“The Beast” Returns with First Round Stoppage Win!
June 30th, the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT: In the main event of Joe Deguardia’s Star Boxing “Slugfest at the Sun” Mastic / Shirley “Beast” Joe Smith Jr. firmly banged his way back into the win column with a first round wipeout of Kentucky, “Romantic Redneck” Melvin Russell.
A laborer for Local 66 by day and partner with his father Joe Sr. in a growing tree service, the 28-year-old Smith known to his growing fan base as “The Common Man” who ejected Philadelphia future Hall of famer Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins into retirement returned to the ring for the first time in nearly a year shaking off the rust recovering from suffered a jaw injury decking the overmatched and outgunned Russell flooring the “Romantic Redneck” twice in round one.
The first knockdown coming from a heavy combination punctuated by a Smith left hook to the body and big right to the head, Russell would be returned to the canvas just moments later walking the hurt clutching and grabbing Kentuckian down ripping him to the body dropping him to his knees prompting referee Steve Willis to immediately wave the fight over at 1:45 of round one.
Open to a rematch with Sullivan Barrera the win serving as a good shakedown and refocusing for fighting "Common Man", Smith Jr. has his eyes locked on Sergey Kovalev should he get past Eleider Alvarez, August 4th in Atlantic City.
Smith looking to the bigger names at the top of the division improves to 24-2, 20Ko’s while Russell drops to 11-5-2, 7Ko’s.
In the female welterweight eight round co-feature, Providence, Rhode Island’s, Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis coming off a hard-fought points loss to Cecilia Braekus in May made her way back into the win column scoring a convincing in your face 80-72 times three unanimous decision over Paty “La Elegante” Ramirez. The always aggressive Reis moves to 14-7-1, 4Ko’s while Ramirez winless in her last four drops to 11-6, 5Ko’s
Leading the undercard East Hartford, Connecticut, 23-year-old, super lightweight Anthony Laureano outclassed, out banged and out pointed Haymarket, Virginia’s, Juan Rodriguez, 59-55, 60-54 times two after six. Laureano improves to 8-0, 3Ko’s as Rodriguez dropping three straight sinks to 8-10-1, 6Ko’s.
In a six round super welterweight bout Huntington, Long Island’s Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint remained unbeaten stopping Worcester, Massachusetts, Andy Gonzales in three. Toussaint fighting with a distinct poise methodically dissected Gonzales flooring him once in rounds two and three forcing referee Steve Willis to stop the action at 1:25 of round three. Toussaint a Star Boxing “Rockin Fights” favorite improves to 9-0, 3Ko’s while Gonzalez stopped for the first time falls to 6-3, 5Ko’s.
New Haven, Connecticut’s, William Foster III and South Bend, Indiana's, Tyrome Jones had their scheduled six round super featherweight affair declared a no contest after Jones suffering a cut over his left eye from an accidental clash of heads the bout was called at 2:27 0f round two. Foster III moves to 8-0, 6Ko’s, 1NC while Jones slides to 4-3-1, 1Ko with 1NC.
In a six round heavyweight attraction New London, Connecticut, Cassius Chaney ran his unbeaten record to thirteen dropping Morelia, Mexico’s, over matched Elder “Baron” Hernandez twice forcing referee Steve Willis to save the kneeling “Baron” at 2:47 of round one. Chaney improves to 13-0, 7Ko’s while Hernandez stopped in his last three outings dives to 5-3, 3Ko’s.
New York, super lightweight Lawrence Gleeson, alias Larry Fryers, floored Douglasville, Georgia opponent Anthony Woods in round two enroute to a 59-53, 60-52 times two unanimous decision win. Gleeson / Fryers coming off a sixth round TKO loss to Nikolay Buzolinin April rights the ship at 7-1, 2Ko’s while the pay to play Woods drops to 1-7-1.
In a four round welterweight preliminary South Boston, Massachusetts popular Joe Farina picked himself up and battled back from a first round trip to the canvas to edge Orange, New Jersey’s, Steve Moore for a tightly contested 39-37 Moore, 39-37 twice for Farina split decision win. Farina moves to 3-0, 2Ko’s while Moore slides to 1-4, 1Ko.
Don’t forget your tickets for Star Boxing’s return of Joe Deguardia’s red hot “Rockin Fights” series to the Paramount September 21st.
Joe Smith Jr. Provided Early Fireworks
With 1st Round KO Win at Mohegun Sun
Targets Sergey Kovalev Title Shot In the Fall
Full “Slugfest at the Sun” Results!!
(July 1st) Returning to the ring after an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw, Joe "The Beast" Smith, Jr. provided early fireworks last night (Saturday, June 30) in the latest installment in the popular "Slugfest at The Sun" series, presented by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
"Slugfest at The Sun" was taped live and will air July 19, 8 -10 p.m. ET, on New England Sports Network (NESN). Star Boxing's next event, "Rockin' Fights", September 21 at the Paramount in Huntington, NY, will also air via tape- delay on NESN.
Rated No. 3 and No. 7 in the world, respectively, by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA), Smith (24-2, 20 KOs) hurt Melvin "The Romantic Redneck" Russell (11-5-2, 7 KOs) with the first punch he landed and finished the show, two devastating knockdowns later, in the opening round.
"I hit him with a decent shot when I was walking him down and saw that I hurt him," Joe Smith Jr. explained. "So, I looked to end it. I would have liked to have gotten some rust off, but I'm happy with my performance. My jaw feels great."
"We're looking to go to the top," Smith's promoter Joe DeGuardia stated. "Joe's plan and goal has always been to be world champion. We wanted (Sergey) Kovalev before this fight, but it didn't work out. We're hoping to get him in the fall."
"Kovalev looks great, he motivates me," Smith noted. "I think I can take advantage of his conditioning."
Coming off her historic fight this past May against the undefeated Queen of Boxing Cecelia Breakhus, who won a 10-round decision in the first female fight to air on HBO, three-time world champion Kali "KO Mequinonoag" Reis (14-7-1, 4 KOs) cruised past Mexican welterweight Patty "Las Elegante" Ramirez (11-6, 5 KOs), a former world title challenger, winning all eight rounds.
"She was a survivor," Reis commented. "There was a lot we wanted to work on, body shots, jabs and more ... getting more comfortable. I executed the plan my corner gave me and got the job done.
A Native American from Rhode Island, Reis wants a rematch with Breakhus, "I know I need to stay busy, active and remain fighting at welterweight to get the rematch," Reis added. "I'm going to stay on her tail. I'll be ready when it happens, I really want it to happen."
In the television opener, undefeated junior welterweight "Action" Anthony Laureano (8-0 3KO's) lived up to his nickname, never taking a backwards step, as he pounded Juan Rodriguez (8-10-1 6KO's) in the center of the ring from the opening bell through the end for a dominant six-round unanimous decision. The 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion Laureano, who fights out of East Hartford, CT, put on an entertaining show in front of his large, loud contingent of fans. Laureano effectively used every punch in his vast arsenal to break down a tough, game Rodriguez.
"I thought I did well," Laureano said after the fight, "but I'd like to see more angles. I want to see more power, too. It's there, he felt it; it's coming. I have a long road. Next fight, I'd like to have an eight-rounder. We're adding more people to the team. I hope everyone see that I'm getting better each fight. I have more tools and my discipline is there."
Undefeated junior middleweight Wendy "Haitian Fire" Toussaint (9-0, 3 KOs) lit up an overwhelmed Andy Gonzalez (6-3, 5 KOs), battering him from pillar to post, until referee Steve Willis waved off the fight in the third round. Haiti-native Toussaint, now living in Huntington, NY, used his superior power and speed to make an impressive statement.
Popular South Boston southpaw Joe Farina (3-0, 2 KOs) overcame a flash knockdown during the opening seconds of the fight, using a relentless attack to defeat junior welterweight Steve Moore (1-4, 1 KO), by way of a four-round split decision.
Irish junior welterweight "Lethal" Larry Fryers (formerly known as Gleeson) improved his record to 7-1 (2 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision over Anthony Woods (1-7-1). Fighting out of Yonkers NY, Fryers floored Woods with a left hook at the end of round two. Woods was penalized a point near the end of the final round for an intentional head butt.
Former U. of New Haven basketball star Cassius Chaney (13-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of New London (CT), kept his undefeated record intact, dropping Mexican heavyweight Elder Hernandez (5-3, 3 KOs) twice before referee Willis halted the match near the end of the opening round.
The opening bout of the evening ended in the second round and ruled a "No Contest" because of an accidental head butt that left both fighters -- William "The Silent Assassin" Foster III (8-0, 6 KOs) and Tyrome Jones (4-3-1, 1 KO) - with serious head cuts and unable to continue.
Gonzalez Stops Savi In “Rockin Fights 31” Main Event!
By: Coach K
June 8th, Paramount Theatre, Huntington, New York: Heading an abbreviated but exciting Star Boxing “Rockin Fights” return to the Paramount Woodhaven, New York, super lightweight Daniel “El Gallo” Gonzalez strategically dismantled Silver Spring, Maryland, veteran Justin “The Vodu” Savi in round two.
Gonzalez momentarily putting the evenings energy on hold with a feeling out first round drew the battle experienced veteran to the ropes for some heavy exchanges in round two flipping the script backing Savi to the ropes for a powerful combination drawing a referee Tony Chiarantano eight count.
A solid closer Gonzalez jumped right on the cagey veteran backing him to the corner for a repeat volley of punches forcing referee Tony Chiarantano to jump in and stop the pounding at 2:59 of round two. Gonzalez with back to back TO wins moves to 16-1-1, 7Ko’s while Savi having battled the likes of Malcolm Klassen, Rafael Mensah, Fatiou Fassinou, Jhonny Gonzalez, Rod Salka and Fabian Madiana falls to 31-17-2, 21Ko’s.
In the six round super welterweight co-feature Elmont, Long Island, “Pretty Boy” Tyrone James left no doubt finding, measuring and dropping Aiken, South Carolina’s, Keasen Freeman twice in round one with drilling right hands forcing referee Tony Chiarantano to call it a night at 2:43 of round one. James improves to 8-0, 5Ko’s while Freeman evens up at 4-4, 2Ko’s.
