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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Preview of Seldin-Okine

Junior welterweight Cletus Seldin is scheduled to fight Patrick Okine on September 14 at Sony Hall in New York, New York, USA on a card promoted by BoxingInsider. Okine is a worthy opponent, but his style plays into Seldin's strengths.

Seldin (26-1, 22 KOs), who will turn 37 the week of the fight, is a twelve-year pro from Long Island, New York. Nicknamed the "Hebrew Hammer," Seldin is known for his wrecking ball overhand right. Cletus's weakness is that he has been outboxed before. In Seldin's lone loss, Yves Ulysse scored three knockdowns using a hit-and-don't-get hit style in 2017. In Da Hamma's most recent fight, William Silva spent some of the early rounds outboxing him before Cletus adjusted and scored a huge comeback KO in the seventh round of their 2021 fight.

Okine, who has spent half his life as a professional boxer, won't outbox Seldin. The 32 year old from Accra, Ghana is a dangerous come-forward banger. BoxRec lists his record as 20-5-2 with 17 KOs, but his TKO victory against journeyman John Oblitey Commey on December 23, 2020 hasn't been added to the site yet.

Nicknamed "Yaw Mallet," Okine often throws wide powerful punches with either hand. His overhand right is his best punch. He can counter with it, throw it off his jab, or lead with it when facing inexperienced opposition. His jab is usually a decoy, but he does have a nice left hook. As a shorter fighter, he doesn't really throw uppercuts, but he will attack the body. Okine's problem is both he and Seldin will look to land overhand rights, but Seldin is bigger, stronger, has a better chin, and his overhand right will get to the target faster.

Okine is a step below world level as a fighter, but he has world-level power. Though he lost a 2012 fight to future world champion Lee Selby by fifth round TKO, Okine managed to mark up both of Selby's eyes.

In 2018 against Jeremia Nakathila, a world class opponent, Okine landed some punishing overhand rights early. But the taller Nakathila soon took control of the fight by maintaining distance. After Yaw Mallet threw his wide shots, Nakathila effectively countered. The Ghanaian was knocked down in the second and fourth rounds, but referee Leslie Gross called both slips. Gross, however, didn't miss when Nakathila landed a hellacious combination that knocked Okine out of the ring and onto the concrete floor.

Okine doesn't have the best chin, but he has tremendous heart. Marching in a zombie-like state, he dragged himself back into the ring before the referee's count reached twenty. Thankfully, Gross stopped the fight anyway as Okine was in no condition to continue.

The Accra native looked flat in his fight against slick mover Patrick Ayi in 2019 and was lucky to come away with a split draw. After two wins in 2020, Okine received a shot in the third round from Jan Carlos Rivera this past March that was deemed low and their fight in Philadelphia was called a no contest. Upon review, the commission considered the blow legal and somewhat unfairly changed the result to a TKO victory for Rivera well after the fact. Against Rivera, Okine spent too much time covering up and was losing the fight.

Except for those fights against Ayi and Rivera, Yaw Mallet has an exciting style. If he doesn't go into a shell, Da Hamma and Yaw Mallet will bring fireworks.

Cletus's fight will stream live on BoxingInsider.com

Some Notes
Okine has been known to hitch his black and white striped trunks up to grandpa-level. Before the fight, Seldin's trainer should ask for clarification from the ref about the line of legality on Patrick's trunks to avoid another Usyk-Dubois controversy.

Okine likes to taunt opponents in the ring. So far, opponents haven't jumped on him while he's clowning.

Neither Seldin nor Okine lead with their head, but both are come-forward fighters, so headbutts are possible. Okine is shorter, so if there's a butt, his head may crash into Seldin's face.

Seldin is a fitness freak while Okine has faded in fights. This junior welterweight bout is scheduled for eight rounds, but the longer it goes, the more it favors Seldin. Whenever Cletus fights, however, a first round KO is always in play.

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