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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Seldin Scores Stoppage in Seventh after Slow Start

Cletus "Hebrew Hammer" Seldin knocked out William "Baby Face" Silva in the seventh round of their fight tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Seldin struggled to catch Silva in the first three rounds before he turned the fight in his favor in the fourth.

After a slow feel-out first round, the taller Silva used his five-inch reach advantage to great effect. Silva spent much of the opening round running for two reasons. He wanted to avoid eating an early overhand right while he was still a bit cold, and he wanted to see how Cletus would react to his movement. Seldin chased in the first, failing to cut off the ring.

Silva's movement in the next round had a different purpose. Having evaluated Seldin's attack in the first, Silva lured him in during the second. Seldin came straight in, which allowed Silva to pick off the Hammer as he charged forward. Silva then smoothly turned out of harm's way and reeled in Cletus once again. That second stanza must have given the "Hamma Heads," Seldin's rowdy followers, nightmarish flashbacks to his fight with Yves Ulysse in 2017. In that contest, Ulysse outboxed Cletus, scoring three knockdowns while Seldin chased in vain, becoming increasingly frustrated.

The third round wasn't much better for Cletus. Silva's feet slowed just a bit, but Seldin was still out of range. The Brazilian punctuated his boxing clinic with a hard right hand at the end of the third.

The situation looked dire for the New Yorker heading into the fourth. Silva started the round by lifting up Seldin, showing his dominance. It turned out to be his last gasp. Cletus, in his customary purple trunks with silver trim, decided to absorb a few punches for the opportunity to get inside and maul Silva. It worked and by the end of the three minutes, Seldin had smashed Silva with two hard straight rights. He had finally found his range.

Most of the fifth was sandwiched between two Seldin Specials- the overhand right. Silva still connected as Cletus came towards him, but those shots were like a cool breeze; Seldin surely felt them, but they didn't change his plans.

In the sixth, Cletus Seldin showed an ability to adjust on the fly that few felt he possessed. His objective for much of the round was just to touch Silva. Stick a jab in his face. Let him know he could be reached with the right. Seldin had switched southpaw a couple of times already, but in the sixth the switch seemed to throw Silva off his game. After the ten second warning, Cletus unleashed a right that wobbled Silva. It was a masterful display that set up what was to come.

The bell rang to open what would be the fateful round. Seldin jabbed, and then landed his signature punch. The overhand right crunched Silva's face. William's eyes rolled backwards. But he hadn't yet fallen, so Cletus launched another rocket. This one ended the night. Silva laid on the canvas with no hope of beating the count. Twenty four seconds into the seventh, the 35 year old Seldin achieved perhaps the biggest win of his career.

"I wanted to wreck everything, but I had to be patient," Cletus acknowledged after the fight, his first in nearly twenty months. His 26th win and 22nd KO against one defeat were for his late Uncle Frankie who passed not long before the fight. Silva tumbles to 28-4 with 16 KOs.

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