In six round super lightweight action Huntington “Hitman” Johnny Hernandez out hustled, out worked, out maneuvered and outscored Haymarket, Virginia’s, Juan Rodriguez landing with voluminous combinations to the body and head answering Rodriguez basic 1-2 offense with the cleaner, sharper punches for a convincing 58-56 times unanimous decision win. Hernandez improves to 9-3, 1Ko while Rodriguez slips to 8-9-1, 6Ko’s.
In a six-round pairing of unbeaten and contrasting styled featherweights Denver, Colorado’s, Andrew Strode out worked Coram, Long Island’s Michael Stoute to a tighter than scored six round unanimous decision.
Strode mostly working behind a mobile lead right hand quickly established the pace but never could turn the corner on the tight defensed, skilled counter punching Long Islander Stoute who appearing one body shot or check right hook away from turning the fight was a bit too patient and allowed Strode to steal some close rounds and a 57-57, 59-55 times two majority decision win. Strode improves to 5-0, 1Ko while Stoute losing for the first time slips to 3-1.
Kicking off the action in an exciting back and forth four round welterweight affair Brentwood, Long Island’s, Johnathan Arroyo was forced to settle for an uncommon unanimous decision draw over Douglasville, Georgia’s bull rushing Anthony Woods.
The more skilled Arroyo working an accurate southpaw right jab and long straight lefts battling Woods and a seriously cut right eye and swollen eye caused by repeated clash of forced to engage the wild swinging head first Georgian to a 38-38 times three unanimous decision draw. Arroyo improves to 3-0-1, 1Ko as the southern brawler Woods 1-1-1 in his last three slides to 1-6-1.
Don’t forget your tickets for Star Boxing’s June 30th “Slugfest at the Sun” headlining the return of the Long Island “Beast from the East” Joe Smith Jr. and the return of Joe Deguardia’s red hot “Rockin Fights” series to the Paramount September 21st.
Rockin Fights 31 Lights Up Long Island
With Fireworks from Opening Bell,
Danny Gonzalez Impresses In His First Main Event!
MAIN EVENT: DANNY GONZALEZ vs. JUSTIN SAVI
8-ROUND JR. WELTERWEIGHT
DANNY "EL GALLO" GONZALEZ did not wait long to show his dominance in Friday nights main event against JUSTIN SAVI. The first round saw exchanges from both men, attempting to find their distances. However in the second, Gonzalez took over, landing hard combinations to the body and the head of Savi, at one point so severe the ref stepped in to give a standing count. With only 1 second left in the 2nd round, Gonzalez unloaded on Savi, who he had pinned in the corner, until the ref stopped the bout as Gonzalez earned the TKO victory. Danny Gonzalez improves to 16-1-1 7KO's.
TYRONE JAMES vs. KAESEN FREEMAN
6-ROUND WELTERWEIGHT BOUT
TYRONE "PRETTY BOY" JAMES put the fans at The Paramount on their feet against, KAESEN FREEMAN. James used his length to find his distance against Freeman, and once he did, there was no looking back. A beautiful counter right dropped Freeman midway through the first, and with blood in the water, James refused to let it get away, viciously dropping Freeman with a straight right hand a second time, causing the referee to call a stop to the action, earning a KO victory. James improves to 8-0 5KO's.
JOHNNY HERNANDEZ vs. JUAN RODRIGUEZ
6-ROUND WELTERWEIGHT BOUT
JOHNNY "THE HITMAN" HERNANDEZ was in grudge match with Haymarket, Virginia native, JUAN de la cruz RODRIGUEZ. It seemed as the fight went on, Hernandez's combination became more crisp and more damaging. Rodriguez was unafraid to go toe to toe with Hernandez, and many time throughout the fight the two exchanged even blows at the center of the ring. When all was said and done, the judges scored a unanimous decision victory for John Hernandez.
MICHAEL STOUTE vs. ANDREW STRODE
6-ROUND FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT
Both MICHAEL STOUTE and ANDREW STRODE entered the ring, on Friday, without a blemish on their record. Both Stoute and Strode went into full tactical warfare, slipping punches, countering, and attempting to command the ring. Both fighters found success in different rounds in a number of ways, including Strode's quick straight right, and Stoute's body work. The fight was a true deadlock most of the way through, however, after the final bell, the judges scored majority decision win, in favor of Andrew Strode. Strode improves to 4-0 1KO.
JOHNATHAN ARROYO vs. ANTHONY WOODS
4-ROUND WELTERWEIGHT BOUT
JOHN ARROYO and ANTHONY WOODS opened the night of action with a four round fight that mainly included blood and bombs in which Arroyo was cut over his eye from a head butt, courtesy of Anthony Woods. The back and forth action from both men led to the scores of 38-38 on all three judges cards, a rare unanimous decision draw.
Joel “Big” Djeko Battles His Way to Earning
The IBO Continental Cruiserweight Title!
(May 14th) On Saturday night, May 12, JOEL "BIG JOE" DJEKO (now 13-2-1 7KO's) took to the bright lights of the Versluys Dome in Ostend, Belgium in search of not only his 13th victory, but the IBO Continental Cruiserweight title. Across from him stood no easy task in undefeated Argentine, MARIANO GUDINO (now, 12-1 7KO's).
Gudino came out of the gate fast, using his quickness to evade the attack of Djeko. Through the first half of the fight, it was an even grudge match as Djeko and Gudino consistently exchanged blows at center ring, bringing the fans to their feet.
By the sixth round, Djeko began to find his mark, advancing on Gudino, landing devastating combinations on the Argentinian. Hurting Gudino in both the seventh and ninth round, with two flush left hands that found a home on his temple, the Argentine showed a relentless will, unwillingly to go to the canvas.
The battle went to the judges, in which all three scored in favor of BIG JOE, 96-93 (3x), earning Djeko the unanimous decision victory over the previously undefeated Gudino, and the title of IBO Continental Cruiserweight Champion.
STAR BOXING CEO JOE DEGUARDIA had this to say about Djeko's performance, "Joel put on a great show in Belgium. He deserved to win the title and we are proud to represent the newly crowned IBO Continental Cruiserweight champion. He has put the division on notice, and I believe he will be a force to be reckoned with at the elite level of the Cruiserweight division."
Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin
Undergoes A New Form of Tommy John Surgery!
(April 5th) After three fights in as many months and becoming only the third fighter to ever appear on HBO in consecutive months alongside legends MIKE TYSON and ROY JONES JR., CLETUS "THE HEBREW HAMMER" SELDIN (21-1 17KO's) now finds himself in a battle of a different kind.
Having aggravated an elbow injury after his 10-round unanimous decision win, in September, at The Paramount in Long Island, Seldin took HBO and NYCB Live by storm as the opening bout of the DANNY JACOBS vs LUIS ARIAS card, destroying ROBERTO ORTIZ (35-2-2 26KO's) in front of a rowdy, Hammerhead filled crowd.
In November, Seldin yet again pushing pain aside, went north of the border, fighting in Montreal, Canada, against highly touted prospect YVES ULYSEE JR. (15-1 9KO'S) on HBO. Having been knocked down three times, Seldin showed immense strength, fighting through the pain of his elbow, and the first adversity in his career, finishing the 10-round fight, losing by unanimous decision.
Seldin was diagnosed with a UCL tear and elected to have an alternative to the common Tommy John surgery on February 8th at Stony Brook Hospital on Long Island. This surgery conducted by Dr. James Paci, placed an internal brace, ulnar nerve transposition and olecranon osteophyte excision in Seldin's left arm. By electing to go this route, Seldin has the potential to cut rehabilitation time in half.
Seldin had these remarks on his surgery and future, "After my most recent appointment with Dr. Paci, he has stated that I'm ahead of schedule and hopefully within the next 4 weeks i will be able to hit a speed bag. I'm more excited than ever to get back in shape and back in the ring to do what I do best. Thank you to all of my fans for their continued support."
You will be able to see Cletus ringside at "Rockin' Fights" 31, live from The Paramount, in New York on June 8th, cheering on his fellow Star Boxing stablemates as he continues to recover from his surgery.
Pennington Edges MartinezIn Star Boxing
“Rockin Fights” St. Patrcick’s Day Showdown!
(March 17th) Friday night, Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing presented the 30th edition of the popular "Rockin Fights" series at the Paramount in Huntington, NY, and number 30 will go down as one of the most memorable events in the recent history of club shows.
From top to bottom every fight had the enthusiastic crowd on their feet and produced fireworks all night. The main event 8 round Jr. Middleweight contest saw the streaking Courtney Pennington of Brooklyn, NY, pull off his 4th consecutive upset as he squeaked out a unanimous decision over the Bronx's Steven Martinez in an absolutely savage fight that could easily be a fight of the year candidate for fights on this level.
The two warriors went at it from the opening to the closing bell bringing the fans to a frenzy as they stood toe to toe for the last 30 seconds of round 8. There was little to separate from the 2 combatants and in the end it was Pennington who won by scores of 77-75 on two cards, and 78-74 on the third. Pennington improves to 12-3-2 5KO's while Martinez drops to 18-4 13 KO's.
Equally as exciting was the 6 round Jr. Lightweight match between Puerto Rico's Angel Suarez (7-2 3KO) and Elmont, NY native Titus Williams (7-2 2KO). The action was fast and furious throughout. Suarez dropped Williams with a straight right hand in round 1 but Williams fought himself back into the round by landing hard shots of his own. The fighters stood toe to toe for almost the entire fight as both took turns landing vicious punches. Suarez pulled off the upset as he walked away with a unanimous decision.
Danny Gonzalez (15-1-1 6KO Woodhaven, NY) bounced back nicely from his last fight, a shocking TKO loss at the hands of Danny O'Connor, stopping the very tough Juan Rodriguez (8-8-1 7KO Haymarket, VA) in the 5th of a scheduled 8 round Jr. Welterweight fight. Keeping with the pattern of the evening the two fighters stood toe to toe for much of the fight with both landing hard shots. The 5th and final round saw Gonzalez hurt Rodriguez with a left right combination and finish him off with a flurry of punches forcing referee Tony Chiarantano to bring a halt to the action against the game Rodriquez.
Valerio Nocera, (4-1-1 Roma, IT) won a hard fought 6 round decision over Alexander Picot ( 2-5-1 Hartford, CT) in a Lightweight fight.
