Hebrew Hammer registers 16th victory


Undefeated American light-welterweight Cletus Seldin – the self-styled Hebrew Hammer – is certainly living up to his nickname.

The Brooklyn-based 28-year-old made it 16 straight wins by beating Michigan’s Johnny Garcia with a fifth-round stoppage at the Huntington Theatre in his home state last month and is now rated at number 18 by the WBC.

It was his 13th early win with two unanimous points victories and a ‘no contest’ on his record. The latter result came about after his opponent suffered a badly cut eye after an accidental clash of heads.

Seldin is rapidly climbing the light-welterweight ranks and this latest victory was a first defence of his World Boxing Council International Silver Light-Welterweight crown.

The title is one of a number of spurious belts that abound in the boxing world, but it could lead to more meaningful fights in the near future.

Seldin is an out-and-out slugger and is hugely popular with the fans, especially at the Huntington Theatre, where has fought no fewer than 12 times, including his last eight bouts.

This latest win was televised live by ESPN in the States and in the UK.

After the victory, Seldin said: “Nobody is stronger than me at 140lbs. I’m fast, I’m strong. Nobody in the world can beat me. I’ll fight anyone at 140 lbs or 147 lbs.”

Seldin’s unusual first name is a tribute to Clete Boyer, an ex-New York Yankees third baseman and friend of his grandparents.

The fighter, who is immensely proud of his Jewish heritage, said: “I wear a Star of David on my trunks and my jacket, just like the old Jewish fighters and on the back of the jacket it says ‘Remember the Masada’.”

Seldin’s relentless go-forward style is a throwback to the 1920s and ’30s when great Jewish boxers like Benny ‘The Great’ Leonard, considered by many to be the best lightweight of all time, and Barney Ross, who won world titles in three weight divisions, fought regularly in New York.

Written by Stuart Brodkin

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