Extra Points: Seldon Suffers First-Round Loss
Atlantic City middleweight Isiah Seldon suffered a tough loss Saturday night.
His bid to score an upset over unbeaten prospect Joey Spencer ended with a first-round knockout at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles.
Spencer (12-0, 9 KOs), a 20-year-old from Linden, Michigan, registered two knockdowns in the scheduled eight-round bout. Referee Jerry Cantu stopped it after the second one at the 2:15 mark of the round, even though Seldon (14-4-1, 5 KOs) easily beat the count.
"I'm up," Seldon shouted. "I'm all right."
Seldon landed an looping overhand right in the first minute, but Spencer quickly established control. He landed a left hook that prompted Seldon to shake his head as if to indicate the punch hadn't fazed him.
But Spencer followed with a straight right that sent Seldon to the canvas.
Seldon, the 32-year-old son of former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon, easily beat the count, but quickly ran into more trouble. The two fighters were tangled in the middle of the ring and Seldon threw three punches that landed behind Spencer's head, prompting Cantu to deduct two penalty points. Normally, a first infraction draws only a warning.
Prior to the start of the bout, Cantu had called the fighters toward the center of the ring and warned against things getting out of control.
"I have never been a conspiracy theorist person, but it was strange to me when the ref called them together and looked Isiah in the eyes and said, 'I'm not going to tolerate a street fight,'" Seldon's co-manager, Jim Kurtz said. "Isiah has never been a dirty fighter and never been warned, let alone had a point taken from him.
"Isiah hit Spencer on the shoulder in a clinch and (the ref) takes two points? (Mike) Tyson bit off half of (Evander) Holyfield's ear and only had one point taken, AFTER being warned."
During the next exchange, Spencer leaned in and threw another straight right that went between Seldon's gloves and landed on Seldon's forehead.
Seldon dropped to his knees and Cantu waived off the bout as he was standing up.
"I wasted no time," Spencer said. "I've been getting stronger and did a lot of boxing for this. I expected this to happen."
It was Seldon's third loss in his last five fights. All three defeats came against undefeated opponents. He lost to Tyler Howard (19-0, 11 KOs) in 2018 and Nikia Ababiy (10-0, 6 KOs) a year later.
Spencer is expected to move up toward another big fight while Seldon faces an uncertain future.
Seldon, a 2006 Mainland Regional High School graduate, normally trains at the Atlantic City PAL with veteran Bill Johnson, but the building has been closed since last March due to Covid-19. As a result, he worked with Philadelphia trainer Danny Davis for Saturday's fight.
Davis was in his corner along with co-manager David Dubinsky. Because only two people were permitted to join Seldon in L.A. Co-managers Kurtz and Joe Thompson stayed home.
"(The penalties and stoppage) were a bad look and brought all of the biases to the forefront," Kurtz said. "Even after the second knockdown, Isiah was up and Cantu stopped it without a count.
"I'm not saying anything was not on the level, but the optics of it were horrific."
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