Home Boxing News Sebastian Fundora surveys the junior middleweight landscape from a lofty height

Sebastian Fundora surveys the junior middleweight landscape from a lofty height

Sebastian Fundora (right) lands a jab on Tim Tszyu

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Sebastian Fundora.

A fortnight ago the 26-year-old Californian southpaw was grinding away in the gym, his sole focus a fight against Ukrainian puncher Serhii Bohachuk for a secondary WBC title at 154-pounds.

Fast-forward to today. Fundora is the WBO and WBC junior middleweight champion of the world with superfights against Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr and Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford in offing.

How did we get here?

In a classic case of hard work meeting opportunity, Fundora was pulled from his undercard bout against Bohachuk to face Tim Tszyu in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions’ first pay-per-view card on Amazon Prime Video after original opponent Keith Thurman withdrew after suffering an injury to his biceps in training.

WBO champion Tszyu readily accepted the assignment. The bout at the T-Mobile Arena was set to mark his Las Vegas debut. The WBC got onboard too, staking their vacant title on the outcome of bout.

Meanwhile, the WBO flagged a new mandatory contender for the winner. The Puerto Rican-based sanctioning body determined that they would install undefeated former two-weight undisputed champion Crawford 40-0 (31).

According to the script, 29-year-old Australian Tszyu 24-1 (17) would defeat the six-foot-six Fundora 21-1-1 (13) and move directly into a bout against crafty Nebraskan southpaw Crawford, 36.

Another option on the table was a fight against former unified welterweight champion Spence 28-1 (22). The 34-year-old Texan southpaw made sure he was ringside to call out Tszyu after the fight.

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Tszyu started well, potshotting Fundora hit power shots. But things turned on a dime late in the second when Tszyu ran into a Fundora elbow as he lunge in to throw another right hand. The collision resulted in a two-inch long cut to Tszyu head just back from his hairline.

The cut immediately bled and his corner failed to control the flow of blood for the remainder of the fight.

By the mid-rounds Fundora was leaking claret too, with blood running into his mouth from a busted up nose. But the cut to Tszyu’s head was flowing directly into his left eye and down his cheek, creating a mask of blood and affecting his vision.

It looked like the scene from a horror movie.

Fundora boxed a clever fight while Tszyu got more and more desperate as the fight progressed, looking for the one big shot to turn things around.

It never came. Fundora boxed comfortably at range and cut off Tszyu at the pass when he closed the distance.

When the final gong sounded, Fundora was awarded the victory by split decision 116-112, 113-115 and 112-116.

And to the victor go the spoils.

The belts. The big-money opportunities. The lot.

“Whatever they give me,” Fundora said after the fight when asked who he would like to fight next. “Errol Spence is a great opportunity. I think it’s a match made in heaven, but Terence Crawford is the best fighter in the world. I would like to fight him.”

What a difference a fortnight makes.