Johnathan Arroyo (3-0 1KO Brentwood, NY) survived a 4th round knockdown to win a majority 4 round decision over debuting Derron Lawson (0-1 Philadelphia, PA) in a Welterweight fight.
Promoter Joe DeGuardia had these thoughts on the evening "These fights reminded me of the golden age of boxing when club shows flourished throughout the state of NY. These were really great, fan-friendly fights and much respect to all 10 warriors who fought their hearts out and put it all on the line out there tonight". Added Matchmaker Ron Katz "Pennington-Martinez was the closest thing I've seen to the legendary battle I put together many years ago between Merqui Sosa and Prince Charles Williams, and Suarez-Williams wasn't far behind".
The next scheduled date at the Paramount is set for Friday, June 8th.
Star Boxing’s "Showtime" Anthony Karperis
Bounces Back With Impressive Win!
(January 27th) Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing presented the latest edition of the 'Rockin fights' series last night at the Paramount in Huntington, NY before a completely sold out crowd.
The main event saw Hicksville, NY native Anthony "Showtime" Karperis, improve to 15-3 5KO with an impressive 10 round unanimous win over the ever so tough and game Nicaraguan, Nelson Lara, who falls to 17-10-4 9KO by scores of 100-90, and 99-91 on the other two judge's scorecards. The bout was contested in the jr. welterweight division.
It was a fast-paced action fight as Karperis, displayed great hand speed and impressive combinations throughout the 10 round bout. Lara, to his credit never stopped coming forward as he was more than willing to exchange punches with Karperis. Both fighters gave it their all, but it was Karperis in the end coming away with a hard fought and well-earned victory.
Tyrone "Pretty Boy" James improved to 7-0 3KO as he dispatched Brazilian, Alex Duarte DeJesus at 1:45 in the 3rd round of a scheduled 6 round jr. welterweight match up. Both fighters exchanged freely to the delight of the crowd.
It was close affair after 2 rounds with each fighter scoring significant punches. James was the flashier of the two combatants and put together a beautiful three punch combination that had DeJesus attempting to hold on and survive. James, to his credit, wouldn't allow any time for survival as he closed the show with a vicious onslaught as referee Al LoBianco Jr. stepped in and called a halt to the action.
42 year-old Scottish born cruiserweight Shaun Kennedy made his pro debut against 1-5 Darius Flowers in a scheduled 4 round cruiserweight bout. The Huntington based entrepreneur Kennedy had a huge and loud following cheering him on as entered a professional ring for the first time. Kennedy started out well by dominating the action, until he ran into a straight right hand thrown by Flowers which dropped him. The game Scotsman beat the count, but was then caught by a sharp left uppercut causing referee Tony Chiarantano to put an end to things at the 2:42 mark of the 1st round. Flowers improves to 2-5 2KO while Kennedy goes to 0-1.
Huntington based Jr. Welterweight Wendy Toussaint, 8-0 3KO, continued to impress as he stopped Rochester's Saadiq Muhammad, 4-2, at 1:12 of the 1st round of a scheduled 6 round jr. middleweight fight. Both guys started well engaging each until a beautiful straight right hand by Toussaint caught Muhammad flush on the temple. Muhammad slumped into the ropes and referee Danny Schiavon stepped in and stopped the fight as he was dazed and hurt.
The opening bout of the evening saw Coram, NY featherweight Michael Stoute improve to 3-0 as he won a unanimous 4 round decision over Rochester native Sequan Felton who drops to 2-3. Scores were 40-36 on 2 cards and 39-37 on the third
Promoter Joe DeGuardia had these thoughts on the night's affair "This was our 29th event at the Paramount and once again the fighters performed to a sold out crowd. The atmosphere was electric all night and once again Long Island Boxing fans show why they are among the best. Congratulations to all the fighters who participated on the show and we look forward to our next event here at the Paramount on March 16th".
Star Boxing Year In Review
As We Head To Our First Show of 2018!
(January 22nd) 2017 was certainly a memorable year for Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing. 2017 marked the continued dominance of former Jr. Middleweight world champion Demetrius Andrade. While Andrade captured a second World Championship in Germany over Jack Culcay (March 11, 2017, WBA Championship), October saw Andrade stepping up to the Middleweight division in a shutout performance on HBO over Alantis Fox. Andrade hopes 2018 will see him in with the top fighters at 160 lbs.
2017 saw the emergence of "The Hebrew Hammer", Cletus Seldin on the world stage. Seldin had 3 fights in 4 months including two in consecutive months (November and December) on HBO, a distinction held by only Mike Tyson, Roy Jones and now Cletus Seldin. Seldin looked sensational in his November appearance, destroying Roberto Ortiz (at the new Nassau Coliseum) and saw Seldin crowd pleasing style likened to Rocky Marciano and Jake Lamotta. December on HBO didn't go so well and Seldin had his first schooling, losing a wide decision to Yves Ulysses Jr. in Canada. Seldin injured his elbow early in that bout and is undergoing 'Tommy John' surgery next week. Look for a speedy recovery and Seldin's return late spring.
2017 saw one of America's favorite warriors, Joe Smith Jr. in his first bout after a spectacular 2016 where he was runner-up for fighter of year, upset of year and knockout of the year after his successive knockout victories over Andrzej Fonfara and legendary Bernard Hopkins. In 2017 Smith wasn't as fortunate, as, in spite of dropping top rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera in the first round with Smith's now famous punching power, Smith lost a decision. The always dangerous Joe Smith Jr. fought bravely for 10 rounds with a severely broken jaw - demonstrating his blue collar, union-made American grit.
2017 also saw the continuance of Star Boxing's popular "Rockin Fights" series at the Paramount in Huntington, NY. CEO Joe DeGuardia showed his former boxer grit in keeping the series going despite the prohibitive insurance costs in the state of New York.
Star Boxing also continued its equally popular and long-standing "Slugfest at the Sun" series at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. Many of the other fighters under the Star Boxing banner had a tremendous year including the success of undefeated prospects Tyrone "Pretty Boy" James, Wendy Toussaint, and "Action" Anthony Laureano. Veterans Constantin Bejenaru and Courtney Pennington had big years as well. Bejenaru won the WBC International and Continental Americas Cruiserweight title as he continued his climb up the world rankings and defended his titles as well in 2017. Courtney "King Pen" Pennington scored 3 straight upset wins over Boyd Melson, Khiary Pitts, and Delvin Rodriguez earning the UBF International Super Welterweight Title.
New additions to the Star roster also remained busy, including Belgium cruiserweight prospect Tambwe "Big Joe" Djeko, former two-time women's middleweight world champion, Kali "KO" Reis whose exciting performance at Mohegan Sun earned her a promotional agreement with Star Boxing and Massachusetts fan favorite Danny O'Connor, who likewise earned a signing as a result of his performance on that same Mohegan Sun show.
Fellow Star Boxing stablemates Danny Gonzalez, Anthony Karperis, Johnny Hernandez, the Burrell brothers, Scott and Dean, all remained active and Light Heavyweight contender Yuniesky Gonzalez promises to make 2018 an even bigger year for Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing.
Star Boxing found much success in 2017 from many different avenues including the sold out "Rockin' Fights" series, the Mohegan Sun series "Slugfest at the Sun," that is now being televised by NESN, the appearance of Star Boxing fighters on the likes of HBO and Showtime and Star's excellent and continuing successful relationships with many promoters in the industry such as Golden Boy, Top Rank, Matchroom Boxing, and others. With the success of veteran fighters, and the signing of new and exciting talent, 2018 will prove to be yet another successful year for Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing.
(December 17th) Junior welterweight CLETUS "The Hebrew Hammer" SELDIN, (21-1, 17 KO's) of Long Island, New York lost for the first time on Saturday night against Canadian YVES ULYSSE JR., (15-1, 9 KO's) at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada. The ten-round fight was the televised opener on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Joining boxing legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. as the only fighters to appear on HBO in consecutive months, Seldin was neutralized by his opponent, but Seldin still pressed the action from the opening bell against the elusive Ulysse.
Despite being dropped in each of the first three rounds, Seldin valiantly continued throughout the fight in the hopes of hurting and stopping Ulysse.
"I was not expecting him to move so much, I figured in front of his home town fans he would stand and fight more," said Seldin, "I tried my best to make a fight of it and refused to let the knockdowns keep me down. The knockdowns didn't really affect me, I just got up and went to work. I like the combat, it was the chasing that got to me. I just want to brawl."
Seldin continued, "I'll be back, I promise you that, I hate to lose and I'll be a much better fighter next time. I'm a fighter who likes to entertain the fans and bang. I'm sorry I couldn't catch him. I promise I am going right back into the gym as soon as they let me and I will fix some things so this never happens again. This fight motivates me even more and I promise I will make 2018 the year of the "Hebrew Hammer."
JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and President of Star Boxing stated, "Cletus never stopped trying to win and he kept trying to make it a fan friendly fight....Styles make fights. I knew Ulysse was highly skilled boxer but he moved much more effectively than we expected. We congratulate Ulysse and his team."
"Cletus has now fought three times since September 28. Amazingly, Cletus has asked me to get him back into the ring in January. However I've told him to take a couple weeks off and we will bring him back early 2018. Regardless of the result this past Saturday, Cletus has the style and tenacity that fans want to see and he will be back strong in 2018."
Seldin vs. Ulysse served as the TV opener for the main event featuring WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders successfully defending his belt against former IBF World Middleweight Champion David Lemieux.
(November 26th) Last night, Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing presented another rendition of the "Slugfest at The Sun" series at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, CT. The card was headlined by Crusierweights Constantin Bejenaru and Thabiso Mchunu who fought for Bejenaru's WBC International Cruiserweight title in a 10 round bout.
Bejenaru came away with a unanimous decision victory over Mchunu, the mandatory challenger, defending his WBC International title sucessfully. The bout often times saw each fighter playing the game if cat and mouse with one another. There was a brief explosion by Bejenaru in round 7 as he dropped Mchunu with a picture perfect left cross but Bejenaru couldn't capitalize on his opportunity to knockout Mchunu. In the end the scores were 98-91 and 97-92 twice, all in favor of Bejenaru who improves to 13-0 3KO'S while Mchunu drops to 18-4 11KO'S.
The undercard certainly thrilled the crowd of some 3500 people at the Mohegan Sun arena, who were on their feet often throughout this exciting night of action.
