It was a sensational year for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing in 2016. The year brought many thrills and breakout performances, including the two dramatic knockouts by Light Heavyweight Joe “The Beast” Smith Jr on NBC and HBO respectively. Cruiserweight Constantin Bejenaru had 2 nice upset wins on Showtime and rising Jr. Welterweight Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin continued his winning ways at the Paramount.
JOE SMITH JR. KO’S BERNARD HOPKINS
Sadly, the year also saw the passing of the legendary Patriarch of the DeGuardia family on March 8, 2016. The Father of our CEO, Joe DeGuardia Sr., was a former professional boxer in the 40’s and 50’s who fought in many of the famous arenas in the Tri State area and ultimately became a legend and pillar of his native Morris Park area of the Bronx and a treasured throwback of the boxing community.
JOE DEGUARDIA SR.
The brightest news of 2016 came in the meteoric rise by Joe Smith Jr. “The Beast” burst onto the scene with a spectacular 1st round KO of the #1 rated Light Heavyweight in the world Andrezj Fonfara in Fonfara’s back yard of Chicago, IL, on June 18th. The bout was nationally broadcast prime-time as main event on the NBC network. Smith Jr. was a 20-1 underdog.
JOE SMITH JR. & JOE DEGUARDIA
Smith Jr. followed that victory with another electrifying KO of future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins on December 17th in a fight televised live on HBO Championship Boxing. Smith knocked Hopkins clear out of the ring in the 8th round in Bernard’s farewell fight and by doing so placed himself on the ballots of numerous Boxing sites including the highly prestigious ESPN.com and the Boxing Writers Association for Fighter of the Year honors. Smith also won Breakout Fighter of the Year and Knockout of the Year from various highly recognizable boxing publications and websites, as well as numerous other awards in boxing. It was certainly a storybook year for the Long Islander, who is also the WBC International Light Heavyweight champion.
CLETUS SELDIN**HEBREW HAMMER** KO’S ANOTHER
Constantin Bejenaru made the most of his two ShoBox appearances by defeating two highly touted undefeated Cruiserweights in Alexy Zubov and Stivens Bujaj. Constantin earned the WBC International and Continental Americas Cruiserweight Championships with his big wins in 2016.
Undefeated and highly rated Jr. Welterweight Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin, #6 WBC in the World, ran his KO streak to 7 as he defended his WBC International Silver title two times in 2016 and is on the verge of landing a major bout in 2017.
Former WBO Super Welterweight champion Demetrius Andrade returned in 2016 with an impressive KO victory over the tough perineal contender Willie Nelson. The talented undefeated Andrade will be challenging Jack Culcay for the WBA world title early in 2017.
Undefeated Super Middleweight Zac Dunn had a big 2016 winning all 4 of his bouts while capturing the WBC International Silver title and the British Empire Commonwealth title. Zac is currently rated highly in all 4 organizations world rankings and Star Boxing has high hopes for him in 2017.
Talented Jr. Welterweight Emanuel Taylor scored 2 impressive KO victories this year and Star Boxing’s younger prospects Anthony Karperis, Johnny Hernandez, Tyrone James, Danny Gonzalez, and Terell Bostic had banner years in 2016, as all going undefeated for the year.
Star Boxing also continued its highly successful “Rockin Fights” series at The Paramount in Huntington, NY. The series has produced the likes of Joe Smith Jr., Chris Algieri, and Cletus Seldin as well as many others and have continually sold out while producing exciting, competitive fights.
2016 also saw Star Boxing President and CEO Joe DeGuardia receive the honor of induction into the NY Boxing Hall of Fame and we have learned that his legendary matchmaker Ron Katz will join Joe in the Hall of Fame in 2017.
The end of the calendar year wasn’t that great for New York boxing as there was no boxing in the entire state of New York from Sept 1, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016 due to a change in the law that set new insurance requirements that no insurance company was authorized to underwrite. While the policy exists in 2017, it is a major issue for the sport that has all but crippled New York boxing. In 2017, Star Boxing intends to take an active role in amending to this ill-conceived legislation.
To sum it up 2016 will be a year to remember for Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing. Joe’s late Dad Joe Sr., surely is looking down from above with pride in his eyes and heart as his son’s Star Boxing company continues to be one of the industry leaders, in it’s 25th year of promoting.boxing!