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Oquendo Stops Seldon

By Jason Kim: Journeyman Fres Oquendo (31-5, 19 KO’s) defeated former heavyweight contender Bruce Seldon (40-8, 36 KO’s) by a 9th round stoppage last night at the UIC Pavilion, in Chicago, Illinois. Oquendo, 36, hurt Seldon with big shots in the 8th and 9th rounds, but him down once in each of the two rounds.

Seldon, 42, took a knee to escape punishment in the 8th and then went down under a storm of punches in the 9th. The fight was stopped at 2:35 of the 9th.

Oquendo, at one time a heavyweight contender seven years ago, dominated the aging Seldon, hitting him with jabs, right hands and hooks throughout the one-sided fight. Oquendo looked slow in comparison to his early years but showed a lot of skills as he dominated the bulky Seldon. Oquendo nailed Seldon with a big right in the 1st round that knocked Seldon’s mouthpiece out.

Oquendo then went on to school the slower Seldon for the remainder of the round with his jab and occasional right hands. Seldon, who took seven years off from boxing following his 1st round knockout loss to Mike Tyson in 1996, had problems getting near enough to Oquendo to land his bigger shots.

The action was dull in the 2nd round with both fighters spending time clinching, mission and looking their age. It wasn’t heavyweight fighting at it’s finest but they gave brief glimpses now and then of the talent that they both had earlier in their careers. Oquendo was able to land an occasional combination, but they were few and far in between. Mostly, he just looked slow and sloppy. Although not much taller than the 6’1 ½” Seldon, the 6’2” Oquendo chopped down on Seldon with punches whenever Seldon would crouch. The chopping right hands seemed to have been Oquendo’s favorite punches to use in the fight.

Seldon landed a nice left hand in the 3rd and put together some good punches in the round first part of the round before tiring out and giving way to the slightly more youthful Oquendo. In the second half of the round, Oquendo landed several nice right hands and left hooks to get the better of Seldon. The round was very close, however.

Oquendo’s right hand become more of the deciding factor as then fight wore on, as Seldon was unable to get out of the way of the punch or block any of them with any regularity. While Seldon would try to fend Oquendo off with his jabs, Oquendo was answering back with solid right hands to the head and winning all the rounds. Seldon’s left eye began to close in the 6th round and by the 8th, it looked to be completely shut.

With only one good eye to see out of, Seldon began to eat more and more chopping right hands from Oquendo in the 7th and 8th rounds. Seldon fought hard in the 7th, landing some good shots, but it wasn’t enough to slow the tide of right hands from Oquendo. Near the end of the round, Oquendo had Seldon badly hurt from a big right hand shot, but time ran out before he could finish him off.

Taking serious punishment from Oquendo in the 8th, Seldon took a knee. However, Oquendo continued to batter Seldon for the remainder of the 8th and into the 9th round. Finally, Oquendo dropped Seldon one more time in the 9th, and the fight was mercifully stopped at 2:35 of the round by referee Pete Podgorski.

Overall, it was a good win for Oquendo, but it’s not clear where he can go from here. He appeared to have beaten James Toney last year in December, but lost a questionable 12 round split decision. But, at 36, Oquendo has to move a lot faster if he wants to get a title shot in the future. He needs to try and get a fight with one of the heavyweight contenders like Samuel Peter and Kevin Johnson, so that he can get pushed up the rankings. I doubt that Oquendo could beat either of these two fighters, but that’s probably his best chance at getting a title shot.

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