By Keith Idec
Cletus Seldin’s second appearance on HBO in the past five weeks didn’t go nearly as well as the first.
Yves Ulysse Jr. dropped Seldin once apiece in each of the first three rounds and out-classed Seldin from there to win a 10-round welterweight fight Saturday night in Laval, Quebec. Montreal’s Ulysse barely got hit on his way to winning by the same huge margins, 99-88, on all three scorecards.
Ulysse (15-1, 9 KOs) proved that he was faster, stronger and technically superior to Seldin throughout a bout HBO aired from Place Bell on the Billy Joe Saunders-David Lemieux undercard. Seldin struggled to keep up with Ulysse’s movement, couldn’t take his power and failed to figure out how to consistently connect with clean punches.
Five weeks earlier, Seldin (21-1, 17 KOs, 1 NC), of Bay Shore, New York, stopped Mexico’s Roberto Ortiz in the third round of a November 11 bout at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. He had no such success Saturday night.
Ulysse, 29, dealt Seldin his first defeat and overcame his own first loss in his last fight. Canada’s Steve Claggett (26-4-1, 17 KOs) upset Ulysse by a controversial split decision in that 10-round bout October 27 in Montreal.
It looked like Ulysse would knock out Seldin early, but Seldin’s toughness enabled him to go the distance. Ulysse seemed content to win by decision after hurting Seldin repeatedly in the first three rounds.
Ulysse battered Seldin for much of the 10th round, when he landed numerous flush right hands. A determined Seldin wouldn’t go down for the fourth time in the fight, though.
Referee Alain Villenueve warned Ulysse and Seldin for a lack of action in the seventh round. Ulysse continued to move around the ring, but drilled Seldin with a right hand that landed to the middle of his face soon thereafter.
Seldin landed his best shot of the fight when, with 48 seconds left in the fifth round, he snapped back Ulysse’s head with a right hand. Ulysse spent much of the fourth and fifth rounds sticking and moving against the slower Seldin.
A staggered Seldin went down for the third time in the bout with just over 1:20 remaining in the third round. A series of Ulysses’ punches, including body and head shots, sent Seldin to the canvas for the third time in the fight.
An overhand right by Ulysse sent Seldin to the canvas for the second time in the fight early in the second round. Seldin got up again from that knockdown, which occurred at the 1:47 mark, to finish the second round on his feet.
Ulysse buckled Seldin’s legs with another right hand later in the second round.
Ulysse stunned Seldin with a right hand and dropped him with a left hook that landed on Seldin’s shoulder about 1:10 into the first round. That marked the first knockdown of Seldin’s six-year pro career.
Ulysse’s strong start made it immediately clear Saturday that this fight wouldn’t unfold at all like his domination of Ortiz. Seldin knocked down Ortiz (35-2-2, 26 KOs) twice in the first round on his way to that third-round stoppage.
Seldin planned to go on a vacation following his knockout of Ortiz last month, but cut it short once he was offered an unusually quick return on HBO. He joined Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. as the only three boxers who’ve appeared on bouts broadcast by HBO in back-to-back months since the network began televising boxing in 1973.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.