A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Last Friday, ESPN featured Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin, an undefeated fighter from Brooklyn who hopes to follow up on the success of another recent New Yorker, Chris Algieri. Seldin was fighting in front of partisan crowd at the Paramount theatre in Huntington New York. Algieri, like Seldin, was an undefeated local fighter who manage to beat Ruslan Provdnikov before losing to Manny Pacquiao. Algieri made the leap to the big time and Seldin was hoping to repeat a similar path. Seldin faced the experienced Johnny Garcia and the first three rounds, Garcia showed that experience. In the first round, Garcia landed a solid right that forced Seldin knee to hit the canvas but the referee did not see the knee drop and Garcia was denied a 10-8 round. In the third round, the frustrated Seldin attempted a forearm shiver when both fighters tied themselves. Garcia was effectively jabbing and even landed solid left hooks around Seldin’s turtle defense to the body.
Seldin finally got his power going as he landed a solid combination including a big left hook that shook Garcia up halfway through the fourth round. Seldin pounded Garcia from one side of the ring to the other. Garcia went back to his corner with rubbery leg. Seldin jumped on Garcia in the fifth round, and landed big rights that sent Garcia reeling. Garcia didn’t answer back from the punishment he received as the referee stopped the fight.
Seldin defended his WBC International Silver belt, whatever that is and Seldin showed power. For the first three rounds, the more experience Garcia showed he could out box the slugging Seldin but Seldin power turned the tide in the fourth round. The question that remains is whether Seldin can overpower his opponents as he moves up against tougher opposition or be simply out foxed by a more experience fighter who can take his best.
While Seldin was making a name on the East coast, Pablo Cesar Cano fought Juan Carlos Abreu in a battle of welterweights on the West Coast. Abreu had 17 knock outs in his 18 victories and was the more athletic of the two fighters but as the fight progressed, it was obvious that Cano was the better technician. While Abreu connected on rights throughout the bout, Cano often countered Abreu and landed more punches. He also had more variety as he used not just straight rights but effective hooks and jabs plus he consistently got inside of Abreu. Abreu came out in the ninth round unleashing right hands with the idea of trying to change the fight as time was running out. Abreu managed to connect on rights and in the tenth round, he even managed to hurt Cano with a minute left in the final stanza. Cano hanged on before winning a majority decision as two judges had him winning but one had it a draw.
Cano-Abreu showed that in boxing, experience and paying attention to the technical side of the sport can defeat a superior athlete.