Home Boxing News Tim Tszyu: “Sebastian Fundora should fear me”

Tim Tszyu: “Sebastian Fundora should fear me”

Tim Tszyu. Photo credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Ten seconds.

That’s all it took for Tim Tszyu 24-0 (17) to accept a fight with late replacement Sebastian Fundora 20-1-1 (13).

WBO junior middleweight champion Tszyu, 29, was scheduled to face former WBC and WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman 30-1 (22) in a 12-round, 155-pound non-title bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 30.

That was until the 35-year-old Thurman from Clearwater, Florida suffered a biceps injury that forced him to withdraw from the bout less than a fortnight before it was set to take place.

Enter Fundora, the almost six-foot-six southpaw from Coachella, California.

The 26-year-old was set to face Ukrainian puncher Serhii Bohachuk 23-1 (23) on the undercard in a battle for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title.

Now he will be one half of the main event.

The WBO has sanctioned the fight for their title and the WBC has ageed to put their strap on the line, meaning the winner will own 50% of the important hardwear at 154-pounds.

Tszyu was down for the fight almost as soon as the proposition was put to him.

“There was no hesitation, it was straight away, a 10-second thing,” Tszyu said. “Yes, it made me pissed off but the focus shifts and the show goes on, simple.

“You’ve got to be able to take on all comers. He’s tricky, he’s tall, but whatever, I’m confident in victory by any means anyway.”

The other fill-in opponent offered to Tszyu was Erislandy Lara 29-3-3 (17). The Cuban southpaw is set to defend his WBA middleweight belt against Australian Michael Zerafa 31-4 (19) on the undercard.

“They gave me Fundora or Lara. I didn’t want to break Zerafa’s heart,” Tszyu said. “I’m at 154 [pounds] right now, I’m chasing glory there.”

Team Tszyu quicjkly adapted to the change of opponent, drafting in the tallest sparring partners they could find at late notice.

“We flew two boys in last night, so the boys arrived today, this morning, and I’ve got my last week of sparring,” Tszyu said.

“It’s a big shift, I understand, I’ve been preparing for Keith Thurman… it is what it is.

“This is what it takes to be great, simple.”

Tszyu remains unimpressed by Fundora, who has not boxed in almost a year following his brutal seventh-round knockout loss to Brian Mendoza last April.

Tszyu, who defeated Mendoza on points last October and has been using him as a sparring partner in this camp, said he spoke to Fundora’s lone conqueror to get his thoughts on the lanky boxer.

“He basically said Fundora’s like a height bully, that’s all he is,” Tszyu said.

“He’s got average boxing skills, average IQ, he’s just got this physique that he allows just to bully people.

“But you can really work him out and Mendoza got him good, let’s just say that.”

All the talk on social media right now is about the danger that Fundora presents, but Tszyu holds a different point of view.

“There is no reason for me to back out. I fear no man. I know I’m the best at 154, I know what I possess, it’s simple,” Tszyu said.

“He should be fearing me, that’s the difference.

“In my mind, I’m in a different era to where we are now. We live an era of Twitter battles rather than fighters.

“I hope I can inspire more boxers out there. I saved the show, T-Mobile Arena, all of this stuff, every other fighter that’s fighting on the undercard, it’s all because of my decision.

“And it was like that [snaps fingers].”