Fundora Edges Tszyu In A Bloody War To Capture Two World Titles

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Fundora and Tszyu cap off a thrilling night of action with a tense back and forth battle that ended with a career-defining win for Fundora Saturday night.

The long car rides. The long morning runs. Sebastian Fundora’s climb to the top was never a lonely one, because he always had his family with him. The quest was always to win a world title since “The Towering Inferno” first put on gloves.

The 6-foot-5½ southpaw got to live his dream before 14,726 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night by winning the WBO and WBC 154-pound titles with a split-decision victory over Tim Tszyu on Premier Boxing Champions’ inaugural Prime Video event.

Sebastian now joins his younger sister Gabriela Fundora, the IBF flyweight titlist, as a rare pair of brother-sister world boxing champions.

Judge Tim Cheatham saw it 116-112 for Tszyu, overruled by David Sutherland’s 115-113 score and Steve Weisfeld’s 116-112 card for Fundora.

Fundora (21-1-1, 13 KOs) handed Tszyu his first career loss in a fight best described as gory.

The first round was a feeling out stanza, but Tszyu (24-1, 17 KOs) did connect with a straight right on Fundora with 50 seconds left in the round.

But it was the second that changed the course of the fight. Tszyu returned to his corner after the round with a cut on the left side of his forehead, which was leaking badly. Fundora returned to his corner with a severely bloody nose.

A replay showed near the end of the second as Tszyu dipped to avoid a punch, his head caught a piece of Fundora’s left elbow, opening the gash.

The cut seemed to spark a sense of alacrity in Tszyu, because he came out for the third with a purpose, sensing the fight might be stopped because of the cut. Tszyu appeared to have problems seeing. He kept swiping the blood from his eyes as Fundora began tagging him with the jab.

Tszyu walked out for the fourth wearing a red mask. He was missing bad, while Fundora kept poking away with the jab and kept connecting.

By the fifth, both fighters were literally in a blood bath. Fundora was growing more confident and comfortable with each round, like watching a live horror show. Referee Harvey Dock began taking a closer look at both fighters. Since the cut, Tszyu did not appear to be the same fighter.  

At the start of the seventh, the ringside doctor came up and looked at Tszyu’s cut again. They decided to go on.

Fundora wisely kept a safe distance, used his jab, and stayed away. Tszyu, to his credit, was fighting an ongoing battle of the blood falling in his eyes and Fundora’s jab falling on his face. Tszyu showed little activity in the seventh, as Fundora kept poking him with the jab.  

Through nine, it seemed an even fight, with Fundora holding possibly a slight edge on activity. But in the 10th, Tszyu began opening a little more. He started attacking Fundora to the body and became more aggressive, willing to take a risk. Fundora, meanwhile, was wearing shining gloves from Tszyu’s blood. He kept Tszyu away with the jab and was very effective the times Tszyu closed in.

Midway through the 11th, Fundora had outlanded Tszyu 165-152. Fundora had boxed smartly, and patiently stayed with a game plan.  

In the last round, Fundora used his jab again in keeping the shorter Tszyu away. He kept a tight defense, which for a moment Tszyu cracked with 1:37 left in the fight with a straight right to the head. Fundora took the shot well. He kept Tszyu at the end of the jab and seemed to have lived a dream come true by winning his first major world championship.

Isaac Cruz wins his first world title by demolishing Rolando Romero

Isaac Cruz said his actions would speak louder than Rolando “Rolly” Romero’s words.

“Pitbull’s” punches spoke loudly.

Cruz captured his first world title by smashing Romero before finishing him off at :56 to win the WBA Super Lightweight World Championship in his 140-pound debut.

"I'm very happy and humbled to win this title for my family and for Mexico,” Cruz said. “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.”

Cruz (26-2-1, 18 KOs) came out swinging like a man possessed in the first minute. Clearly the fan favorite, it took “Pitbull” about 90 seconds to hone in and calm down. Romero, meanwhile, tried to keep Cruz off him, before he nailed Romero with a looping left hook to the side of the head with just over a minute left in the round.

The shot disconnected Romero (15-2, 13 KOs). He was never the same again. Romero was left stumbling; his legs were locked. He was barely able to get out of the round.

Cruz stalked Romero again in the second, though not to the effectiveness of the first round.

By the third, Romero appeared to have his legs back, but it was “Rolly” who would first register fear. With a minute left in the third, Cruz crowded Romero again, walking through everything Romero threw.  

With 1:10 left in the fourth, Cruz cornered Romero, plowed him with thudding shots, and Romero knew better to stand there and take it. He got out, though barely, and safely stayed away the remainder of the round.

In the last 15 seconds of the fifth, Cruz had Romero pinned against the ropes, smacking him with shots to the head and the body. Romero spent most of the round running from Cruz than he did engaging him.

In the sixth, Cruz went chasing Romero again. He connected on a few body shots, while Romero extended his left in trying to measure Cruz. He threw one punch at a time, and rarely landed anything in combination.

By the seventh, Cruz had outlanded Romero 90-75. But it was the visual of Cruz, chin tucked, eyes determined, constantly coming at Romero. With 40 seconds left in the seventh, Cruz placed Romero in deep trouble again. A Cruz right uppercut, followed by a left hook, followed by a right had Romero reeling around the ring.

Referee Tom Taylor looked at Rolly before the eighth, concerned he had little left to fend off Cruz.

With 2:18 left in the eighth, Taylor stopped the action so Cruz could get tape reattached to his glove. Then “Pitbull” went at Romero again—this time finishing him.

He slammed a left hook into Romero’s chin, followed by a right, left, and another punishing right before Taylor mercifully stepped in and ended it at :56 of the eighth.   

“I feel great!” Cruz said. “Here were the fruits of four months of hard work reaping their rewards. This is priceless. It was just a matter of time, but damn if it doesn’t feel good to be a world champion. I fought with the intention to leave the decision out of the judges’ hands. Mission accomplished.”

Erislandy Lara decimates Michael Zerafa in two to retain WBA Middleweight Belt

Erislandy Lara ages like fine wine. He is boxing’s oldest world champion at 40 and at a stage in his life where economy of effort is essential. This time, it was against Australian challenger Michael Zerafa (31-5, 19 KOs).

Lara (30-3-3, 18 KOs) was making his second title defense, and it turned out to be rather easy as in the last 10 seconds of the second round, Lara landed a right hook followed by a sniper-like straight left to Zerafa’s chin that sent Zerafa crashing to the canvas. The Australian rose on unsteady legs, prompting referee Allen Huggins to end the fight at 2:59 of the second round.

“Rust? What rust? I’ve worked my f----- ass off in training because I know that all of these fighters are coming for my title,” Lara said. “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.

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

Julio Cesar Martinez staves off Angelino Cordova to retain WBC Flyweight World Title

It was hard to tell the winner from the loser. WBC Flyweight World Champion Julio Cesar Martinez had a bloody cut over his left eye, forming a crimson river down the side of his face. Contender Angelino Cordova’s left cheek was growing a small mountain.

Neither fighter seemed to throw a jab. It was power punch after power punch.  

In the end, Martinez (21-3, 15 KOs) made a successful seventh title defense by handing Cordova (18-1-1, 12 KOs) his first loss, via 12-round majority decision.

Judge Tim Cheatham had it 113-113, which was overruled by Max De Luca and David Hudson, who each had it 114-112 for Martinez.

Martinez snapped what had been a dull opening first two rounds when he knocked down Cordova in the first 10 seconds of the third round with a straight left jab to the chin. Martinez did it again with a hammer jab with 2:14 left in the round.

Cordova somehow survived the round on stiff legs with Martinez chasing on stiff legs.

Martinez came barreling down on Cordova again in the fourth. In the final 30 seconds, Cordova tried fighting back, but was stymied by Martinez.   

With two minutes left in the fifth, Martinez had Cordova once again in serious trouble. Both fighters were wildly effective, each popping each other out of the blue with punches seemingly fired from any angle.

In the sixth, Martinez battered Cordova once more with a wide left that connected. Then in the eighth, Cordova had Martinez against the ropes in the first 30 seconds of the round, but Martinez fought his way off. Cordova still seemed to be on gingerly legs, although he still engaged Martinez. Cordova even had some fun, faking a bolo punch and doing a bad impersonation of the Ali shuffle. But it served as a quick break in a fight in which it seemed he was trailing.