The semi-final saw a shocking result as previously undefeated Queens, NY native Daniel Gonzalez suffered his first defeat as a pro at the hands of Framingham, MA native, Danny O'Connor in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds with the vacant WBC Interntional Silver Super Lightweight title at stake.
The fight was a barn burner from the opening bell as both fighters traded freely much to the delight of the crowd. O'Connor had the edge in the 1st round but Gonzalez opened a nasty cut over O'Connor's left eye in round 2 as both fighters continued the torrid pace. Round 3 saw Gonzalez picking up where he left off in round 2 until a perfectly placed left hand by O'Connor found its mark on Gonzalez dropping the Queens native who gamely arose but was in no shape to continue forcing referee Steve Willis to call a halt to the action at 0:39 seconds of the 3rd round. O'Connor ups his record to 29-3 11KO'S and in the process wins the WBC International Silver Super Lightweight title while Gonzalez drops to 14-1-1 5KO's.
Hometown favorite Anthony Laureano won a hard fought majority 6 round decision over Johnny Hernandez by scores of 58-56 twice, and 57-57 in a Jr. Welterweight fight. Laureano, who hails from nearby East Hartford, CT and Hernandez who calls Bayshore, NY his home, fought a fast pace, highly skilled fight that had the fans on their feet cheering throughout. There was little to separate the 2 fighters as they engaged each other freely over the course of the fight. Laureano improves to 6-0 3KO'S while Hernandez drops to 8-3 1KO.
A special attraction 6 round female Middleweight fight between Kali Reis and Tiffany Woodard brought the house down. Reis, who had a huge following in attendance, started fast, throwing bombs with both hands landing flush on the chin of Woodard who showed an incredibly strong chin as well as a huge heart as she tried to fend off the assault of Reis. The action was non- stop throughout the fight and by the time the 6th and final was coming to an end the crowd was in an absolute frenzy. The 2 fighters received a well deserved standing ovation as Reis came away with the unanimous victory by scores of 60-54, 60-53, and 59-55. Reis improves to 13-6-1 4KO'S while the tough Woodard drops to 4-9-3 3KO'S.
New Haven Light Heavyweight Charles Foster improved to 14-0 8KO'S scoring a 5th round TKO over Quentin Rankin, 12-4-2 9KO'S, in a bout scheduled for 8 rounds in the Light Heavyweight division.
In another war on the card, Dan Murray bested previously unbeaten Valerio Nocera, who was making his U.S. debut by scores of 38-37 twice for Murray while Nocera won on the other judges card by the same score of 38-37, in a 4 round Jr. Welterweight matchup. A debatable 3rd round knockdown scored by Murray was the difference in the fight. Murray improves to 3-1 while Nocera falls to 3-1-1.
Sequan Felton, 2-2, upset debuting Bridgeport fighter Carlos Marrero in a 4 round Jr. Lightweight contest by scores of 40-35 twice, and 39-35. Marrero drops to 0-1.
Promoter Joe DeGuardia had these comments on the night's action "While the main event may not have been all fireworks and bombs, the rest of the card was. From start to finish the undercard and co-feature had everything you could ask for, knockouts, close matchups with razor thin decisions and upsets.
This show exemplifies why we have loyal fans in the New England area and at Mohegan Sun as they appreciate he unpredictability, and great matchups that has become customary with a Star Boxing card."
MISSED LAST NIGHTS FIGHTS? DON'T WORRY...
STAR BOXING has made a deal with NESN SPORTS to have last nights "SLUGFEST at the SUN" fights aired on tape-delay next Sunday, December 3rd. More information to follow! Stay tuned...
(November 13th) Long Island's CLETUS "THE HEBREW HAMMER" SELDIN improved to 21-0 with 17 knockouts, with an outstanding third round knockout of ROBERTO "MASSA" ORTIZ, (now 35-2-2, 28 KO's) on Saturday night at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
As soon as the fight started, Seldin pursued Ortiz with his typical relentless style. Seldin dropped Ortiz twice in the opening round. The first knockdown was the result of a thunderous right hand that landed on the temple. Seldin continued attacking Ortiz in his crowd pleasing tenacious style throughout the round and fight.
Opening up a huge cut over Ortiz left eye with a massive right cross in the second round, Seldin earned the stoppage with a barrage of power punches in the third stanza as referee Shada Murdaugh called a halt to the carnage (2:43) of the scheduled 10-round junior welterweight bout.
"This is what I do, I'm the Hammer," said Seldin. "I know what I'm capable of in the junior welterweight division and I'm ready to take on all comers, any of the top names. I belong on HBO in big fights."
"My fans have been seeing me do this for the last couple of years at The Paramount on Long Island. I'm thrilled we were able to do this at the Coliseum and on HBO. I can't wait to fight here again where we can fill the place with the 'Hamma Heads'".
"Boxing always needs new stars and tonight in Cletus Seldin the sport has a new one," said JOE DEGUARDIA, President and CEO of STAR BOXING. "We're very thankful to Peter Nelson and HBO for the opportunity, clearly Cletus was ready to take advantage of it."
"We look forward to a big year for Cletus in 2018 with bigger opportunities and working with HBO on bigger fights at Nassau Coliseum."
Cletus Seldin's performance was tremendous and electrified the crowd, many of whom were the "Hamma Head" fans that were seen tailgating in the Nassau Coliseum parking lot before the event. Fans, media and HBO commentators were overwhelmingly impressed with the punching power and refreshing style of Seldin, which is truly unique and pleasing to watch.
STAR BOXING'S TYRONE JAMES REMAINS UNDEFEATED
Undefeated, Long Island welterweight prospect TYRONE "PRETTY BOY" JAMES, also performed under the bright lights of the Nassau Coliseum by decisively winning his 6-round bout against veteran DANIEL SOSTRE. After dropping Sostre in the first round, James cruised to a victory as he utilized his height and length to create space, letting his hands do the rest. James improves to 6-0 3KOs.
DANNY JACOBS AND JARRELL MILLER ALSO VICTORIOUS
The fight card at NYCB LIVE brought exciting fights to the Long Island fans all night. In the co-feature heavyweight showdown, JARRELL MILLER earned a TKO in the 9th round, earning a victory over 6'8" MARIUSZ WACH. In the main event, Brooklyn's DANIEL JACOBS decisively took down LUIS ARIAS to earn his 33rd career win.
(October 22nd) Last night at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in Verona New York, undefeated two time Jr. Middleweight World Champion, Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade (Providence, RI, 25-0 16KO's), made a successful debut in the Middleweight division by dominating previously unbeaten Alantez "Slyaza" Fox (Forestville, MD, 23-1-1 11KO's) over 12 rounds of action. All three judges had Andrade ahead by scores of 118-110, 118-109, and 116-111. Andrade captured the vacant ABO Middleweight title. The bout was seen live on the popular HBO Boxing After Dark series.
Andrade, promoted by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing and Banner Promotions, came out strong in the first round and had Fox in serious trouble after landing a beautiful straight left hand to the chin, but to Fox's credit, he was able to hang on and survive the round. Andrade used a balanced attack and maintained an aggressive style throughout the fight. There were many times over the 12-round distance where Andrade seemed to have Fox on his heels, utilizing a powerful body attack, along with quick combinations to the head. Fox had no answer for Andrade's attack as he out landed Fox 158-52. In the end, the decision was never in doubt.
Andrade had these comments after his decisive win, "I did everything I needed to do. It was a great experience to go 12 rounds at this weight. Fox is a tough kid, and after I hurt him early in the first round, he recovered well. He wasn't sloppy and he knew how to survive..."
Promotor Joe DeGuardia had these comments about Andrade's middleweight debut, "I was very impressed with how Demetrius systematically broke down the much taller and bigger Fox. This was not an easy fight as Fox has an unusual height for a fighter in the middleweight division and an awkward style, but Demetrius never wavered throughout the fight and looked very impressive in winning just about every round. I look forward to matching Demetrius with the elite members of the middleweight division, and will look to do so as soon as possible, as we want to keep Demetrius busy and on the rise."
The Andrade - Fox bout was promoted by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing, Banner Promotions and A-Team Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment.
(October 1st) In search of his 12th win, 6'6", Joe "BIG JOE" Djeko stepped in against Tamas Kazma in his native Belgium, and got right to work.
In dominating fashion, "BIG JOE" took the fight to Kazma, in front of his hometown fans, and earned the TKO stoppage in the 3rd round, of the scheduled 8 round Cruiserweight tilt.
Star Boxing head, Joe DeGuardia had this to say about Joel's win, "Joel showed last night one of the reasons we signed him. He is a crowd pleaser in Belgium and could soon be a real threat in the Cruiserweight division. His massive frame and punching power will have boxing fans eager to see "BIG JOE" in the ring."
By: Coach “K”
September 28th, Paramount Theatre, Huntington, New York: In the main event of an abbreviated but entertaining Star Boxing “Rockin Fights 28”, Shirley, Long Island’s hard-hitting welterweight Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin returned to the ring scoring a hard fought but persuasive ten round unanimous decision over Marseille, France’s, cagey and very durable veteran Renald Garrido.
Making his ring return following an almost fifteen-month extended medical pause Seldin appearing to start a bit dry needed some time to shake off the rust breaking into a well-earned sweat and finding his rhythm in round three.
Finding his usual bob and weave, rock and roll power attack Seldin working his way through several testing rounds including switching stances, employing changing tactics and targets up and down took control bloodying the clever Frenchman’s nose in round six.
The battle tested veteran Garrido, incensed on holding up his end of the escalating war reached deep into his defensively sound war chest battling on behind a frequently tested high guard protected chin offering up an alternating series of counters and tough leads, boxing and trading his way through the gap closing closing rounds.
Enduring the best “The Hebrew Hammer” had to offer Garrido despite proving he was more than worthy of the trans-Atlantic trip, was unable to match the “Hammers” punching power finding himself on the business end of the Long Islander's newly found “nail gun” and the short end of a 98-92 times three unanimous decision. Seldin remains unbeaten at 20-, 16Ko’s while Garrido having battled the likes of Serhiy Fedchenko, Yves Ulysse Jr. and Frankie Gavin falls to 19-16-2, 3Ko’s.
