“I’m Definitely Going To Show What I’m Made Of,” Says Fundora Ahead Of Tszyu Clash

Sebastian Fundora took a call on Sunday to see if he would be open to replacing Keith Thurman in the main event in Las Vegas against Tim Tszyu on march 30.

The rangy super welterweight contender had little hesitation in upgrading his slot on the bill from facing Serhii Bohachuk on the card to headlining in a fight for Tszyu’s WBO title and now the vacant WBC belt.

The 26-year-old “Towering Inferno” is a 6ft 5ins southpaw, and he has stepped in after original Tszyu opponent Thurman suffered a biceps injury in training. 

“My promoter called us up and said this guy has an injury, if you guys are willing to save the fight card, you have the chance, and of course my first reaction was yes,” Fundora told ProBox TV. “Because this guy’s a world champion and I was fighting for the vacant WBC, but if I can fight for the WBO as well and it’s a big fight, I consider him [Tszyu] maybe right now the best at 154, so if I can take that spot I’ll definitely do it.”

Fundora and Tszyu are coming in on the back of fights against the same opponent. Last October, Tszyu outscored Brian Mendoza in Australia, but earlier in the year, in April, Mendoza had handed Fundora his only loss, scoring a thunderous seventh-round stoppage. 

Mendoza is now on the card, and he is stepping in to face Bohachuk, and while Fundora has plenty of respect for Tszyu, he is coming in confident.  

“We definitely wanted to take it,” said man from Coachella, California. “We’ve been training for a hard fight, this one as well is another hard fight, but you know it’s time. I think it’s time to become world champion. 

“During one of the press conferences, we were actually talking about fighting Tim Tszyu but I guess God said, ‘Hey, you’re going to fight him right now.’ I’m just happy. I’m excited for this opportunity and I’m definitely going to show what I’m made of. 

“Bohachuk was a pressure fighter. I figure Tim Tszyu is somewhat of a pressure fighter too, they both are hard-hitter punchers, they’re both right-handed, but it’s just how am I going to adjust to it, and we’ve been using our brain for this camp. It’s going to be good.”

Fundora admitted he had not seen Tszyu’s fight with Mendoza, but he has been working on what went wrong in his own fight with Mendoza last year.

“There’s a big mistake we’ve been going over and over in camp so we’re more than ready,” explained Fundora. “We could fight whoever, we’re more than ready, but the fact we’re fighting Tim Tszyu is that much better.

“I’m pretty sure he [Tszyu]’s got the same mindset as me, this is one of the best fights you can make at 154 and when the opportunity presents itself, you take it.”

Some feel Fundora might pose Tszyu more problems than Thurman, and that is definitely a notion the new challenger subscribes to. The tall southpaw is certainly very different to Thurman, in terms of what Tszyu now has in front of him.

“Of course,” Fundora replied, when asked if he was an upgrade. “If you ask me if I’m a better fighter of course I’m going to say that, too. You know, everything happens for a reason. The fans are going to get a great fight. I’m pretty sure the fight with Keith Thurman was going to be great, too, but I’m glad it’s me.”

Asked what it will do for him should he win at the T-Mobile on Saturday, March 30, Fundora said: “It puts me at the top, which is what I’ve been wanting or seeking for a long time. I also become a world champion, I’ll catch up to my sister [IBF flyweight champion Gabriela], it’s just a dream come true. If everything turns out right, and it will, it’ll be a great start for my 2024.”