Cletus Seldin Aiming To Become New York’s Action Man

It was a disturbing entry in the “say it ain’t so category.”

Cletus Seldin, junior welterweight veteran and a hero to those who don’t let age dictate their collecting habits, had apparently scrubbed his collection of Funko Pop figures from his Instagram page. Or did he?

“No way,” laughs Seldin. “I have another Instagram page called ‘Half Gladiator, Half Geek.’ There was a time of my life where I felt as if the real world wasn’t ready for that community. But I still got my toy room, I still got everything, and I still have an obsession with collecting Funko Pop toys, action figures, everything. That’s nostalgia to me. I think most of us in boxing have that part where you didn’t get it as a kid. So now when you’re a little bit older, you can find it yourself. And for me, I don’t have any kids. Most other boxers have kids, and they have other responsibilities. I don’t really have that.”

He does have a bunch of little plastic babies around the house, though.

“Oh my God, they’re addicting,” he said. “That was a problem. I ran a YouTube channel with over 20,000 subscribers, collecting toys throughout this whole boxing journey. Whenever I got injured or hurt, or a little ill, I went back to YouTube and it was just like my getaway that decompressed all the pressure from what boxing did inside and outside the ring for me.”

It’s a good escape, but this Friday, it’s back to work for the “Hebrew Hammer,” who makes his first start of 2024 against Jose Angulo at Madison Square Garden’s Theater. It hasn’t been a long time since the Long Islander’s most recent bout last October, a sixth-round stoppage of Patrick Okine, but, at 37, it’s important that Seldin stays active. He knows it, and he’s ready for it.

“I honestly believe that at this part of my boxing career, I’m almost at a peak performance level,” he said. “I’ve learned throughout this entire process of the dos and don’ts, and the knowledge that I have now is incomparable to what I had the last time I was at the Garden 12-and-a-half years ago.”

In his last appearance at MSG’s Theater, Seldin blasted out Jose Segura Torres in two rounds to improve to 4-0 as a pro. The year was 2011 and, like any prospect, the future was promising, but uncertain.

Subsequently, Seldin put together a nice career for himself. He hasn’t won (or fought for) a world title, but there’s been 27 wins, only one loss, albeit in an HBO-televised bout against Yves Ulysse Jr. in 2017, and with an affable personality and legit punching power, he’s been a ticket seller at home. But he wants more.

“The only downfalls I’ve really had were my injuries and the inconsistency of getting those big fights, and being able to be on a network like we are here on UFC Fight Pass,” he said. “It’s the biggest app there is for sports, over 200 countries. And now I get to actually show the world who I am. I’ve kind of always been stuck on these little club shows. I’ve been to the top of the stage with HBO, but even when I fought Zab Judah, we were a live stream. Or when I fought the Barclays Center as the main event, it was on a Triller network that people didn’t even know how to download the app for.”

The Judah fight in June of 2019 was the biggest of his career in terms of opposition, and despite the Brooklynite being on the back end of his career, Seldin did what he was supposed to do in a situation like that, halting the former world champion in the 11th round. But he wouldn’t fight again for nearly a year, and after a seventh-round knockout of William Silva in 2021, two years on the shelf followed. He’ll even admit that his win over Okine wasn’t his best, but with that out of the way, and with a new manager – Elvis Grant Phillips – in his corner, he believes he has a run left in him.

“As of right now, my schedule goes that I’m going to fight in the Garden in March, I’m trying to fight in the Garden in June, and I’m going to fight in the Garden in December with 360 Promotions,” said Seldin. “I would be the most active, action-packed fighter New York has had in a very long time, maybe since John Duddy. We have not had that here in New York in a very long time, and however long it takes me, I’m going to continue that success. All I remember is every single day, take another step, and the next thing you know, look where I’m now. I’m back on top of the mountain.”

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