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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Where is Cletus Seldin Ranked?

Cletus Seldin is a 26-1 junior welterweight who has stopped 22 of his opponents inside the distance. He last fought on October 16, when he concocted a stunning comeback knockout over the respectable William Silva. It was his first fight in twenty months.

One of the four major alphabet organizations currently rates the 35 year old New Yorker as the eighth best challenger in the world in the 140 pound division. Another rates him number 14. The two others don't have him in the top 15.

Maybe Seldin is the eighth best junior welterweight in the world, maybe he isn't. Irrespective of the Hebrew Hammer's spot on any of the lists, the alphabet organizations' rankings are a joke. 

Jose Zepeda and Jose Ramirez are generally regarded as two of the four best 140 pounders in the world. According to two of the alphabet organizations, neither is even in their top 15. This isn't merely an issue of reasonable minds can differ. Alberto Puello is the number one challenger in one of the organizations, number 13 in another, and unrated in the other two. These sanctioning bodies care more about dollars donated than punches landed.

BoxRec is an invaluable service for recording fights, but its ratings system is famously broken. Seldin is the 59th best junior welterweight in the world according to BoxRec's flawed rankings. Cletus may not yet deserve to be as high at eighth, but he is surely better than 59th.

The Transnational Boxing Rankings and The Ring both do a better job with their rankings. Both have Ramirez in the second spot and Zepeda one behind him. The problem is they only include the top ten challengers. Seldin isn't on either list at this time. Tellingly, neither is Puello.

In any event, the best way to ensure a good ranking in the TBR or The Ring is to fight and win.

For a thrilling fight, Seldin could take on the Beast, Ivan Baranchyk, an all-action fighter who has lost three of his last four fights, albeit against excellent competition. For a battle against a name opponent, southpaw Anthony Yigit could be a good choice. Yigit religiously identifies as Muslim but also claims Russian Jewish heritage* and has wins over two former European champs, Joe Hughes and Sandor Martin. Ismael Barroso is another beatable opponent who is ranked #2 in the organization in which Seldin is #8. Barroso also has a win, albeit a controversial one, over the only man to best Cletus, Yves Ulysse.

Whichever direction Seldin and his team choose to take, hopefully "Da Hamma" won't have to wait another twenty months for a fight.

*Shout out to our friends at Jewish Baseball News for alerting The JBB about Yigit's Jewish heritage. When contacted, Yigit gave no indication he wished to be included in The JBB's coverage though.

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