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Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Cletus Seldin Wins Rough Fight by TKO

Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin earned a hard-fought TKO when he stopped Patrick “Yam Mallet” Okine in the sixth round tonight at Sony Hall in New York, New York, USA on a card promoted by Boxing Insider. Ending a two-year layoff, Seldin admitted, “The fight to get into this ring was so hard. I had so much emotion all day.”

Seldin made an appearance ringside to greet his parents about three hours before the fight. With twenty minutes until the opening bell, the “Hamma Heads,” Seldin’s legion of faithful fans, bellowed, “Hammer! Hammer!” in anticipation.

When the fight arrived, Okine was loose, dancing to the ring as Terminator by King Promise blared over the sound system. By contrast, Seldin seemed pumped and tightly wound.

Both men opened the bout with fireworks. Seldin attacked the body with rights while Okine launched dangerous left hooks. Okine’s left hook was almost the story of the fight.

In the second, the Ghanaian began to retreat to the ropes, another significant feature of the fight. Cletus couldn’t quite take advantage and Okine fought well off the ropes and out of the corner. Seldin ducked a left hook, but Patrick dipped and came up with a concussive right. That and a late left hook helped Okine carry the round.

By the third, the story mostly seemed set. A fatigued Seldin continued to bore his way forward. Okine kept retreating only to connect with hurtful left hooks. Cletus blocked many of them, keeping his right glove by his cheek, but enough got in to cause swelling around his right eye.

The fourth saw Patrick add a slight hesitation to his left hook, which threw off Seldin’s defensive timing. The New Yorker took the fifth when Okine spent some time running. Fans ringside felt Seldin was in trouble as his face continued to swell and Okine shoe-shined a couple times while trapped in the corner. The truth was Okine was fading, just as he had in his previous big fights.

Okine started the sixth strong with more fully-leveraged left hooks. At the exact moment Cletus looked to be in trouble, he unleashed two right hands that sent Okine tumbling to the canvas. Seldin next used his left Grant glove to smash Okine while the latter was on the ropes. Ref Ricky Gonzalez leapt in to stop the fight and save Okine from further damage.

Seldin advances to 27-1 with 23 KOs. Okine is now 22-6-2 with 19 KOs. Of all the well wishes Cletus received before the fight, he said one stuck out, “Win for Israel.”

Promoter Larry Goldberg joked that fans came to see the only Jewish boxer and the only Jewish promoter in the country. Other dignitaries at the fight included Hall of Fame promoter and matchmaker Russell Peltz, the estimable scribe Thomas Hauser, and legendary heavyweight great Larry Holmes.

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