By: Hans Themistode
Like many boxers before him, Cletus Seldin saw his boxing career come to a grinding halt thanks to the unwanted presence of a worldwide pandemic. With some of the biggest wins of his career occurring just before the shutdown, including against the likes of Zab Judah and Adam Mate, Seldin waited patiently for his chance to return. Now, after more than a year and a half on the sidelines, Seldin stepped through the ropes once again.
In the main event slot at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Seldin squared off against fringe contender William Silva.
At the age of 35, and desperate to recapture the momentum he once had, Seldin wasted no time in imposing his will. From the moment the opening bell rang, Seldin brought the action right to his opponent. He stood his ground in the middle of the ring and swung away with hard shots. Unafraid to get his hands dirty, Silva met fire with fire and slugged away.
In the second, realizing that Seldin wanted to continue his dogfighting ways, Silva opted to switch tactics and fought more on the outside. Despite the 34-year-old Brazilian boxing on his toes and moving, Seldin found a home for an overhand right and used a consistent body attack to slow his man down.
Silva though, showed no quit, regardless of the punishment he was enduring. While Seldin appeared to be sharp in the first few rounds, his endurance failed him during the middle rounds. As Seldin began breathing heavily, Silva pushed the pace. He backed his man into the corner in round five and had his way.
Although Seldin appeared to be laboring, he found his second wind in round seven. In front of a mostly pro Seldin crowd, the New Yorker didn’t disappoint. He pounded away at the midsection of Silva. Once enough damage was inflicted, Silva attempted to pin his hands down to ease the blows. That, however, worked in the favor of Seldin as he came right over the top and landed the fight-ending shot. While referee Benjy Esteves began his standing eight count, he quickly waved off their contest as Silva wailed in agony.
Considering not only the fashion in which Seldin closed the show but all of the trials and tribulations which occurred behind the scenes, the 140-pound contender is proud of what he was ultimately able to accomplish.
“This was the hardest training in my life,” said Seldin post-fight. “Just a year ago I was sleeping on the floor…after three cancellations of a fight, I am 100 percent giving myself an A+ on this. For all the hard work and determination I had to get here.”