Jerry Glick at ringside: Star Boxing is putting together a pretty good stable of fighters, and the man of the hour on Saturday night at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, NY was rising prospect, Chris Algieri. The Huntington native is the total package, bright, good looking, personable, and most important, he’s a talented 28 year old Junior Welterweight on the precipice of the next level. He and his promoter believe that it is time to find the right opponent to bring Chris to where he wants to be.
Star Boxing’s promoter Joe DeGuardia and matchmaker Ron Katz did it right. They put on a show that had the packed house at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, Long Island, NY screaming for more. The six fight show, dubbed “Rockin’ Fights 4”, featured three one round knockouts and three decisions.
Algieri, the centerpiece of DeGuardia’s Long Island shows, had his hands full with trial horse Raul Tovar of Mission TX, but came out an easy winner of a unanimous eight round decisions.
Algieri, 15-0 (7 KOs), threw more punches and would counter any combinations that Tovar tossed his way with a flurry of his own. He said after the fight that he expected Tovar, 142 pounds, to come to him, but instead Chris had to chase him and when Tovar, 10-6-1 (4 KOs), stopped long enough to throw punches, Algieri, also 142 pounds, tried to take advantage of the opportunity to land some of his punches too.
Algieri worked his jab and threw combinations to establish his game plan, and things heated up as soon as the second when the undefeated Algieri began to connect regularly with his jab. Tovar tried to give Algieri angles and attempted to make him miss. He bobbed and weaved and at times he was successful causing the Long Islander to hit nothing but air when he tried to counter Tovar’s aggressive flurries.
Algieri kept up the pressure as he pumped that jab and connected with enough combinations to convince Judges, John McKaie, Ron McNair, and Kevin Morgan to score the fight 77-75, 78-74, and 77-75 respectively for him. Arthur Mercante refereed.
After his hard fought victory the winner said that he was expecting a more aggressive fight from Tovar, “I anticipated him to come at me and throw more and be more active,” explained Algieri. “I didn’t expect him to be bouncing around the ring like that. After the first round, he was just loading up.”
Chris admitted that he was stunned by a left hook. “In the last round and it backed me into the ropes. Other than that I didn’t feel anything.”
He added that new trainer, the highly respected Roberto Garcia told him to not take chances, to use the jab and get the rounds in. It worked. This was their second fight together and the trainer was duly happy with his charge’s performance. “It’s learning process,” said Garcia. “This was a difficult opponent. Not what we expected. Chris has a lot to work on and that’s my job in the gym.” Algieri admitted that he is learning new things since he and Garcia got together. “The sparring is great,” said Algieri. “I’m sparring with the likes of Marcos Maidana and Brandon Rios. There’s nothing like it.”
A joyous Joe DeGuardia acknowledged his Long Island connection; “Long Island is really becoming a hotbed with Chris Algieri, Cletus Seldin, now you see Gotay, Karperis, and we’re bringing another guy up. It’s a real growing place for boxing,” proclaimed DeGuardia. “The fans come out and support their fighters, and that will only grow.” He added that he will be back at the Paramount in September and have two or three more shows there this year alone. He is, he said, trying to put together a deal with the networks for Algieri when he steps up his opposition; something that fighter and promoter feel will happen very soon.
Cletus Seldin, 145, Long Island, NY, 8-0 (6 KOs),won by a one round KO over Johnathan Garcia, 142, San Juan, PR, 3-3 (1 KO), with a chopping right than knocked Garcia down and out at the 2:18 mark.
Garcia looked good while it lasted and managed to bounce a few combinations off of the “Hebrew Hammer’s” head, before making a fatal mistake that left his head available for that right. Murdaugh refereed.
After his big KO Seldin admitted that he was surprised that it ended so early. “I was expecting a knockout in the third round,” he said. “But he came out a little harder than most opponents do, and with my style I landed the overhand right.”
He is the latest in the growing amount of Jewish boxers, but he claims to be a little different. “It is inspiring to see Jews coming into the sport where they had nobody for years. My style is different than Dmitriy’s or Yuri Foreman’s; I’m more of an old school Jewish fighter from the thirties and the twenties. They box, I’m a puncher.”
Emanuel Gonzalez, 129, Bronx, NY, 11-0 (7 KOs), won via an eight round unanimous decision over Chazz McDowell, 129, Yonkers, NY,6-2 (1 KO). Gonzalez was taller with a long reach. The good news about him is that he fought tall and that kept McDowell on his bicycle for most of the fight. On one of the few occasions that McDowell got aggressive, referee Randy Neumann deducted a point for what he said later was an intentional low blow in the second round. The judges tallied 79-72 twice and 77-74 for Gonzalez.
Anthony Karperis, 139, Hicksville, NY, 2-0 (2 KOs), had too much skill and power for Travis McElhaney, 140, Grand Rapids, MI, 0-2, crushed him with only one hard right that decked him at 2:50 of round one.
McElhaney was tall and awkward. Devoid of anything resembling boxing ability, he bounded around the ring and stopped to engage only to run into a buzz saw in Karperis who although smaller, was muscular and much more powerful than his hapless opponent.
Cocky and very confident, debuting Alan Gotay, 136, Huntington, NY, 1-0 (1 KO), dropped Ian James, 137, Brooklyn, NY, 2-4 (1 KO), twice before referee Shada Murtaugh stopped it at 1:47 of the first frame.
It was all Gotay who really scored three knockdowns but Murdaugh missed one when James was knocked into the ropes that held him up.
Two unbeatens battled it out for four hard fought rounds with Enver Halili, 153, Bronx, NY, 2-0 (1 KO), winning a majority four round decision over Raul Nuncio, 154, Glen Cove, NY, 2-1-1 (1 KO).
“Nuncio didn’t get the decision,” said DeGuardia. “But it was a war, and that’s what the fans want to see.”
**ONE MORE TIME**
Heavyweight Monte Barrett, KO’d in his last fight by Shane Cameron in four rounds knows that at 41 the end has arrived, but not just yet. “Of course I’m fighting again,” exclaimed Barrett. “I can’t go out like that. One more fight.”