Opening the night Queens, New York southpaw super middleweight Vincenzo D'Angelo remained unbeaten winning a four round unanimous decision over Bronx, New York’s, Brandon Bey.
The more active and accurate punching D'Angelo's speed, power, accuracy and determination convincingly proved Bey had bit off more than he could chew in his pro career opener out boxing and out slugging the former Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Champion to a 40-36, 39-37 times two unanimous decision win. D'Angelo moves to 3-0-1 while Bey stars out 0-1.
In a special demonstration Star Boxing commentator, two-time New York Golden Gloves Champion and NBC’s TV show The Biggest Loser, trainer Cara Castronova gave the Paramount Theaters loyal boxing fans an example of her "Knockout Obesity Foundation" boxing mitts workout with the help of New York’s young and talented Sophia Marquez.
In a scheduled six round super lightweight affair, East Hartford, Connecticut’s, 22-year-old, Anthony Laureano displayed his advanced skills and development methodically breaking down and stopping Detroit, Michigan, 33-year-old, veteran James “Motor City Bad Boy” Lester in four.
Laureano working his long jab early on obliged and matched the more experienced Lester’s body attack matching him shot for shot before taking down the “Motor City” veterans guard and dropping him face first to the canvas with a well-timed left hook in round four prompting the Michiganers corner to call for referee Sullivan to end it at the close of round four. Laureano improves to 5-0, 3Ko’s while Lester sinks to 11-13-1, 4Ko’s.
(Rob Smith, John “Iceman” Scully, Joe Smith Sr.
The “Irish Bomber” Joe Smith Jr. Star Boxing promoter Joe Deguardia)
Joining the Pramounts loyal fans for the show was Flushing, Queens, New York, former heavyweight contender Vinnie Maddalone, Star Boxing super lightweight Anthony “Showtime” Karperis, Hartford, Connecticut’s, light heavyweight contender, TV boxing analyst and renowned trainer John “Ice Man” Scully and Star Boxing’s “Irish Bomber" Joe Smith Jr.
Rockin' Fights are sponsored by Modell's Sporting Goods, Legacy Advisors, The Inn at Fox Hollow, Camelot Limo, Montauk Ice Tea, TiedIn Media, and WBAB.
ABOUT STAR BOXING ®
For a quarter century, Star Boxing keeps on swinging! Star Boxing has consistently delivered boxing events of the highest caliber and attracts loyal fans from all corners of the globe. From the Antonio Tarver - Roy Jones trilogy to the meteoric rise of Chris Algieri and Joe Smith Jr. from the Rockin' Fights Paramount Series, Star Boxing continues to work with and develop world rated contenders and red hot prospects into future world champions. Star Boxing is revered worldwide throughout the industry for its credibility, integrity, and exciting fights.
(July 29th) Saturday night, July 15th, Mastic/Shirley New York former WBC International Light Heavyweight Champion Joe Smith Jr. boldly faced once beaten Sullivan Barrera on HBO’s Boxing After Dark. Amongst all the criticism after the bout it was diagnosed for the second time in his young career with a broken jaw.
With Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Cleveland Sullivan holding the Guinness Book of Records for being hit by lightning seven times in boxing the idiom “Lightning Never Strikes Twice” took another hit. The second “lightning strike” came Saturday night July 15th at the Forum, Inglewood, California, when after flooring challenger Sullivan Barrera in round one the 27-year-old power punching Smith Jr. trained and managed by the “Fighting” Capobianco’s was forced to battle on with was later diagnosed as a fractured jaw. First detected at UCLA Medical Center on the west coast, Smith returning home would have his jaw wired at Stony Brook University Hospital near his home. This would be the second time the valiant warrior Smith battled under such conditions.
While broken jaws are uncommon, nothing new to boxing. You can go back to English bare-knuckle champion Tom Cribb’s breaking of former US slave and American’s real first world champion Tom Molineaux’s jaw in their savage contest back in 1811 through Muhammad Ali’s 1973 highly glorified broken jaw battle with Ken Norton and one thing is certain facing such an adversity is not just a sign of courage but gives us a snapshot into the mindset of the fighter and his team.
As many of the Monday morning quarterbacks have criticized Smith Jr.’s corner for not stopping the fight, I see it much differently. Let’s look at some of the facts. Smith a distinguished amateur beginning with numerous, junior, novice and open titles going on to win two New York Golden Glove titles turned pro in 2009. Winning his first six bouts all coming by KO Smith would face his first real adversity amateur or pro August 7th, 2010 in just his seventh pro fight facing Lawrence, Massachusetts, Eddie “Thunder” Caminero, the new pro battled four rounds with was post-fight diagnosed as multiple jaw fractures.
Returning to action eleven months later, winning his next fifteen, eleven of those victories coming inside the distance against an increasing level of competition including Otis Griffin, Michael Gbenga, Cory Cummings and Will Rosinsky. The old school fighting Irishman would go onto make the most of of his biggest opportunity June 18th, 2016 stopping former WNC Light Heavyweight challenger Andrzej Fonfara in one round.
Readily excepting his next challenge, four months later Smith would again make the most of an opportunity launching Philadelphia boxing methuselah and future Hall of Hamer Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins out of the ring and into retirement in eight rounds. Smith labeled the “Common Man” by Hopkins before their bout, Smith continuing his fight anyone, anywhere attitude unhesitatingly excepted the fight to face once beaten Barrera.
Putting aside the rumors of a bruised jaw in his last sparring session prior to the fight, when you consider that at no time did the young talent ask for or show any open display of wanting the fight stopped.
A throwback fighter in search a world title, Smith understanding his position going into the fight made a personal choice to continue. In fact, after the contest the young “Irishman” immediately went onto praise his team for their judgement and support.
To understand this further if you have to consider the fact the heavy-handed Irishman always armed with a one punch solution thoroughly understood his chances and possible consequences having been in this position before. Whether it was potential for further injury or more important to him the fact that the fight being stopped at this juncture of his career with the potential of a meeting for the winner to face former WBC World Champion Sergey Kovalev in November on the line a stoppage loss would severely handicap the young boxer/puncher in his world championship bid.
Having the advantage of hindsight and no further damage having been sustained and Smith now recovering from the second surgical procedure on his jaw I think it should be perfectly clear to any and all Team Smith doubters fully knowing the consequences and odds the choice they made to fight on was the right one. After all, in today’s hide and seek, protect the zero-boxing mentality who knows when the next opportunity, if any would come. To me Smith and his team not only made the right decision but in my mind made a choice consistent with his let’s fight mentality.
Knowing Smith since he was a young teen and having witnessed his steady progression as a fighter, specifically his skills as a boxer since coming under the tutelage of a pair former fighters Phil and Gerry Capobianco. To me it is clear to see the confidence and self-assurance Smith has not only in his punch but the years of boxing awareness and expertise they bring both in and out of the ring. It is that along with a genuine and almost parental care about their charge that I think allows Smith the fighter to clearly look forward and stay focused on the task at hand.
Now 23-2, 19Ko’s the hard working, union backed 27-year-old boxer / laborer, after commending his opponent Barrera for his performance has not shown any sign of regret and remains entirely focused on his recovery and his return to his quest for a world title.
What might that quest entail? Promoted by Joe Deguardia’s Star Boxing, Smith with a five month return prognosis, medically cleared, could return with a potential take the rust off comeback fight around December or early 2018, potentially setting up a financially rewarding long talked about fight against former amateur rival and sparring partner Seanie Monaghan.
Ironically or in the stars Monaghan suffered his first defeat the same night July 15th, to Staten Island 2012 Olympian “Sir” Marcus Browne. That quick plan being just one of many options alone justifies Smith’s desire to continue to battle Saturday night, after all he is the one facing the punches. The Monaghan loss most likely calling for a step back return fight of his own sync’s up two very popular Irishman on a collision course perfectly timed for St Paddy’s Day at Long Island’s newly renovated Nassau Coliseum.
One thing is for sure, Smith no stranger to adversity again proved he is NO ordinary Joe. Admitting after fight that there were moments he contemplated giving in to the increasing pain, quickly cited his corners positive input reinforced and re-energized his desire to continue. It is with that in mind if you consider Smiths current position you could easily draw parallels to the great Irish light heavyweight and future heavyweight champion “The Fighting Marine” Gene Tunney.
I’m not making a comparison of skills, talent or power but of a situation similar to the position Smith found himself against Barrera. On May 23rd, 1922, Tunney in his first and only defeat after having had his nose severely smashed, both eyebrows cut and bleeding from the nose and mouth early in his Light Heavyweight Title challenge of reigning champion Harry Greb, “The Fighting Marine” once verbalized his choice to continue stating: "during that fight he rationalized to himself that if Greb couldn’t finish him off, he would be the better man."
Again, not to make a direct comparison of Smith to Tunney but it is with that same mindset that Tunney would turn that mental victory into a Hall of Fame career going on to face the future Hall of Famer, Greb four more times without a loss, later claiming the World Heavyweight title scoring a ten round unanimous decision over one of the sports most popular champions Jack Dempsey.
Tunney was 25 for the first Greb fight. So, before we jump to conclusions when it comes to Smith, as true boxing fan, I just ask that at this stage of Smith’s promising young career we all just take a deep breath, sit back and watch to see what is this old school tradesman’s next move brings.
(July 29th) The term "Theatre of the Unexpected" is often used in Boxing, and on Friday night July 28th at the Paramount in Huntington, Long Island, NY, Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing certainly provided the capacity crowd with something they won't soon forget.
The main event saw local hero Anthony "Showtime" Karperis of nearby Hicksville take on the Bronx' Louis Cruz. The two waged a fierce battle throughout the fight taking turns battering each other until a vicious uppercut by Cruz in the final seconds of the 9th round dropped Karperis.
Karperis was visibly hurt and Cruz swarmed in with a flurry of punches and closed the show with only one second left in the round as the referee called the fight off. Karperis was dominating the round and had Cruz pinned in the neutral corner when out of nowhere the debilitating punch was delivered. The fight was nip and tuck the whole way with the balance of the fight to be decided in the final two rounds. Karperis drops to 14-3 5KO while Cruz improves to 12-3 6KO's. The bout was scheduled for 10 rounds in the Jr. Welterweight division.