In the 11th, they went at each other again, throwing wildly. It was more of the same in the 12th as the crowd stood and cheered the two warriors. 

Serhii Bohachuk highly impressive in beating Brian Mendoza

Serhii Bohachuk (24-1, 23 KOs) put on the best performance of his career in a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over Brian Mendoza (22-4, 16 KOs) for the interim WBC Super Welterweight World Title. 

Judges Glenn Feldman (118-110), Don Trella (117-111) and Steve Weisfeld (117-111) all had Bohachuk comfortably winning.

After a slow first, both fighters began picking it up in the second. Mendoza tried timing Bohachuk, who was wobbled for moment midway through the round. Mendoza may have had his nose bloodied, but he backed up Bohachuk with a right to the body. Bohachuk fought back, with an overhand right near the end of the second.

With 1:20 left in the third, Bohachuk had Mendoza cornered, and turned his nose into a bloody facet. Mendoza tried firing back, but he could not keep Bohachuk off him. In the fourth, Bohachuk had Mendoza up against the ropes, and it was the Ukrainian’s pressure that was putting Mendoza there.  

As the fifth unfolded, Bohachuk kept backing up Mendoza. Bohachuk was constantly on Mendoza. The only thing Mendoza could do to keep Bohachuk off him was clinch. Bohachuk mixed his punches well, with left hooks, short rights, and uppercuts.

Midway through the sixth, Bohachuk outlanded Mendoza 118-81 in connects. Inside of a minute left in the round, Bohachuk reached down with right uppercuts, again with Mendoza’s back against the ropes. Bohachuk closed the round with a nod and a wink.

By the seventh, Bohachuk was measuring Mendoza, landing at will and in command. It is the best Bohachuk looked as a pro. He kept setting up his straight right with his driving jab.

Mendoza had a moment in the eighth, when he clubbed Bohachuk with a left hook on the beltline. It was one of the rare moments Mendoza had in a fight otherwise dominated by Bohachuk.

In the ninth, Bohachuk regained control under a barrage of right uppercuts and left hooks. Mendoza remained standing on guts.

Bohachuk patiently approached Mendoza in the 10th, breaking him down against the ropes and continued to take punishment. In the last 30 seconds of the 11th, Mendoza made a last stand with a right uppercut, followed by an overhand right, and a left hook. But it was too late against a fighter who turned in a tremendous performance on the biggest stage of his career. 

Curmel Moton stays perfect by beating Anthony Cuba

It is a little hard to believe super featherweight Curmel Moton is 17. He is. He just does not fight like it.

Moton (3-0, 2 KOs) remained undefeated with an eight-round unanimous decision over 21-year-old Anthony Cuba (7-1-2, 3 KOs). All three judges had it an 80-72 Moton shutout.

For the first time in his young career, Moton entered the second round. He applied pressure on Cuba throughout, working to both the head and body. 

Ahead on the scorecards in sixth, Moton plowed Cuba with a jolting right, forcing Cuba to retreat. He finished with a right on the chin, and referee Tom Taylor began taking a closer look. In the first 30 seconds of the seventh, Cuba thought he would fight fire with fire again, as he did at the start of the fifth. Midway through the seventh, Moton was walking down Cuba. Taylor began looking in again. With :18 seconds left, Moton landed a powerful left uppercut to the body.

Moton walked down Cuba at the start of the eighth and had Cuba retreating again. He kept attacking Cuba and had him teetering, even provoking him with his hands down. The teenager closed the way he opened, and proved he is someone worth watching.  

Other undercard results included featherweight Mirco Cuello (14-0, 11 KOs) winning by eight-round unanimous decision over Sulaiman Segawa (16-4-1, 6 KOs). Super featherweight Kaipo Gallegos (4-0-1, 3 KOs) beat Eric Howard (6-2, 1 KO) by six-round unanimous decision. Making his pro debut, super lightweight Adrian Neaves beat Steven Walker (0-2) by a unanimous four-round decision.

For a closer look at Tszyu vs Fundora and Rolly vs Pitbull, check out our fight night page. 

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