Seldin wears down Judah,
McGirt draws with Papot,
Williams upsets Alfano
By Alex Pierpaoli
Last night at the Turning Stone Events Center in Verona, NY, Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin stopped Zab "Super" Judah in round eleven to become the NABA Super Lightweight Champ. Seldin staggered the 41 year old Brooklynite in round three and worked hard to walk down the still-clever former two division champion. Watching all the action was this year's International Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2019 inductees, in town for Sunday's induction ceremony in nearby Canastota.
Returning to the ring for the first time in sixteen months, Zab Judah, 138.25lbs, had moments when he looked like the Judah of a dozen years ago, jabbing well behind the southpaw jab and circling effectively in spots. But 32 year old power-puncher, Cletus Seldin, 138.25lbs, of Long Island, NY, hacked at Judah with both hands relentlessly, forcing him to clutch and grapple often. On the inside Judah would try to keep his head close to Seldin's cheek, preventing the Long Islander from getting room to land a clean power punch. Seldin was content to chop at Judah's waist, landing heavy body shots and banging him with chopping, ugly but effective shots in each round.
In the third Seldin connected with a heavy right that made Judah do an awkward stutter-step towards a neutral corner. The Hebrew Hammer rushed in to finish things as the bell sounded to end the round. In the fourth Judah used distance and movement to buy himself some time and prolong what turned out to be inevitable. Seldin's chopping shots wore on Judah and despite flashes of his past speed, and single shots landed to the head of Seldin, Judah probably didn't win more than two rounds in total.
In the eleventh, Seldin connected with his hammer of a right and Judah's legs went rubbery again. Seldin jumped on him, slamming him with follow-up blasts along the ropes and forcing Ref. Charlie Fitch to step in and call the fight at 1:40 of the penultimate round.
With the win, Seldin climbed to 24-1 (20) with the victory and Zab Judah fell to 44-10 (30).
In the co-featured bout of the night, the son of 2019 IBHOF Inductee James "Buddy" McGirt, James McGirt Jr, 159.5lbs of Vero Beach, FL, had to settle for a draw against David Papot, 156lbs, of Saint Nazaire, France. McGirt Jr. boxed well in the early going, using a jab to bloody the nose of the Frenchman. Papot did much of the pressing while McGirt tried to stymie him with straight punches. As the rounds wore on Papot became more effective but many of the rounds were close, with neither fighter able to stun or hurt the other. The most heated the action got was in the ninth where each boxer landed meaner shots and drew the crowd back into the fight.
At the end of twelve the judges scored it 117-111 for Papot, 115-113 for McGirt Jr and 114-114.
With the even bout, Papot's record goes to 22-0-1 (3) while McGirt's moves to 27-3-2 (14).
In the fight of the night and the biggest upset on the card, Lavisas Williams, 131.5lbs, of Rochester, NY defeated Mario Alfano, 131.5lbs, of Rome, Italy by unanimous decision. In the classic match-up of boxer versus puncher, Alfano played the role of aggressive, onrushing slugger while Williams fleshed out his part as the slick, clever boxer using distance and jabs to control his opponent. Alfano had a great first round and hurt Williams to the body along the ropes. But the second was a different story. Williams adjusted beautifully and slammed jabs into Alfano's face as he came forward and blunted his rushes with lateral movement. The third round was close but after that Williams dominated and rid himself of any cobwebs and negative mojo from having sat on the shelf since a February twenty-sixteen kayo loss on ShoBox. On this night, Williams would not be denied his opportunity to shine in front of alumni of the IBHOF like Michael Spinks, Sugar Shane Mosley and Erik Morales and more, all watching from ringside.
At the end of 12 the judges saw it 78-74 x 2 and 77-75 all in favor of Rochester's Red Williams who improved to 9-1-1 (3) while Alfano sank to 13-1-1 (3).
The son of another IBHOF inductee, Alcibiade Duran Galvan aka Roberto Duran Jr, 147lbs, of Plantation, FL scrapped with Jonathan Pierre, 146lbs, of Vero Beach, FL. At the end of 4, the judges saw it 39-37 for Pierre, overruled by two scores of 39-37 for Duran Jr.
The offspring of Manos De Piedra picked up his third victory in as many fights, now 3-0 (2) while Jonathan Pierre lost for the first time, leaving Verona at 3-1.
Wendy Toussaint, 152.5lbs, of Huntington, NY defeated Lucius Johnson, 160lbs, of Compton, CA by unanimous decision. Toussaint boxed well over the six round distance but Johnson was durable and determined to last the distance. When the scorecards were read they were unanimous, 60-54 x 3, in favor of Toussaint.
In victory, Toussaint rose to 10-0 (4) while Johnson dropped to 4-6-1 (3).
In an all-New York clash, undefeated cruiserweight Alex "Lights Out" Vanasse, 190lbs, of Carmel, NY, met Eric "Caution" Abraham, 191.5lbs, of Schenectady, NY. Both guys were throwing shots that meant business from the start. Abraham's shots seemed more educated but Vanasse was more aggressive and awkward. But in the third Abraham connected with a big blast and sent Vanasse to the canvas. He got up and ref. Benjy Esteves allowed the fight to continue and it did for about ten more seconds. Abraham charged Vanasse and smashed him with two huge rights that put him down and out. Ref. Esteves waved off the fight at 1:52 of the 3rd.
Alex Vanasse looked alert as he left on a stretcher, now at 4-1 (4) while Eric Abraham climbed to 6-4 (3) with the victory.
In the opening fight of the night, Boubacar Sylla, 146.5lbs, of Cincinnati, OH defeated Marquis Hawthorne, 145lbs, of Waco, TX by an unpopular unanimous decision. Scores were 58-56 x 2 and 59-55.
Sylla improved to 10-0 (7) while Hawthorne dropped to 7-11 (1).