By Jake Donovan
Chris Algieri managed to preserve his unbeaten record, but was forced to work every step of the way with a close but clear unanimous decision over Raul Tovar in their eight-round main event Saturday evening.
Scores were 78-74 and 77-75 (twice) in their eight-round bout, which took place at the Paramount Theatre in Algieri's hometown of Huntington, NY.
Speed was the overwhelming difference between the two in the early going. Algieri was constantly beating Tovar to the punch, much to the delight of all of his homeboys in attendance.
Tovar deviated from the script in round three, resorting to counter puncher rather than charging forward. The visiting journeyman managed to disrupt Algieri's rhythm in changing strategies, and also began finding a home for his right hand.
Algieri resumed control midway through the fight, but never had it easy at any point in the evening. Tovar began to surge late in the fight, with his efforts well-rewarded on the scorecards. The close nature of the fight was a refreshing change from the rash of bad judging that has historically plagued the sport, but more so in recent months.
Such was not the case in Long Island, where Algieri was forced to roll up his sleeves and earn his win on Saturday. The hometown favorite closed the show strong, planting his feet and landing in combination even while taking an occasional right hand in return.
All told, it was an entertaining night for the crowd and eight more rounds in the bank for Algieri, who improves to 15-0 (7KO). The bout marked his fourth straight at the venue, on an evening that also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Bronx-based promoter Star Boxing.
Tovar has a two-fight win streak snapped as he falls to 10-6-1 (4KO), though his stock going up in defeat.
Unbeaten 140 lb. prospect Chris Algieri continues to proudly represent Long Island. The rising local star plays his Huntington (NY) hometown on Saturday night for his fourth straight bout, as he faces Raul Tovar in the main event at the Paramount Theatre.
Cletus 'Hebrew Hammer' Seldin continues to mow down the competition, scoring his fifth straight knockout after icing previously unbeaten Jonathan Garcia in one round. A right hand put an end to the night, at 2:18 of round one. Seldin improves to 8-0 (6KO), with all five knockouts in his current streak ending in three rounds or less. Garcia falls to 7-1 (5KO).
Long Island is well-represented on the undercard as well. Anthony Karperis a newcomer from Hicksville scored his second knockout in as many fights, this time taking out Travis McEnany in the second round of their 140 lb. swing bout. Karperis (2-0, 2KO) turned pro in May, scoring a 1st round knockout in Franklin Square.
A battle between Bronx and Yonkers found its way to the Nassau/Suffolk border, but Manny Gonzalez and Chazz McDowell still had plenty of support among the rabid crowd on hand. Eight action-packed rounds saw both fighters have their share of moments in a give-and-take affair, with Gonzalez taking a hard-fought decision in the end.
Gonzalez heads back to the Boogie Down with his unbeaten record still intact at 11-0 (7KO). McDowell loses for the second time in three fights, as he carries his 6-2 (1KO) back to Yonkers.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox