Fundora Reflects on Past Loss Ahead of Tszyu Title Fight

By Robbie Bannatyne - 03/26/2024 - Comments

Sebastian Fundora, the replacement opponent for WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu this Saturday night, recalls his seventh-round knockout loss to Brian Mendoza last April, in which he was blown out.

The 6’5″ Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) has an aggressive style that some fans view as totally reckless. He barely escaped that approach in his fight against Erickson Lubin. However, it caught up to Fundora when he fought Mendoza, a big puncher who hadn’t done much in his career up to that point.

A Costly Mistake

“I got a reminder – you can’t play boxing. You cannot play boxing,” Fundora told DAZN News. He reflected on dropping his guard and leaning forward, a small misstep that had major consequences.”

What’s interesting about that fight is Fundora allowed the shorter 5’10” Mendoza to fight him at medium range, which allowed him to land his power shots at will. Fundora hadn’t learned his lesson from his war with Lubin in 2022, in which he was dropped hard and close to being knocked out.

Mendoza had shown he was a dangerous puncher going into the contest, having stopped former IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Jeison Rosario in the fifth round in his previous fight in November 2022.

That fight should have alerted Fundora, an intelligent person, that he needed to be cautious with Mendoza and not take any chances of exchanging or, more importantly, allowing him to get in close enough range to get leverage on his huge power shots.

Unfortunately, Fundora didn’t do that, enabling Mendoza to land some big shots in the seventh round to knock him out. After that defeat, it was thought that Fundora would slowly need to work his way back to the top.

But luckily for him, the old barnacle, Keith Thurman, suffered a bicep injury and had to pull out of his main event fight against Tszyu this Saturday night. Talk about your second chances.

Fundora is being given a gift by getting this fight a big payday that he doesn’t deserve, but he’s getting it anyway, backing into the clash off a brutal knockout loss and an 11-month layoff. It’s just dumb luck for Fundora.

Lessons Learned

“You cannot make these mistakes. Small, little mistakes, you cannot make ’em because if you do, you pay for it, and that’s what I got in that fight,” Fundora said about his loss to Mendoza.

Whether Fundora has learned from the “little mistakes” against Mendoza remains to be seen. One gets the sense that Fundora will make plenty of similar mistakes against Tszyu and will end up getting blown out by the Aussie in short order.

Tszyu vs. Fundora will headline this Saturday, March 30th, on Prime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the co-feature bout, WBA light welterweight champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero will defend against Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz.