By Eric Duran
This Friday night, Joe DeGuardia in association with Star Boxing and ESPN present ESPN Friday Night Fights live from the from the Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York, as Cletus Seldin faces Johnny Garcia over 10 rounds in the Jr. Welterweight division.
Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (15-0, 12 KOs) is the current WBC Intercontinental Silver Jr. Welterweight champion. In his most recent bout, Seldin defeated Bayon Jargal by TKO in the 9th round. Seldin, a hard-hitting bull from Brooklyn, New York, takes a record of 6-0 into the ring at the Paramount Theater.
“If all works out from the work we’ve been doing, you’re still going to see pressure from Cletus,” says his manager Pete Brodsky. Seldin compares himself to a legendary Jewish fighter, Benny “The Great” Leonard, old school and rugged.
Garcia comes to the ring from Holland, Michigan, with a record of 19-2-1. Garcia was 0-1-1 in 2014, drawing with Moises Salas and losing to John Williams. Garcia holds a victory over Cuban amateur sensation, Yordenis Ugas, winning a spilt decision in 2012.
Garcia says he isn’t fazed by having to travel to the backyard of his opponent, declaring “I want to go to New York and do whatever it takes to get the win.”
In the co-main event, Welterweight Raymond Serrano returns to action for the second time in 2015, after a 23 month layoff between 2013-2014.
Serrano (20-2, 9 KOs) was a one-time hot prospect, starting his career out 18-0. After a UD against Kenny Abril on ESPN in 2012, Serrano dropped his next 2 bouts to prospect/contenders Karim Mayfield and Emmanuel Taylor. Serrano will face Jeremy Bryan.
Bryan’s (17-5, 7 KOs) name may not ring a bell with casual boxing fans. However, all five of his losses are to prospects and contenders. In his most recent bout, he lost a majority decision to undefeated, Mike Zewski (26-0, 20 KOs). 2 fights ago, he was giving current WBO Intercontinental Welterweight champion, Sadam Ali (21-0, 13 KO’s) all he could handle before dropping a spilt decision.
Also making an appearance on the card will be fringe contender Luis Franco. Franco (11-1-1, 7 KOs) was a stellar amateur from the Cuban national team. He was a 2004 Olympian who battled other amateur stars, Guillermo Rigodeaux and Yuriorkis Gamboa, before defecting in 2008. After starting a perfect 11-0, including a win over Eric Hunter for the WBO intercontinental Super Featherweight title, Franco is just 0-1-1 in his last 2 bouts, including a draw with undefeated fighter, Javier Fortuna. Franco will look to restart his career against Osumana Akaba.
Akaba (31-1-1, 24 KOs) is on a two-fight losing streak, including a loss to one-time contender, Edner Cherry. Akaba is a big puncher who will test whether or not Franco is still a contender or another faded prize fighter.