The co-featured 8 round lightweight bout saw Brooklyn's Dean Burrell, 12-1-1 9KO's battle it out with upset minded Carlos Osorio, 13-7 5KO's from El Viejo, Nicaragua. Burrell was looking to capitalize on his last Paramount appearance, a stunning KO of Huntington's own Johnny Hernandez, but ended up in the fight of his life as the two fought each other from the opening to the final bell much to the delight of the capacity crowd. Osorio was the aggressor the entire fight but Burrell stood his ground and traded freely with Osorio. In the end the judges were split, with one judge scoring the bout 77-75 in favor of Burrell, another 77-75 in favor of Osorio, while the third and deciding judge saw the fight even at 76-76, thus resulting in a draw. A rematch would be in order for this terrific fight.
Undefeated Welterweight Tyrone James from Elmont, Long Island, improved to 5-0 3KO's as he destroyed the usually durable and tough Alexander Picot, 2-4-1 Hartford, CT, inside of one round. James wasted no time as he jumped all over Picot unleashing hard shots to the head and body. Picot was left virtually helpless against the ropes forcing the referee to call a halt to the action. The bout was scheduled for 6 rounds.
The opening fight saw Rochester, NY native Sequan Felton score his first win as a pro as he ruined the pro debut of NYC fighter Harrison Barba by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice. The action was thrilling between these two young fighters as the aggressive Barba went right after Felton who threw some eye-catching combinations of his own. After 4 rounds of this fast paced Lightweight fight the unanimous decision was announced in Felton's favor as he improves to 1-2 and Barba falls to 0-1.
Jr. Middleweights Abner Guadalupe of the Bronx and Newark's Simon Saye also went to war for 4 rounds. After the dust cleared the bout was ruled a majority draw. Scores were 39-37 for Guadalupe, which was over ruled by matching scores of 38-38 by the 2 remaining judges. Guadalupe is now 0-0-1 while Saye is 0-1-1.
Promoter Joe DeGuardia had these comments at the conclusion of the night's action "This was a very exciting show in which the fans saw evenly matched bouts where 2 resulted in draws and also two upsets. It shows that our fights at the Paramount are predictable in only one way: the fans get to see exciting fights where the outcome is not pre-determined. I'm very proud of Anthony Karperis who fought his heart out, and Cruz who fought a smart fight. I know Anthony will come back stronger and better than ever when he returns and we look forward to his return. One thing for sure, when you fight with heart and determination like Karperis did, you earn a return to our shows whether you win, lose or draw. It is why I can't say enough about the effort all of these warriors put forth in front of another capacity crowd at the Paramount. My hat is off to all of them. I also thank all of our sponsors and our great fans for an evening we won't soon forget".
(July 17th ) Popular Long Island light heavyweight contender JOE SMITH JR. (23-2-0, 19 KO'S), gritted his way through Saturday's ten round battle with SULLIVAN BARRERA (20-1-0, 14 KO's), after suffering a broken jaw early in the 2nd round. Even with a broken jaw, Smith Jr. dug deep to fire away at the skilled Barrera until the final bell, in which he ultimately fell short by scores of 96-93 and 97-92 twice.
In a fight that had the cheering crowd on their feet throughout, Smith and Barrera went to war from the opening bell. Prior to breaking his jaw, Smith wasted no time showing his sheer power as he drilled Barrera with a hard left hook to the forehead in the opening round sending Barrera sprawling to the canvas. Barrera, hurt from the knockdown, showed his proven grit and determination by rising and finishing the round.
Although having his jaw broken in the second round, Smith continued to fight hard throughout the fight which featured excellent two-way action. Smith showed a great chin and tons of heart as he tried his best to fight through a debilitating injury. Smith landed some heavy blows stunning Barrera on occasion but Sullivan outworked him to grab the decision on the judges scorecards.
"Joe knocked down Barrera hard in the first round but in the second round he sustained a broken jaw," said JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and President of STAR BOXING. "It's a similar injury to the one he suffered five years ago and frankly it's amazing that he continued to valiantly fight over the next eight rounds and finish the fight."
In his only other previous loss, Smith also suffered a broken jaw against Eddie Caminero five years ago.
Continued DeGuardia, "After spending part of Saturday night at the UCLA Medical Center, Joe will have surgery later this week in New York and we'll know more then about a time frame for his full recovery. We congratulate Sullivan Barrera on his victory."
We at Star Boxing are extremely proud of Joe for fighting this fight under such extreme conditions as are all his fans who came to the fight last night from Long Island and those who watched on HBO. Joe Smith is a true warrior and epitomizes what a real fighter is supposed to be.
Pennington Shocks Rodriguez
at Mohegun Sun for 3rd Straight Upset Win!
(May 12th) Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing® presented the first ever live stream "FIGHT NIGHT LIVE" last night from The Mohegan Sun Arena seen live and free over Facebook as 40,000 viewers watched in and saw Courtney Pennington (11-3-2, 5KO'S Brooklyn, NY) score his third straight upset win and best of his career taking down perennial contender Delvin Rodriguez (29-9-4, 16KO'S Danbury, CT) over the 10 round distance in the Jr. Middleweight division.
In the main event, the younger and quicker Pennington boxed deftly throughout the contest as Rodriguez tried to apply pressure and be the aggressor. Courtney was in control of the fast paced fight, although Rodriguez had his moments, landing heavy blows. Heading into the 10th round Delvin knew he was behind on the cards and had his best round as he swarmed Pennington landing some very heavy punches, but in the end it was too little, too late as Pennington took the unanimous decision by scores of 98-92, 98-92, and 97-93.
The semi-final 6 round Jr. Welterweight match, Danny Gonzalez (14-0-1, 5KO'S Woodhaven, NY) pounded out a shutout victory of the very experienced Samuel Amoako (21-15, 15KO'S Silver Springs, MD). Gonzalez was in complete control and got in some valuable work over his grizzled veteran opponent.
Recent Star Boxing signee Anthony Laureano (4-0, 2KO'S Hartford, CT) and NYC's Syndey MacCow (4-6, 3KO'S) had the fans on their feet through an unbelievable 6 round war in the Jr. Welterweight division. MacCow started fast winning the first two round against his ever-pressuring opponent but Laureano started to find his mark in the 3rd round with vicious combinations to the head and body. The action was fast and furious! The 6th round turned out to be a frenetic one as the fighters stood toe to toe, trading bombs as the crowd went wild. In the end it was Laureano coming away with a unanimous victory, 58-56 on all cards as the crowd cheered wildly in appreciation of the two warriors.
In a special 6 round Female Jr. Middleweight fight, former world champ, Kali Reis (11-6-1, 5KO'S Providence, RI) had all she could handle from Ashleigh Curry (7-11-4, 1KO St. Joseph, MO). The women put up a thrilling battle but it was Kali squeezing out the razor thin majority decision. Scores were 58-56, 58-56, and 57-57.
Hartford Jr. Middleweight Jose Rivera improved to 3-1, 3KO'S as he took out Roosevelt, LI native Marcus Beckford (3-7-3, 1KO) at the 1:50 mark of round 4. The bout was scheduled for 6 rounds.
Pro debuters Omar Bodoy of nearby Danbury, CT and Jonathan Rojas of Jersey City, NJ fought a crowd pleasing 4 round Jr. Lightweight match which saw Bodoy winning a 40-36 decision on all three judge's cards. Every round was very close as both youngsters fought their hearts out.
The opening bout of the evening pitted Richie "Popeye" Rivera (2-0 2KO'S Hartford, CT) and Marco Parente (0-1 Toronto, CN) in a 4 round Light Heavyweight fight. From the opening bell the two fighters waged a back and forth brawl electrifying the crowd. The end came at the 2:27 mark of the 4th and final round as Rivera landing numerous crushing blows breaking Parente's nose and causing a stop to the fight.
From top to bottom this was an exciting, competitive card and the fans enjoyed every minute of the action packed event. Promoter Joe DeGuardia had these thoughts on the evening's festivities, "What an unbelievable to kick off our new venture on Facebook "FIGHT NIGHT LIVE". The title of the show was Slugfest at The Sun and the fights really lived up to the billing. Our streaming of the show live on Facebook was a smashing success as over 40,000 viewers watched in and the comments left were unbelievably positive. I truly believe this could be a very positive showcase for Boxing and I'm confident it will grow into something unique and special".
For more on "Fight Night LIVE" coverage (click here)
Star Boxing Turns Back the Clock at The Paramount
Results from Sensational Rockin 26 Show!
(March 26th) St. Nick,s Arena, The Hippodrome, Eastern Parkway, Ridgewood Grove, these were the legendary fight clubs that made New York the mecca of Boxing back in the day and last night before a SOLD OUT and wild SRO crowd at The Paramount in Huntington, NY, promoter Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing put on a show that brought back the glory days of boxing.
In a night that highlighted loss of 'club shows' in NY, Joe DeGuardia became the first promoter to run a such a professional boxing show in NY since August of last year. DeGuardia did so in spite of the tremendous increase in costs due to the law passed at the end of the summer which crippled NY boxing for the past 7 months. DeGuardia was out to make a point how vital these types of shows are in providing starving New York fighters and local fans with activity. It was like DeGuardia put back on the gloves he used when he became a NY Golden Gloves champion in 1988 as DeGuardia took on the new outrageous Insurance rules and costs that were implemented by the State of New York. DeGuardia scored a knockout by delivering a show to remember.
MAIN EVENT CAPS A SENSATIONAL SHOW
The main event saw Hicksville's NY Anthony "Showtime" Karperis ironically defend his NY Jr. Welterweight title against Brooklyn's Scott "Bang Bang" Burrell in a scheduled 10 round bout. The bout electrified the crowd which had already witnessed a thrilling nigh of undercard action.
Both fighters fought extremely well over the first 3 rounds with Burrell being the aggressor while Karperis moved smartly while landing crisp counter punches. The action was fast and furious and the SRO was so loud you couldn't hear yourself talk.
After 3 rounds the fight was still up for grabs but that all changed at the 2:00 mark of round 4 when Karperis landed a clean right left combination which clearly had Burrell wobbled. Burrell stood his ground and fought back bravely but Karperis seized the moment and went for the knockout pinning Burrell against the ropes. At this point the crowd was in a frenzy as the 2 warriors exchanged fiercely. Then Karperis landed a monstrous right hand followed by a blistering barrage of punches on Burrell which caused referee Pat Sullivan to step in at 2:58 of the 4th round. It was a thrilling finish. Burrell and his corner, to their credit wanted to continue the fight, exhibiting the warrior desire that all fighters had in this thrilling show. Karperis improves to 14-2-1 5KO's while Burrell drops to 12-3 8KO's.
With a sold-out crowd and Karperis' electric performance, DeGuardia is one step closer to developing his next local star as Karperis ticket appeal is rivaling that of other graduates of Star Boxing's famous Rockin' Fights series at the Paramount, including Chris Algieri, Joe Smith Jr. and Cletus Seldin.
The sold out crowd also saw a star-studded audience including conqueror of the legend Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith Jr. who was there to support his Star Boxing team and home base. Joe Smith Jr., who is becoming a celebrity in NY, even though embracing the 'Common Man' moniker, received a special watch from Star Boxing and Icelink for his tremendous 2016 where he was considered by many to be Fighter of Year. The Hebrew Hammer, Cletus Seldin, another Star Boxing banger and Paramount favorite was also in attendance.
Doing the commentary was former Golden Gloves champion and star of 'the biggest loser' tv show Cara Castronuova and Showtime commentator and former world champion Paulie Malignaggi and Hall of Fame HBO commentator, the lovable Harold Lederman.
UNDERCARD ALSO THRILLS SOLD-OUT SRO CROWD
The semi final 8 round Jr. Welterweight matchup saw Woodhaven's Danny Gonzalez keep his undefeated record intact by defeating a tough Jerome Rodriguez who hails from Allentown, PA. Gonzalez fought his usual non stop action fight and dominated the tough Allentown fighter. Gonzalez swept the scorecards of all 3 judges by margins of 80-72, 79-73, 79-73 and improved to 13-0-1 5KO'S while Rodriguez drops to 7-6-3 2KO's.
Dean "Bad Newz" Burrell, twin brother of Scott, scored a shocking and clean knockout of local favorite Johnny "Hitman" Hernadez in a Lightweight bout that was scheduled for 6 rounds. The southpaw Burrell landed a crushing straight left to the Huntington native dropping him in vicious fashion for the 10 count. Burrell improves to 12-1 9KO's while Hernandez drops to 8-2 1KO.
Welterweight Tyrone James, 4-0 2KO's, Elmont, NY had a tougher than expected time with Alabama's Quincy Brown, 1-5 1KO but prevailed on the judges scorecards over 4 rounds by scores on 40-36, and 39-37 twice.
The opening bout set the tone for the night as Wyandanch, NY Lightweight Terrell Bostic improved to 3-0 with a hard fought victory over Staten Island's Grashino Yancy, 2-2 1KO by scores of 39-37 on two cards and an even 38-38 on the third securing the majority decision for Bostic in the 4 round Lightweight contest.
DEGUARDIA HOPES TO IGNITE FIRE
Promoter Joe DeGuardia had this to say about the evening's events: "This was our 26th show at The Paramount and despite the virtually impossible restrictions placed on all of us because of these new laws in NY, we pulled it off. This was a thrilling night of action, with an electric atmosphere and sensational matches. Every single fighter on the show came in tremendous shape and every one of them fought their hearts outs. I applaud every fighter that was on the show and they are all welcome back. I also thank our fans at The Paramount, who are the greatest fans anywhere and turned out in record numbers for this show. I love their enthusiasm. I made my point how important these types of shows are to our great sport and NYS. I am hopeful that Albany has taken notice and does something about this crippling and illogical law so that other promoters throughout New York will be able to also resume doing these types of shows. I am also glad we had the support of many of our fighters, including Paramount stars such as Joe Smith Jr and Cletus Seldin and other boxing luminaries including Paulie and Harold, both of whom contributed their sensational broadcasting skills to our taped show".
Star Boxing’s Marc Pagcaliwangan Wins in Canada,
Zac Dunn Loses in Australia!
(MARC "El Gwapo" PAGCALIWANGAN WINS BY KO in Toronto)
(March 20th) Star Boxing undefeated Super Banatamweight Marc "El Gwapo" Pagcaliwangan improved to 10-0-1 (8 KO's) with an impressive 3rd round KO of Mexico's Emmanuel Villamar, 8-2 (1 KO) at the Powerade Center in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
This was the first fight under the Star Boxing banner for Marc after being off from the ring for almost 2 years. The rust factor was not apparent as Marc roared out from the opening bell landing heavy combinations to his game opponent much to the delight of the large contingent of fans that supported Marc in his comeback fight. Marc continued his assault on Villamar throughout the fight finally forcing the referee to call a halt to the action at the 2:49 mark of round 3.
Promoter Joe DeGuardia had these comments after the fight "I am very pleased that Marc returned to action with such a dominant victory over this tough fighter from Mexico. Marc is a very talented fighter who has a huge following in his native Canada and I expect nothing but exciting things from Marc in the future".
Zac Dunn Shocked in Upset in Australia
Previously Undefeated British Empire Commonwealth champion Zac Dunn 23-1 18KO'S Melbourne, AU lost his title fight this weekend against Scotland's Dave Brophy 18-1-1 2KO'S at The Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria. David Brophy claimed the Commonwealth super-middleweight title after a seventh-round stoppage of Zac Dunn in Australia in the scheduled 12 rounder.
ABOUT STAR BOXING ®
For a quarter century, Star Boxing keeps on swinging! Star Boxing has consistently delivered boxing events of the highest caliber and attracts loyal fans from all corners of the globe. From the Antonio Tarver - Roy Jones trilogy to the meteoric rise of Chris Algieri and Joe Smith Jr. from the Rockin' Fights Paramount Series, Star Boxing continues to work with and develop world rated contenders and red hot prospects into future world champions. Star Boxing is revered worldwide throughout the industry for its credibility, integrity, and exciting fights.
Andrade Captures WBA Super Welterweight Crown!
(March 12th) On Saturday night in Ludwigshafen, Germany, Demetrius Andrade became a two-time undefeated World Champion by defeating defending champion Jack Culcay. With the victory Andrade won the WBA Super Welterweight crown.
Andrade won by matching scores of 116-112 on two of the judge's scorecards, but the third judge incredibly had the fight for Culcay by a score of 115-114. Andrade was the superior boxer and controlled the bout with fast combos to Culcay's head and body. While often Andrade used an effective jab to keep his distance, the bout became a spirited battle with Culcay trying to bull his way in and Andrade often answering back with punches in bunches.
Andrade utilized both physical and superior skill advantages throughout the fight as he outfought Culcay for most of the 12 rounds but it was a tough and grueling battle as Culcay (22-2, 11 KO's) and Andrade (24-0, 16 KO's) both showed heart and determination in numerous entertaining exchanges that thrilled the sold-out crowd.
Andrade set a fast pace from the opening bell using his full arsenal throughout the fight, keeping the game Culcay at bay for most of the rounds. Culcay to his credit never stopped trying and even engaged Andrade in a toe-to-toe battle in the 12th and final round, but Andrade stood his ground and usually had an answer for Culcay's advances.
Andrade stated: "I did everything I needed to do. I came to German and took the title. Culcay fought like a champion but I was the better man. It feels great. I never lost my belt in the ring, so it feels like 'and still, and the new, and still undefeated world champion..."
When asked about future plans, Andrade said: "I just want to fight the best. Line them up, and I will knock all the champions down".
Andrade's Promoter Joe DeGuardia had these comments after the fight, "It was a very exciting fight that both should be proud of as they both showed the determination and will to win that a world championship inspires. Demetrius has shown he is willing to fight anybody, anywhere, to show the world he is the best. We are looking forward to bringing Demetrius back home and have him fight the very best fighters in the world."
Demetrius Andrade is co-promoted by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing and Banner Promotions.
For more on Andrade vs Culcay --- (click here)
Karperis / Burrell to Battle
for NY State Title Despite Insurance Issues!
(February 6th) Star Boxing chief Joe DeGuardia is fighting the unprecedented situation of no boxing club shows in the state of New York by pairing Hicksville, NY native Anthony Karperis (13-2 4KO'S) defending his New York State Jr. Welterweight title against Brooklyn, NY prospect Scott Burrell (12-2 8KO'S) in a 10 round contest at The Paramount in Huntington, NY on Saturday, March 24, 2017.
(Karperis / Burrell)
DeGuardia has gone on record with his fellow New York promoters vehemently objecting to the new rules put in place by the state commission on Sept. 1, 2016, which includes a $1,000,000 traumatic brain injury clause for each fighter. The new regulation eliminated all pro boxing in the entire state of NY from September 1, thru December 31. Up until January, the policy didn't even exist, so nobody could promote any boxing events in the entire state. You would have to go back to the 1800's to find a time where there was no pro boxing in NY for the months of September and October, and yet, this new law saw us all with no pro boxing for 4 months! Now, while a policy has been approved, the cost of that policy (as well as other recent NY regulatory added costs) has been so significant that anything other than major international shows are fiscally impossible.
DeGuardia has always been a strong proponent of the club level type of shows which traditionally have been the heartbeat of the sport, and lead to the major international events, both of which have been a part of NY's rich boxing history. DeGuardia knows that these shows are vital to keep the sport alive and provide such outlets for boxers, fans and venues. While DeGuardia is facing a huge financial loss, he is moving forward for his boxers, venue partners and, perhaps most significantly, to bring more attention to this issue, which is crucial to so many.
DeGuardia had this to say about his upcoming event, "for the first time in my career I am promoting a boxing event where there is such a dual focus. This is a fight that will shine the light on new rule changes and havoc that these new rules have caused to boxers, fans, venues, local towns and numerous others. It is the ultimate dichotomy - we are doing a club show and making it a point to show that we can't do them anymore if this new regulation isn't changed. This may well be the last club-type pro boxing show in state of NY. We fully understand the consequences of doing a show like this with the exorbitant proportionate cost of the new insurance and other regulations. We are doing this show under the worst of conditions and it's a damn shame because we have an unbelievable lineup of fights planned. Our main event is what boxing used to be like in New York, two local kids, both fine fighters in their own right, battling it out for the state title. And instead of looking forward to a great night of Boxing we have this dark cloud hanging over all of our heads, as numerous other promotions in various places throughout NY have been completely shut down. Hopefully by doing this event it will bring to light the dire situation in New York, and a call to action to change the regulation".
