2017 was certainly a memorable year for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
2017 marked the continued dominance of former Jr. Middleweight world champion Demetrius Andrade. While Andrade captured a second World Championship in Germany over Jack Culcay (March 11, 2017, WBA Championship), October saw Andrade stepping up to the Middleweight division in a shutout performance on HBO (over Alantis Fox). Andrade hopes 2018 will see him in with the top fighters at 160 lbs.
2017 saw the emergence of “The Hebrew Hammer”, Cletus Seldin on the world stage. Seldin had 3 fights in 4 months including two in consecutive months (November and December) on HBO, a distinction held by only Mike Tyson, Roy Jones and now Cletus Seldin. Seldin looked sensational in his November appearance, destroying Roberto Ortiz (at the new Nassau Coliseum) and saw Seldin crowd pleasing style likened to Rocky Marciano and Jake Lamotta. December on HBO didn’t go so well and Seldin had his first schooling, losing a wide decision to Yves Ulysses Jr. in Canada. Seldin injured his elbow early in that bout and is undergoing ‘Tommy John’ surgery next week. Look for a speedy recovery and Seldin’s return late spring.
2017 saw one of America’s favorite warriors, Joe Smith Jr in his first bout after a spectacular 2016 where he was runner-up for fighter of year, upset of year and knockout of the year after his successive knockout victories over Andrzej Fonfara and legendary Bernard Hopkins. In 2017 Smith wasn’t as fortunate, as, in spite of dropping top rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera in the first round with Smith’s now famous punching power, Smith lost a decision. The always dangerous Joe Smith Jr. fought bravely for 10 rounds with a severely broken jaw – demonstrating his blue collar, union-made American grit.
2017 also saw the continuance of Star Boxing’s popular “Rockin Fights” series at the Paramount in Huntington, NY. CEO Joe DeGuardia showed his former boxer grit in keeping the series going despite the prohibitive insurance costs in the state of New York.
Star Boxing also continued its equally popular and long-standing “Slugfest at the Sun” series at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. Many of the other fighters under the Star Boxing banner had a tremendous year including the success of undefeated prospects Tyrone “Pretty Boy” James, Wendy Toussaint, and “Action” Anthony Laureano. Veterans Constantin Bejenaru and Courtney Pennington had big years as well. Bejenaru won the WBC International and Continental Americas Cruiserweight title as he continued his climb up the world rankings and defended his titles as well in 2017. Courtney “King Pen” Pennington scored 3 straight upset wins over Boyd Melson, Khiary Pitts, and Delvin Rodriguez earning the UBF International Super Welterweight Title.
New additions to the Star roster also remained busy, including Belgium cruiserweight prospect Tambwe “Big Joe” Djeko, former two-time women’s middleweight world champion, Kali “KO” Reis (whose exciting performance at Mohegan Sun earned her a promotional agreement with Star Boxing) and Massachusetts fan favorite Danny O’Connor, who likewise earned a signing as a result of his performance on that same Mohegan Sun show.
Fellow Star Boxing stablemates Danny Gonzalez, Anthony Karperis, Johnny Hernandez, the Burrell brothers, Scott and Dean, all remained active and Light Heavyweight contender Yuniesky Gonzalez promises to make 2018 an even bigger year for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
Star Boxing found much success in 2017 from many different avenues including the sold out “Rockin’ Fights” series, the Mohegan Sun series “Slugfest at the Sun,” that is now being televised by NESN, the appearance of Star Boxing fighters on the likes of HBO and Showtime and Star’s excellent and continuing successful relationships with many promoters in the industry such as Golden Boy, Top Rank, Matchroom Boxing, and others. With the success of veteran fighters, and the signing of new and exciting talent, 2018 will prove to be yet another successful year for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.