Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora

Keith Thurman Injured

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Tszyu vs. Fundora is an interesting fight with a lot at stake for both fighters.

March 30, 2024 is the first boxing card for streaming service Prime in association with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) headed by Boxing advisor Al Haymon.

It was previously announced that in the main event WBO (World Boxing Organization) junior middleweight (154lbs) champion Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) was facing former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman in a 12 round non-championship bout.

As of last week it was reported that Thurman sustained a bicep injury and had to withdraw from the match. Former interim WBC (World Boxing Council) junior middleweight champion Sebastian Fundora (22-1-1, 15 KOs) will replace Thurman.

Tszyu vs. Fundora is an interesting fight with a lot at stake for both fighters. Unlike Tszyu vs. Thurman, Tszyu not only has to defend his WBO title but also has an opportunity to add the vacant WBC junior middleweight title to his collection. Also, should he defeat Fundora, he has been ordered to defend his WBO title against “Pound for Pound” great and unified welterweight champion Terrance Crawford in a mega fight. Fundora also has the opportunity to fight Crawford should he win.

Who is Tim Tszyu?

Tszyu is the current WBO junior middleweight champion. He is the son of former unified junior welterweight (140lbs) champion Kostya Tszyu, who ruled his division back in the 1990s. For those of us who are hardcore boxing fans, you will note that Tszyu bears a striking resemblance to his father Kostya. Like his father, Tszyu can fight. He has slowly silenced boxing critics who have accused him of trying to capitalize on the Tszyu name to make a few bucks in boxing. Tszyu has slowly proven himself in his last four fights, defeating world class fighters such as Terrell Gausha, former WBC world champion Tony Harrison, Carlos Ocampo, and former interim WBC middleweight champion Brian Mendoza. Each fight was a test for Tszyu, and some boxing experts picked him to lose. A world title match against former undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo never materialized due to injury by Charlo. Then Charlo opted for a lucrative payday against undisputed super middleweight champion (168lbs) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, so he moved up two divisions for that match-up.

So instead of making Tszyu further wait, the WBO sanctioning body stripped Charlo and recognized the winner of Tszyu vs. Tony Harrison as their new champion. Thus Tszyu became a world champion like his dad and now stands at the threshold of greatness should he defeat Fundora.

Who is Sebastian Fundora?

Fundora is literally a “tall order,” as the expression goes.  Fundora stands at 6 feet 5½ inches. Some reports have listed him as 6’6”. Tszyu is listed as 5’9”.  Respectfully, Fundora looks like a basketball player. Fundora is coming off an upset loss to Brian Mendoza last April 2023. This was a fight that he appeared to be winning until Mendoza knocked him out in the 7th round. Coming off a loss, Fundora is being given a golden opportunity to redeem himself in a high profile world title fight and also the opportunity of fighting Terrance Crawford should he prevail as well.

On the surface, Tszyu seems unfazed with the change of opponents and has mentioned that his team has started to prepare him by bringing in very tall sparring partners for Fundora. The giant boxer has chalked up his loss to Mendoza by saying he was winning then just got caught with a punch and has apparently learned from the loss.

The winner of this fight will be whoever can impose his will on the other. Will Tszyu be able to overcome Fundora’s jab to get inside and land effective punches to his jaw and body to earn the victory via points or knockout? Will Fundora be able to use his physical advantages by using his jab to score at will and set up his combinations for the entire 12 rounds? It will be an interesting fight. This writer picks Fundora to hand Tszyu is first lost in a split decision victory.

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