A sensational undercard, in keeping with tradition, featuring many local fighters doing battle with each other has been lined up and will be announced shortly.
Tickets priced at $50 and up may be purchased by calling Star Boxing 718 823-2000 or at www.starboxing.com, The Paramount box office 631 673-7300, or TICKETMASTER at ticketmaster.com 1 800 745-3000 or just (click here).
Pennington Does It Again,
Captures Road to Victory!
(February 6th) With the recent insurance and medical issues forcing NY fighter to to take travel to other states for boxing matches, Brooklyn's Courtney Pennington is quickly establishing himself as a road warrior. Pennington went into the backyard of well-regarded local favorite Khiary Gray Pitts and pounded out the unanimous decision at the Twin River Casino's Event Center in Lincoln, RI Saturday night. In doing so, Pennington captured Gray's Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) International and Northeast Titles.
The Star Boxing Jr. Middleweight improved to 10-3-1 5KO'S while opponent Pitts dropped to 14-2 11KO's. Pennington started out slow in bout getting a feel for his opponent and may have dropped two of the first three rounds. However, Pennington picked up the pace in the 4th round, chasing Pitts around the ring and finally was able to corner Pitts against the ropes unleashing a vicious combination which dropped the local fighter.
Pennington seized the momentum and kept the pressure on Gray utilizing a strong inside attack and seemingly knocked Gray down twice more in the 7th round but both knockdowns were called slips by the referee. Gray was on very wobbly legs as the round ended and the 8th round saw both fighters trade big shots but Pennington's blows were having a much greater effect on Gray as the bell sounded ending the hotly contested bout.
In the end, Pennington prevailed with a unanimous 78-73, 77-74, and 76-75 score earning the well-deserved unanimous decision win.
Star Boxing head Joe DeGuardia had this to say about Pennington's victory "I proud of him. For the second consecutive time he went on the road as the underdog and came away with victories, both quality wins over quality opposition".
The bout took place at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island and was co-promoted by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing and Jimmy Burchfield's CES.
Star Boxing Year 2016 in Review
Big 2016 Bigger 2017 in Store As Star Boxing Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary of Promoting!
(Joe "The Beast" Smith Jr. Ko’s Benard Hopkins)
(January 31st) It was a sensational year for Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing in 2016. The year brought many thrills and breakout performances, including the two dramatic knockouts by Light Heavyweight Joe "The Beast" Smith Jr on NBC and HBO respectively. Cruiserweight Constantin Bejenaru had 2 nice upset wins on Showtime and rising Jr. Welterweight Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin continued his winning ways at the Paramount.
(Joe Deguardis Sr.)
Sadly, the year also saw the passing of the legendary Patriarch of the DeGuardia family on March 8, 2016. The Father of our CEO, Joe DeGuardia Sr., was a former professional boxer in the 40's and 50's who fought in many of the famous arenas in the Tri State area and ultimately became a legend and pillar of his native Morris Park area of the Bronx and a treasured throwback of the boxing community.
(Joe Smith Jr. and Joe Deguardia)
The brightest news of 2016 came in the meteoric rise by Joe Smith Jr., "The Beast" burst onto the scene with a spectacular 1st round KO of the #1 rated Light Heavyweight in the world Andrezj Fonfara in Fonfara's back yard of Chicago, IL, on June 18th. The bout was nationally broadcast prime-time as main event on the NBC network. Smith Jr. was a 20-1 underdog.
Smith Jr. followed that victory with another electrifying KO of future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins on December 17th in a fight televised live on HBO Championship Boxing. Smith knocked Hopkins clear out of the ring in the 8th round in Bernard's farewell fight and by doing so placed himself on the ballots of numerous Boxing sites including the highly prestigious ESPN.com and the Boxing Writers Association for Fighter of the Year honors. Smith also won Breakout Fighter of the Year and Knockout of the Year from various highly recognizable boxing publications and websites, as well as numerous other awards in boxing. It was certainly a storybook year for the Long Islander, who is also the WBC International Light Heavyweight champion.
Constantin Bejenaru made the most of his two ShoBox appearances by defeating two highly touted undefeated Cruiserweights in Alexy Zubov and Stivens Bujaj. Constantin earned the WBC International and Continental Americas Cruiserweight Championships with his big wins in 2016.
(Cletus Seldin another Ko Win)
Undefeated and highly rated Jr. Welterweight Cletus "Hebrew Hammer" Seldin, #6 WBC in the World, ran his KO streak to 7 as he defended his WBC International Silver title two times in 2016 and is on the verge of landing a major bout in 2017.
Former WBO Super Welterweight champion Demetrius Andrade returned in 2016 with an impressive KO victory over the tough perineal contender Willie Nelson. The talented undefeated Andrade will be challenging Jack Culcay for the WBA world title early in 2017.
Undefeated Super Middleweight Zac Dunn had a big 2016 winning all 4 of his bouts while capturing the WBC International Silver title and the British Empire Commonwealth title. Zac is currently rated highly in all 4 organizations world rankings and Star Boxing has high hopes for him in 2017.
Talented Jr. Welterweight Emanuel Taylor scored 2 impressive KO victories this year and Star Boxing's younger prospects Anthony Karperis, Johnny Hernandez, Tyrone James, Danny Gonzalez, and Terell Bostic had banner years in 2016, as all going undefeated for the year.
Star Boxing also continued its highly successful "Rockin Fights" series at The Paramount in Huntington, NY. The series has produced the likes of Joe Smith Jr., Chris Algieri, and Cletus Seldin as well as many others and have continually sold out while producing exciting, competitive fights.
2016 also saw Star Boxing President and CEO Joe DeGuardia receive the honor of induction into the NY Boxing Hall of Fame and we have learned that his legendary matchmaker Ron Katz will join Joe in the Hall of Fame in 2017.
The end of the calendar year wasn't that great for New York boxing as there was no boxing in the entire state of New York from Sept 1, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016 due to a change in the law that set new insurance requirements that no insurance company was authorized to underwrite. While the policy exists in 2017, it is a major issue for the sport that has all but crippled New York boxing. In 2017, Star Boxing intends to take an active role in amending to this ill-conceived legislation.
To sum it up 2016 will be a year to remember for Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing. Joe's late Dad Joe Sr., surely is looking down from above with pride in his eyes and heart as his son's Star Boxing company continues to be one of the industry leaders, in it's 25th year of promoting boxing!
Smith Jr. Becomes the First Man
To Stop the Legendary Hopkins!
(December 19th) Joe "The Beast" Smith Jr. became the first fighter to knock out the legend Bernard Hopkins as he knocked Hopkins completely out of the ring with a vicious 4 punch combination in the 8th round. Hopkins was unable to beat the 20 count administered by referee Jack Reiss constituting a knockout win by Smith Jr. (the bout was officially declared a TKO victory). The fight was the main event on HBO Championship Boxing.
Smith Jr., stalked Hopkins from the opening bell putting pressure on Bernard and landed a telling right hand in round 1 that seemed to wobble Hopkins. Joe was relentless throughout the next 2 rounds and outworked Hopkins easily while Hopkins was limited to landing sneaky pop shots here and there.
Bernard was more competitive in the 4th round landing some nice counter punches to the ever-charging Smith Jr. and captured that round (the only round awarded to Hopkins by HBO analyst Harold Lederman and most ringside observers). Joe Smith Jr. regained control in the 5th and 6th rounds and to most viewers looked on his way to a dominating victory, as he imposed his will on the boxing legend.
Joe Smith Jr. turned up the attack in the 8th round. At 0:53 of the 8th round the career of Bernard Hopkins would come to a brutal end as Smith Jr. unleashed a vicious 4 punch combination sending Hopkins flying through the ropes and onto the floor. Hopkins who appeared dazed and hurt from the blows, was unable to beat the 20 count cementing the sensational knockout victory for Smith Jr.(The traditional 10 seconds to get to your feet after a knockdown is extended to 20 seconds for the fighter to get back into the ring after being knocked out of the ring).
Joe Smith Jr., who proudly embraced the label of a "common man" leading up to the fight improves to 23-1 (19KO'S).The fight thrilled fans in the arena, nation-wide on HBO and Joe's fellow Local 66 Laborers Union co-workers back home. Joe retained his WBC International Light Heavyweight title in ending Hopkins illustrious career at 55-8-2 32KO'S and becomes the only person to ever stop Hopkins in his long career.
"It feels great, it's the best feeling in the world to accomplish something I set out for and wanted to do," said Joe Smith, Jr. "I had seen every time I threw the right hand, he was throwing the left so I set up the punch. I had seen him fall, and I kept hitting him until I saw him go down and out, and that left that I landed was a hard left hook. I hit him with four or five clean shots and they were good shots on the button. I came here to do my job, and while I may have ruined his farewell party, this is my coming out party too. I had to finish him, it was either my career was going to end and his was going to end, but I needed mine to continue. I'm going to get back in the gym and train hard for my next opponent. I'm up for anything. I have lots of respect for Bernard. He is a true champion. Lots of people love Bernard and still will because he's a true champion."
Bernard Hopkins said: " I might have gotten glazed with a left hook. I knew of the twenty seconds, but couldn't stand up on my feet. This is my last fight, I promised it would be and you come to that point in life where it is final and I'm happy with my retirement. I know the fans will know I went out as a solider, fighting the toughest, baddest opponents. I'm not saying I agree, I'm not in denial-Joe was a tough, heavy hitting fighter."
Smith Jr. Promoter Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing had this to say at the fight's conclusion "I am so happy for Joe Smith Jr. This was an emphatic victory and he has a tremendous future ahead of him. Joe is turning out to be the American dream, a humble, hard working kid who has now made a name for himself in the Light Heavyweight division with consecutive sensational knockout wins. This was a great victory for all of us. I think with these two back to back upset KO wins, Joe Smith Jr. should be "fighter of the year". Finally I congratulate and want to express my respect to Bernard Hopkins for a truly amazing illustrious career".
Hopkins vs. Smith, Jr. was a 12-round WBC International Light Heavyweight Championship presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing. The event was sponsored by "Cerveza Tecate, BORN BOLD" and Casa Mexico Tequila. The event was televised live on Saturday, December 17, 2016 from Inglewood, California's "Fabulous" Forum on HBO's flagship series HBO CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.