2013 was an exceptional year for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing. It was a year that saw Star Boxing fighters appear on every major network: HBO, Showtime, ESPN, and NBC Sports Network. 2013 also saw the emergence of many of Star Boxing’s up and coming fighters.
The year was highlighted by the crowning of 2006 Olympian Demetrius Andrade as WBO Jr. Middleweight champion. Andrade won the title by defeating previously unbeaten Vanes Martyrosian on November 9th, in a bout televised live on HBO from Corpus Christi, TX. Co-promoted by Banner Promotions, Andrade had a great year as he remained undefeated, and continued to display all the makings of a future superstar.
Jr. Welterweight Emanuel Taylor announced his arrival as a top rated contender by scoring back to back nationally televised wins, knocking out fellow prospect Raymond Serrano in a fight seen live on Showtime, and then coming right back to KO highly rated contender Victor Cayo on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” series. Emanuel is currently ranked 4th by the IBF, and has set his sights on a world title in 2014 in the Jr. Welterweight division.
This year also saw the continued success of Star Boxing’s unbeaten prospects, including Jr. Welterweights Chris Algieri and Cletus Seldin, as well as Lightweight Alan Gotay. Each boxer stayed very busy fighting at their hometown arena, The Paramount, in Huntington, NY, going a combined 11-0 in the process. Algieri’s year was highlighted by a sensational, nationally televised victory over touted prospect Jose Alejo, as part of NBCSports Fight Night series. Algieri capped off his year by defeating former World Championship challenger Mike Arnaoutis in a spirited affair, and scoring a TKO victory over Wilfredo Acuna.
Seldin continued to impress as well, steamrolling his opponents in scoring two knockouts in three fights, and showing no ill effects from shoulder surgery; Cletus continues to fulfill his expectations in being one of Boxing’s most exciting prospects. And Gotay continues a successful start to his promising career, staying busy in scoring five wins in 2013, and improving with each fight.
One of Star Boxing’s staple fighters, Delvin Rodriguez, was again in the limelight as he scored two impressive TKO victories on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”. Delvin began the year by knocking out another Star Boxing fighter, previously unbeaten George Tahdooahnippah. He then followed up the win by scoring a hard fought victory over perennial contender Freddy Hernandez, which propelled him into the ring with future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto in a bout televised live on HBO’s Championship Boxing series. Rodriguez was stopped by Cotto, but has promised to bounce back in 2014 as he has done many times before.
2013 saw the signings of new fighters to Star’s ever growing stable, including former IBF Welterweight champion Joshua Clottey; undefeated Puerto Rican Jr. Middleweight prospect Eliezer Gonzalez; exciting Lightweight Chris Howard; hard punching, undefeated Heavyweight Constantin Bejenaru, who is trained by the legendary trainer of Mike Tyson, Kevin Rooney; and former World Championship challenger from Belarus, Lightweight Sergey Gulyakevich.
Clottey returned to action after a 22 month layoff with a points win over Deshaun Johnson at The Paramount in September, and will be looking for another shot at the Jr. Middleweight title in 2014.
Howard shocked everybody with two upset wins on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” series, the first a sensational KO victory over Bayan Jargal, and then a hard fought, close points victory over fellow Star Boxing fighter, a previously undefeated Issouf Kinda. Howard received the decision after the fight ended prematurely, due to a cut over Howard’s left eye from an accidental headbutt.
Gonzalez will be looking to make his mainland debut in 2014, as he continues to knock out opponents in his native Puerto Rico.
Bejenaru has become a fan favorite with his all action style, reminiscent to Mike Tyson, and has displayed tremendous power in his fights.
And Gulyakevich will be looking to make his US debut in 2014.
Star Boxing fighters also fought globally in 2013, as Heavyweight Joe Hanks ventured to China in July to battle fellow undefeated prospect Andy Ruiz. Both fighters put it all on the line, but Hanks came up short in his effort to knock off Ruiz. Star Boxing’s head honcho, Joe DeGuardia, also made the historic trip to China.
Along with his roster of fighters, Star Boxing’s CEO Joe DeGuardia also had a big year, highlighted by his induction into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame. DeGuardia was able to celebrate his achievement that night with his fighters, as longtime Star Boxing fighter Delvin Rodriguez accepted the honor on his behalf, while Joe was attending Demetrius Andrade’s title winning match in Corpus Christi, TX. Joe (& Star Boxing) was also named Ring 10’s “Promoter of the Year” for 2013, and received a Suffolk County, New York Proclamation for Outstanding Achievements for significantly improving the quality of life of Suffolk residents.
Star Boxing has established what is quickly becoming the hottest fight venue in the country, The Paramount in Huntington, NY, which hosted six sold out events in 2013. Star Boxing brought in major networks, Showtime and NBC Sports, to The Paramount in 2013, and will be looking to bring in every major network, as The Paramount offers uniqueness not seen since the days of the legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia.
All in all, it was a terrific year for Star Boxing and its fighters, as once again, Star Boxing consistently put on exciting, competitive fights for their fans. The company’s tradition of showcasing compelling fights continues in 2014 with its “Valentine’s Day Massacre” event on February 14 at The Paramount. Televising live on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”, the card will include the return of Issouf Kinda, who looks to bounce back from his first loss against Jeremy Bryan. Also, two of Star Boxing’s Jr. Welterweights will clash in the main event, as undefeated prospect Chris Algieri will try to keep his record intact against top ranked Emanuel Taylor.
Star Boxing’s and its fighters had great success in 2013, and 2014 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.