around me. Organizations like EX-Boxers.com, FOP Lodge 2260, and TWS provide opportunities for me to connect with others who share similar interests and values, while also working towards common goals that benefit our communities. These affiliations bring immense benefits to the communities we are a part of, including support for important causes, volunteering efforts, and advocacy work.
You have a professional boxing record of 5 wins and 3 losses between 1985 and 1986. Looking back, how do you reflect on your boxing career, and what lessons or experiences from that time have had a lasting impact on your life?
My boxing career taught me the importance of perseverance, discipline, and mental toughness. It was a challenging sport that required dedication, hard work, and constant self-improvement. Despite my record of 5 wins and 3 losses, I am proud of my accomplishments in the ring and the lessons I learned along the way. These experiences have had a lasting impact on my life, shaping me into the person I am today and instilling values that have helped me succeed in my other endeavors. My time as a professional boxer also taught me the importance of respecting your opponents and never underestimating anyone, both inside and outside of the ring.