Sebastian Fundora wins junior middleweight titles by defeating Tim Tszyu


Sebastian Fundora, in one of the most bloody fights to date, won the WBC and WBO Junior Middleweight titles with a split-decision win over Tim Tszyu on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena.

Fundora won the fight 116-112 after a judge gave Tszyu a score of 116-112. However, this was overruled by scores of 116-112 for Tszyu and 115-113 for Fundora. If Tszyu was to win the final round the Australian star could have gotten a draw.

Nicknamed “The Towering Inferno” for his gangly, 6-foot-5 ½ 154-pound frame, Fundora replaced Keith Thurman (ruptured biceps) on 11 days’ notice and stepped into his first title shot coming off his first defeat.

Fundora, a 26-year-old boxer (21-1-1 and 13 KOs), suffered a knockout loss in the seventh round to Brian Mendoza last April. It was one of the biggest upsets of the year. He entered the boxing ring as an underdog and lost both the first two rounds of the fight on all three cards.

Tszyu (24-1 with 17 KOs) was injured by an accidental elbow in Round 2 from Fundora. A nine-inch difference in height made it more likely that an accident would occur.

Blood never stopped pouring into Tszyu’s eye for the rest of the match. The ringside physician threatened to stop the fight after Round 3, but allowed it to go on. Tszyu (29), never complained and never stopped coming to the front.

Tszyu entered the night rated No. 2 by ESPN at 154 pounds. ESPN rated Tszyu at 154 pounds as No. 2. “I couldn’t see but I’m proud of the man who won tonight. These things happen. The momentum was swinging in the first two rounds and then, boom, you were blinded.

“This is boxing, and this is a part of the sport.” Fundora deserves congratulations. He is the new king in 154. We’ll bounceback.”

Fundora faced similar challenges. His nose bled profusely in the first round, and his mouth was also dripping blood. It was like a scene from a horror film, with both fighters wearing crimson-colored masks.

Fundora, Tszyu and their 154-pound titles were fought in a furious slugfest.

Fundora entered the ring as ESPN’s No. 5 boxer at 154 pounds. “He’s an elite fighter. He was a champion for a good reason.”

Fundora used his southpaw jab and a disciplined strategy to pepper Tszyu at range. He never got into a fight, unlike previous fights.

Fundora, a fighter from Coachella, California, said, “I’ve told everyone this whole camp that I’m going to use my brain.” He was set to fight Serhii BOHACHUK on PBC Prime Video undercard, but received the call that Thurman would be replacing him.

Fundora and Gabriela became the world’s first brother-sister boxing champions with this victory. Gabriela retained her IBF Flyweight title in January after a TKO win over Christina Cruz.

Fundora said: “It’s a big deal.”

Tszyu’s son, Kostya Tszyu of the Hall of Fame, made a big splash last year when he won three fights. In March of last year, he won his career-best victory by stopping Tony Harrison. This was two months before he was scheduled to face JermellCharlo in the undisputed championship. The fight was cancelled due to Charlo’s hand injury.

Tszyu was busy in October, he won a knockout in the first round over Carlos Ocampo. Tszyu then announced that he was going to campaign in the U.S. as he aimed for the marquee fights.

Thurman was a well-known name who could have helped Tszyu gain more attention, but Thurman’s injury changed the plans 11 days before the fight. Tszyu adjusted on the fly to a 6-foot-5½ southpaw after he prepared all training camp for a 5-foot-8 orthodox boxer.

Tszyu seemed to be in control of the fight until the end. Fundora’s active jib won the fight. Tszyu landed some powerful shots in the final stages, but Fundora was able to land some powerful shots. Tszyu was looking forward to a summer showdown with Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. but a rematch against Fundora may be on the horizon.

Fundora may have different ideas.

Spence, who had been dominated by Crawford in July via a ninth-round TKO for the undisputed world welterweight title, entered the ring and demanded a shot against Fundora.

Spence said, “It’s now time to get going.” “He has a good height but we’ll have to see.” We’ll do what we always have done and break him down.

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