Huntington boxer Chris Algieri defeats Jose Peralta Alejo
Star Boxing Promotions boss Joe DeGuardia is fully aware of the importance of establishing a local appeal when it comes to promoting boxing shows.
Developing and signing talented local fighters and entering them in fights at area venues is "the only way" to establish a positive connection with the public and build the sport, according to DeGuardia.
DeGuardia's understanding of the business side of boxing was on display Saturday night as several of his fighters fought in front of a packed house at the Paramount Theater in Huntington.
Adding to the atmosphere was the fact that the co-main event between Huntington welterweight Chris Algieri and Jersey City's Jose Peralta Alejo was part of NBC Sports "Fight Night" and televised live on NBC Sports Network.
Algieri did not disappoint DeGuardia or the 1,100-plus in attendance as he scored a unanimous-decision victory over Alejo (10-2). Algieri took several hard shots early but dominated the later rounds.
"Jose was the perfect partner to stand in front of and bang with, and he kind of got me to fight his fight in the early rounds," said Algieri (16-0). "I was able to weather that, stay in there and land some sneaky body shots."
Welterweight Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin, a Shirley native, also took advantage of fighting in front of many of his hometown fans and scored a third-round knockout of Jonathan Cuba (6-5).
"I have the biggest home-field advantage you can possibly have," said Seldin (11-0, 9 KOs). "When opponents come out against me, I'm so involved in Facebook and everything that everyone knows about my opponent. They'll know if he said something during an interview or on the Internet because I post it on my wall."
DeGuardia said the success of his shows is a sign that boxing is alive and well on Long Island.
"Two weeks ago, we were on Showtime, and this week being on NBC, we keep getting better and better," DeGuardia said. "I'm blessed that we've been able to have two nationally televised events within the span of one month."
Part of DeGuardia's success on Long Island can be attributed to the venue.
DeGuardia has promoted several boxing shows at the Paramount, and nearly all of them were in front of a capacity audience, the veteran promoter told Newsday.
"It is a phenomenal venue. I think it's the best venue in the country," DeGuardia said. "It's an exciting place. It's got a vibe to it and it's got electricity to it. To me, this is where boxing should be."
Main Events Promotion boss Kathy Duva, who co-promoted the bout with DeGuardia through her promotional deal with NBC Sports, also is a fan. "I know what I'd read about it, that this was a very hot venue. It was described as a sort of Blue Horizon kind of place," Duva said. "We came out to take a look at it a few months ago and fell in love with it."