Area Venue Shines In ESPN’s Spotlight

Barry_weekly_cletus_071814When The Paramount opened on Huntington’s New York Avenue nearly three years ago, it was seen as a place for live musical performances. Yet a different type of attraction has taken hold at the site.

On Friday, July 18, for the 14th time since The Paramount’s September 2011 debut, the venue will host a live professional boxing program. The first fight on the multiple-bout card gets underway at 7 p.m. ESPN 2 will broadcast the action live starting at 8 p.m. as part of its “ESPN Friday Night Fights” program.

The main event, a 10-round junior welterweight clash, will pit Emanuel “The Tranzformer” Taylor of Edgewater, Md., against Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield of San Francisco, Calif.

The 23-year-old Taylor has 17 wins, 11 of them by knockout, and only two losses, in his pro career. The Baltimore Sun reported that Taylor got his nickname because “he transforms into a live wire once the bell rings.”

The once-beaten Mayfield’s (18-1-1, with 11 knockouts) moniker needs no explanation. His lone defeat came in Atlantic City in March in a fight which aired on HBO’s “Boxing after Dark.”Junior welterweights weigh no more than 140 pounds.

ESPN 2 will also broadcast that night’s (July 18) co-feature, another junior welterweight match. The headliner is Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin, a 27-year-old Long Island fan favorite who resides in Shirley and graduated from Longwood High School, where he was a standout wrestler and football player. Seldin is facing Bayan “The Mongolian Mongoose” Jargal in an eight-round contest. Seldin, who last fought in Huntington on April 24, has a professional record of 13-0, with 10 knockouts, while Jargal has 17 wins, five losses and three ties. Eleven of the Mongolian-born Jargal’s 17 victories have come via knockout. Jargal’s one previous Paramount appearance came in 2011.

“Seldin is undefeated and thrilled to be fighting for the first time on ‘ESPN Friday Night Fights,’ but Jargal is a very tough veteran, and their styles will mesh well for an action-packed fight,” said Joe DeGuardia, the Hofstra Law School graduate and former Bronx assistant district attorney behind Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, the event’s promoter. DeGuardia, who today runs a law firm that bears his name, also noted this marks the ninth time Seldin has fought at The Paramount, which has two levels and seats up to 1,555 spectators.

The undercard features four boxers with Long Island ties, as well, a group that includes Alan Gotay, Anthony Karperis, Naim Terbunja and Wendy Toussant.

Besides presenting all the action, Star Boxing will pay tribute on Friday evening, July 18, to Chris Algieri, the Huntington fighter who won earlier this year the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) junior welterweight championship.

Billed as “ESPN Friday Night Fights/Rockin Fights 14,” tickets for the event start at $50 per person. They can be purchased through Ticketmaster, StarBoxing.com or at The Paramount’s box office.

The easiest way to get to The Paramount is via the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) Port Jefferson branch. After arriving at the LIRR’s Huntington Station, fans should look for The Paramount’s tent. Trolleys congregate there to take ticket-holders into the village of Huntington, a four-minute northbound journey. The Paramount’s website says its trolleys operate to and from The Paramount and Huntington’s LIRR station from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., allowing people to linger in Huntington after the boxing program has concluded.

Mike Barry, vice president of media relations for an insurance industry trade group, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBarry@optonline.net

Mike Barry
Mike Barry, vice president of media relations for an insurance industry trade group, has worked in government and journalism. He can be reached at mfbarry@optonline.net. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.

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