A few months ago Joe DeGuardia (pictured) was wondering if he would even be alive to watch his boxing promotional company Star Boxing continue to grow. DeGuardia was involved in a horrific accident on the LIE on July 29 while he was on his way home from his last boxing show at the Paramount Theater in Huntington.
After two-plus months of rehab, DeGuardia is back in the saddle running his company. “I thought I was dead,” DeGuardia told Newsday. “I thought I wasn’t going to make it.”
DeGuardia will be on hand on Saturday night when Star Boxing presents the “Westbury Wars” at the NYCB Theater in Westbury. It’s a big step for DeGuardia, who has put on several successful boxing shows at the Paramount in Huntington. He hopes to eventually put on a Nassau vs. Suffolk event at one of the venues on Long Island.
Headlining Saturday night’s event is New York Sstate junior welterweight champion Issouf Kinda (14-0, 5 KOs), who will take on Mike Arnaoutis (24-7-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round main event.
Also appearing on the card in the co-main event is Huntington’s Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (8-0, 5 KOs), who will fight Carl McNickels (8-3, 6KO’s) in an eight-round welterweight bout.
DeGuardia has built quite a following on Long Island thanks to the emergence of local fighters like Seldin and Huntington’s undefeated welterweight Chris Algieri.
“There's been a great buzz about the Kinda/Arnaoutis fight since we announced it,” said DeGuardia. “Kinda is a terrific looking prospect with a wealth of potential, however Arnaoutis is a much more experienced veteran who is looking at this as an opportunity to put his name in the mix for bigger fights if he can defeat Kinda. There's a great deal at stake for both guys."
As for Seldin, 26, none of his last three bouts have gone past two rounds. He scored a first-round knockout of Jonathan Garcia at the Paramount on July 28.
"Everyone knows about Seldin's power," said DeGuardia.
In other bouts, Bayan Jargal (15-3-3, 10 KOs) will face Louis Rodriquez (6-5-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round junior welterweight bout, while Huntington’s Alan Gotay (1-0, 1 KO) will fight Alberto Manukyan (0-1) in a four-round junior welterweight match.
The event also features several amateur bouts. Doors open at 6:30 and first bell is at 7:30.
Tickets are still available. Contact www.livenation.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, at the Westbury Box Office or through the Star Boxing office by calling 718 823-3000. You can also go through the Star Boxing website, www.starboxing.com.