“The Hebrew Hammer” stood inside a boxing ring at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night, doing an audition in front of the HBO cameras. It was relatively quick, and Cletus Seldin aced it.
It was his first fight on the cable network. And it was the first fight at Long Island’s largest arena for the undefeated, 31-year-old Jewish boxer from Long Island, a powerful puncher with hopes that this bout was indeed an audition that will lead to bigger things.
Roberto Ortiz was in that ring with Seldin in a fight that was followed by Brooklyn heavyweight Jarrell Miller’s ninth-round TKO over Mariusz Wach and then Brooklyn middleweight Danny Jacobs’ 12-round unanimous decision over Luis Arias.
Both Seldin and Ortiz had weighed in at 1.2 pounds above the 140-pound super lightweight limit, so this was considered a welterweight fight.
It was scheduled for 10 rounds. But Seldin pummeled Ortiz from the start, opened a big cut above the 31-year-old Mexican’s left eye in the second round and won by TKO at 2:43 of the third when the ring physician advised stopping the fight.
So the Shirley native and Bay Shore resident improved to 21-0 with 17 KOs. Ortiz lost for only the second time in 39 fights.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m the first fight or the last fight,” Seldin said. “My fights are always the best because I come to fight . . . I’m trying to literally knock everybody out.”
Seldin knocked down Ortiz twice in the first round, first with a right to the top of the head, then with a combination. Seldin connected with at least five big rights to the head in the second. It was little wonder Ortiz got cut.
Ortiz got caught with an elbow to that area in the third and went down. The doctor took a look, and the man with the Star of David on his trunks had won.
“I trained so hard,” Seldin said. “He was a very durable opponent, the toughest opponent in the [super lightweight] division. You could see how rough and tough and old school that fight was.”
While promoting the fight, Seldin had said, “I do ribbon cuttings with concentration camp survivors. I go to all these little events on Long Island to help support and to push the Jewish boxing name that I have right now.
“I love it because a lot of the Jewish kids don’t know that there are professional boxers out there. We’re all supposed to be doctors or lawyers. I’ve been pushing on that, and the kids really like it.”
Elmont’s James dominates. Tyrone James likes both his nicknames — “Pretty Boy” and “The Jackpot” — and both his jobs of working on the back of a garbage truck for Nassau County sanitation and boxing.
The 26-year-old fighter from Elmont, who weighed in at 2.6 pounds above the 147-pound welterweight limit, knocked down the more experienced Daniel Sostre in the third round and pounded out a unanimous six-round decision in what was considered a junior middleweight fight. James is 6-0 after his first Coliseum bout. “I box for myself, but I also box for my two boys, Dylan and Tyrone Jr.,” he said. “I want to give them a life that I didn’t have so they never have to want for anything.”
Tommy “The Razor” Rainone, born in Rockville Centre, raised in Elmont and Plainview and now living in Farmingdale, emerged with a majority draw against heavy-hitting George Sosa in a six-round junior middleweight matchup.
Rainone is 26-8-2. He’s 37 and plans to consider whether he has fought his last fight, saying, “I want to give it a couple of weeks, let the dust settle and make a logical, levelheaded decision.”