Inducted on November 13, 2014
Bruce Seldon was the World Boxing Association heavyweight champion from 1995 to 1996. It was after a boxing match between Seldon and Mike Tyson, in which Seldon lost his title by a first-round TKO, that Tupac Shakur was murdered in a drive-by shooting.
Seldon turned pro after compiling an amateur record of 20-4 and winning the New Jersey Golden Gloves super heavyweight championship. He began his career on October 4, 1988 with a first-round knockout of Joel McGraw and won his first 18 fights. During this winning streak, he defeated such notable fighters as Ezra Sellers, Ossie Ocasio, David Bey and Jose Ribalta.
On April 18, 1991, future WBC heavyweight champion Oliver McCall handed him his first defeat. Ahead on all three official scorecards entering the ninth round, a fatigued Seldon was floored three times in the ninth and lost via the three-knockdown rule. In his next fight, Seldon was knocked out in one round by future Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe.
Seldon came back to win his next six fights, then lost a ten-round unanimous decision against former WBA heavyweight champion Tony Tubbs on October 14, 1992. After seven straight wins, Seldon fought former IBF heavyweight champion Tony Tucker On April 8, 1995 for the vacant WBA heavyweight championship. George Foreman was stripped of the title for fighting Axel Schulz instead of Tucker, the organization’s top contender. Seldon, ranked second by the WBA, stopped Tucker at the end of round seven to claim the vacant title. It was the first stoppage loss of Tucker’s career (his two previous losses were decisions to Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis). In the lone successful defense of his title, Seldon stopped fourth-ranked contender Joe Hipp in the tenth round. Thirteen months later, he would lose the title to Mike Tyson via first-round TKO at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
On June 26, 1998, Seldon was sentenced to five years probation and 364 days in jail by a Camden, New Jersey, judge for smoking marijuana with a 15-year-old girl and taking part in sexual activity with her the previous year. Seldon pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed a more serious charge of sexual assault as well as drug and weapons offenses. Superior Court Judge Stephen W. Thompson said Seldon would have to register his whereabouts with the police under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law statute as a convicted sex offender. He could have sentenced Seldon to a maximum five-year prison sentence on each of the endangerment counts.
After six and a half years of inactivity, Seldon returned to the ring on March 6, 2004 with a third-round knockout of Otis Tisdale. On May 15, 2004, he faced undefeated prospect Gerald Nobles. Seldon knocked Nobles down in round two, but Nobles came back to stop Seldon in the ninth round. After being stopped in the second round by Tye Fields on October 28, 2005, Seldon was inactive for sixteen months. After three consecutive wins, he was stopped in five rounds by Kevin Johnson on September 5, 2008. Seldon’s last fight was a ninth-round KO loss to Fres Oquendo on July 24, 2009.
Seldon trains his son, super middleweight Isiah Seldon. Father and son are pictured above to the right.