Meet the newest Jewish boxing sensations Cletus Seldin. He isn’t just hard hitting, he is repping the Jewish people hard too. Take notice…or else.
1. Tell TGR a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Shirley, NY, which is a working class neighborhood in
Eastern Long Island. I graduated from Longwood High School and I
played multiple sports through my years there. I was the starting
cornerback on the 2004 Long Island championship team, I was a 2nd in
the state wrestler, played lacrosse, I held the state record for a
deadlift of 470lbs at 145lbs, and I took 5th place in the Eastern USA
regionals bodybuilding competition. Don’t mess with me when the Dallas
Cowboys are on and I’m a food connoisseur. Outside of the ring I’m a
really laid back, fun guy to be around, but when I work, I work hard and I don’t let anything get in the way.
2. How did you get into boxing?
I started boxing around 2005 after my brother took me with him to
the MMA gym where he attended. I was actually pretty good naturally
because of my wrestling background and believe it or not, I tapped out
the Sensei my first day there. I even worked my way up to a brown belt
in Judo. But what I found out was that my stand-up fighting ability
was pretty bad. There was a local boxing gym in Shirley that trained a
couple big name guys and they had a really good amateur reputation in
the Golden Gloves. When I started there I was getting knocked around
pretty good by experienced amateurs until made a decision to start
going every single day until I was beating those same guys, and that’s
what I did. I started winning exhibitions and winning amateur
competitions and now the rest is history.
3. Have you ever considered going into MMA or wrestling?
MMA yes. Before I started boxing like I said earlier I was doing
MMA training. But once I started excelling in boxing, I haven’t
really looked back toward MMA. I can’t say that I never will in the
future, but as of now I am 100% committed to boxing. As for WWE,
nope, never really crossed my mind.
4. How did you get the nickname The Hebrew Hammer?
The Hebrew Hammer alias started when I was still competing as an
amateur. I was going to all of these tournaments and people started
noticing my really hard hitting right hand. They would say “Wow, that
kid has a hammer. What is he, I don’t know. Umm, I think he’s
Jewish. Yeah he’s got a hammer, The Hebrew Hammer” And that was it,
I’d go here, they said it, and I’d go there they’d say it and
eventually I just stuck with it. I’m the Hebrew Hammer.
5. What was your Jewish life like growing up?
There are very few Jewish people in the town and in the schools
where I grew up. So there was plenty of misinformation and Jewish
banter. Nothing really offensive, it was more ignorant humor type of
stuff and you learn to adapt. But I was a tough little kid back then.
Small but tough, and eventually everyone realized that if you said
something that I really didn’t like, you were going to have to answer for
it, or fight. But I did like growing up in a Jewish household. It
makes you feel part of something special and you have a certain
insight that can’t be learned. We weren’t terribly religious, but we
kept the holiday traditions, I had a bar-Mitzvah, and everyone in my
family all have Hebrew names as well.
6. What is next for Cletus Seldin?
The next step for me is to become a contender for a World
Championship Title shot. I feel ready whenever they are. Ultimately I
want to fight anyone in the world at 140lbs with a belt. I want to
fight them all and I want all the belts.
7. What does life look like after boxing?
If I can get another 3 or 4 solid years out of my career as a boxer
that would be great. Right now I’m in top shape, I feel excellent,
and I can easily fight at least 4 to 6 times a year. As for life
after boxing, I don’t know with certainty where this road is taking me
now, so I couldn’t tell you where it’ll take me then. But I can tell
you that I’ve always been solid on my own 2 feet, so wherever I do end
up after boxing you can expect good things.
8. What else should TGR fans know about you?
TGR fans should know that I do what I do not only for myself, but I
do it to represent a part of every hard working American, and everyone
with dreams, ambition, drive, and the courage to do what it takes to
get where you want to be.