Sebastian Fundora Wins WBC & WBO 154-Pound World Titles

Tszyu vs Fundora

LAS VEGAS – Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora took home a split-decision over the previously unbeaten Tim Tszyu to capture the WBC and WBO 154-Pound World Titles in the main event of the inaugural PBC Pay-Per-View available on Prime Video Saturday night from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. One judge scored the fight 116-112 for Tszyu, but was overruled by scores of 116-112 and 115-113 for Fundora.

“We’ve been praying for this moment for a long time and I’m just happy that Tim Tszyu gave me the opportunity and the opportunity became my dream come true,” said Fundora.”

Tszyu (24-1, 17 KOs) looked in control in the first two rounds, almost landing straight right hands at will before running into an incidental elbow from Fundora (21-1-1, 13 KOs) in round two that opened a massive cut on the top of his head. After receiving an inspection from the ringside physician, Tszyu fought on, but was clearly affected by the blood caused from the cut.

“I’m a throwback fighter and whatever circumstances come up, I’ll keep going,” said Tszyu. “But all credit belongs to the man who won tonight. These things happen. My momentum was rolling in the first two rounds and then boom, you’re blinded completely. This is boxing, it’s part of the sport.”

With his opponent’s vision compromised, Fundora, who was dealing with blood flowing out of his nose following round two, focused on using his tremendous length to consistently pepper Tszyu with jabs and further disrupt his attack. Most of Fundora’s success with power punches came via the left hand, as he was able to land clean shots from the southpaw stance.

“I didn’t want to break my nose today, but this is my life and this is boxing,” said Fundora. “I just had to be smart. I used my brain. I hope you saw me use my boxing skills tonight.”

According to CompuBox stats, Fundora out-jabbed Tszyu 93-39 and threw 721 punches to Tszyu’s 400. Tszyu held an impressive 44% connect rate, but despite a 136 to 101 edge in power punches, was never able to seriously hurt Fundora.

“I show up no matter what and always bring the fight,” said Tszyu. “There’s no excuses. I’ll fight whoever, whenever. If you want a good scrap, you know who to call.”

“Tszyu is a world champion for a reason,” said Fundora. “It’s an honor to share the ring and make history with him.”

Fundora became the second world champion in his family, following his sister Gabriela, the current IBF Flyweight World Champion, with both trained by their father Freddy. After the fight, top pound-for-pound contender and former unified world champion Errol Spence Jr. entered the ring to express his interest in a matchup with Fundora, which the newly crowned champion quickly welcomed.

“Errol is one of the pound for pound greats,” said Fundora. “So fighting him and getting a win would be history for me.”

“It’s time to get it on,” said Spence. “He’s got the big dog now. It’s my first time seeing him in person. He’s got good height, but we’ll break him down.”

In the co-main event, Mexican star Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (26-2-1, 18 KOs) did his talking in the ring as he wrestled away the WBA Super Lightweight World Championship from Rolando “Rolly” Romero (15-2, 13 KOs) with an eighth round TKO triumph.

“I’m very happy and humbled to win this title for my family and for Mexico,” said Cruz. “I was prepared for this. I wasn’t here to just fight. I was here to terminate him…I did my talking right here in the ring. And I did this not just for me, but for everybody that is here at T-Mobile Arena. There’s going to be a Mexican champ at 140 pounds for a long time.”

After enduring pre-fight trash talk from Romero, it was Cruz who established his dominance early, connecting with a left hook to the top of the head that wobbled Romero badly in round one. Although Romero steadied himself and valiantly survived the round, he was never able to shake Cruz with his own power.

“We gave the fans a great fight,” said Romero. “Unfortunately, we came up short. I want to thank ‘Pitbull’ Cruz and all the fans that came out and made this a great event. I’ll be back.”

Back training with Ismael Salas for the first time since early in his career, Romero was able to show enough movement and ring savvy to push the fight into the second half. He also attempted to strategically hold and keep Cruz off of him, but was deducted a point in round five for excessively holding. Despite these efforts, he was once again hurt late in round seven, this time from an onslaught that began with a straight right hand to the head.

“I fought with the intention to leave the decision out of the judges’ hands,” said Cruz. “Mission accomplished.”

Romero again showed his mettle by making it to the bell, but early in round eight was met with another onslaught of power punches from the hard-charging Cruz. This time, the barrage was enough to force referee Thomas Taylor to waive off the fight 59 seconds into the round. Cruz’s dominance was reflected in the punch stats as he out landed (129-85) and was more accurate (36% to 25%) than Romero.

“I am not here just to be a dangerous fighter,” said Cruz. “I now have a title that is backing me up. So anybody that is available, I’ll be ready.”

The pay-per-view also saw WBA Middleweight World Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (30-3-3, 17 KOs) deliver a sensational knockout over Michael Zerafa (31-5, 19 KOs) in the second round of the title fight.

“I worked so hard in training because I know that all of these fighters are coming for my title,” said Lara. “By staying ready, you don’t have to get ready. I have always said that I only need one or two rounds to size my opponent up, and I knew I had him from the very first round. That left hand shot was just a matter of time.”

After a feel out first round, Lara found a home for a vicious one-two combination punctuated by a blistering straight left that sent Zerafa down. The number one ranked middleweight contender by the WBA, Zerafa was able to get to his feet but was on shaky legs, which forced referee Allen Huggins to halt the bout 2:59 into the round.

A two-division world champion and one of Cuba’s greatest boxers, Lara has followed up a long championship run in the 154-pound division with three straight knockouts since moving up to middleweight. Boxing’s old reigning world champion, Lara landed 18 jabs in the first two rounds to set up the straight left that closed the show.

“I want to dedicate this fight to the fans that have supported me throughout my career, both from Cuba and all over the world as well,” said Lara.

Opening the pay-per-view, WBC Flyweight World Champion Julio Cesar Martinez (21-3, 15 KOs) dropped the previously unbeaten Angelino Cordova (18-1-1, 12 KOs) twice on his way to a majority decision victory by scores of 114-112 twice and 113-113.

Trained by the renowned Eddy Reynoso, Martinez took an early lead in the fight by scoring a pair of knockdowns in round three, both from hard jabs that knocked Cordova off-balance and sent him to the mat. Cordova was able to rebound however and get back into the fight by using his footwork and volume to frustrate the champion. 

The fight was fought largely in close quarters, with Martinez suffering cuts near both eyes at various moments in the fight, including a gash above his left eye that required extra inspection from the ringside doctor between rounds. While Cordova threw over 200 punches more than Martinez (777-567), it was Martinez who held a decisive 33% to 25% edge in accuracy.

Heading into the final two rounds, all three judges had the fight scored 94-94. With the fight in the balance, Martinez out-landed Cordova 18-13 in power punches across the final two rounds to clinch the victory.

Preceding the pay-per-view, PBC on Prime Video action was topped by a toe-to-toe battle that saw Serhii Bohachuk (24-1, 23 KOs) take home a unanimous decision over Brian Mendoza (22-4, 16 KOs) to win the Interim WBC Super Welterweight Title. Bohachuk dominated many of the early frames before Mendoza rallied in the last third of the fight. After several explosive exchanges in the final round, Bohachuk took home the decision by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice.

Kicking off the live streaming presentation was teenage phenom Curmel Moton (3-0, 2 KOs) earning a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Anthony Cuba (7-1-2, 3 KOs) after eight rounds of super featherweight action. The Mayweather Promotions’ prospect controlled the bout from the outset, targeting the body early to open up power shots to the head that helped him cruise on the scorecards, with all three judges seeing the bout 80-72 in his favor.


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