Lewkowicz challenges Esparza to fight Fundora: ‘She can run, but she can’t hide!’

Sampson Lewkowicz, who co-promotes Gabriela Fundora alongside Golden Boy Promotions, has challenged the unified champ Marlen Esparza to get in the ring with the 21-year-old hotshot.

“She can run,” Lewkowicz told ProBox TV. “But she can’t hide.”

Fundora is a rising star in women’s boxing thanks to extraordinary height, range, and power that she packs into a flyweight frame.

To date, these are assets that have served her well as she won the IBF flyweight championship against Arely Mucino in her Golden Boy debut, arguably stealing the show alongside Giovani Santillan who upset Alexis Rocha in the main event.

More recently, Fundora slayed Christina Cruz on the undercard of Golden Boy’s most recent show which featured a headline super middleweight attraction, Jaime Munguia, who sensationally stopped John Ryder in the ninth round.

Backstage at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, Lewkowicz told ProBox TV that it was a “tough fight” because Cruz came to the ring “only to run.”

He said his charge Fundora “was focused, and knew she could fight the 10-round distance. 

“In Cruz, you have an Olympian, and many amateur fights, so she is a fighter who knows what she's doing in the ring. 

“You can see that she was running the whole time, and counter attack,” Lewkowicz said.

Fundora scored another stoppage win Saturday when Cruz turned her back in the final round, appeared to cower, and even took steps away toward the ropes after a competitive contest.

The referee then stopped the fight, awarding Fundora a finish — much to Cruz’s chagrin.

For Lewkowicz, though, it was “definitely” a good stoppage.

“When you turn your back, it means you don’t want it anymore. That’s probably the way she felt, she went, ‘That’s enough’.”

Lewkowicz continued: “She got beat in every round and it was enough” for her, Lewkowicz said — a reflection of the scorecards.

As for what’s next, Fundora told ProBox TV ahead of the show that she did not have a dream opponent in mind, per se, but that she had a clear goal — to become an undisputed champion.

To do that, she must overcome her division’s only other champion, Esparza — a champion with 15 bouts behind her, including notable wins over Ibeth Silva, Anabel Ortiz, Naoka Fujioka, Eva Guzman, and Gabriela Celeste Alaniz.

Like Fundora, Esparza is a rostered athlete at Golden Boy. The bout could be made and it's one Lewkowicz is determined to make. 

To ProBox TV, he called on Esparza to make it, too. “You vacate — give up the titles,” he said, in a message to Cruz. “Or you fight Fundora.”