Sebastian Fundora vs. Brian Mendoza: Last Man Standing

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A potential Fight of the Year candidate is slated for Saturday night as unbeaten 154-pound sensation Sebastian Fundora faces the explosive Brian Mendoza on SHOWTIME.

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Sebastian Fundora vs Brian Mendoza PREVIEW: April 8, 2022 | PBC on SHOWTIME

This Saturday, April 8, from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., undefeated super welterweight attraction Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora (20-0-1, 13 KOs) defends his Interim WBC Super Welterweight World Title against tough-as-nails contender Brian Mendoza (21-2, 15 KOs) atop a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) will feature rising undefeated super lightweight contender Brandun Lee battling Mexico’s Pedro Campa in the 10-round co-main event. Opening up the telecast, undefeated 20-something featherweights Luis “The Twist” Nuñez and Christian Olivo go to war in a 10-round contest.

The Story

Sebastian Fundora has fought his way into the hearts of boxing fans. Previously drawing attention as a nearly 6-foot-6 physical oddity in the super welterweight division, the Coachella, California native has earned respect with his all-action ring style and a growing resume of top-level conquests. 

The fan-friendly battler affirmed his “for real” status in his April 2022 Fight of the Year-level war with highly regarded top contender Erickson Lubin. Despite both fighters hitting the canvas, Fundora would rise and eventually force a ninth round corner stoppage to claim the vacant Interim WBC title. In his last bout, Fundora scored a wide unanimous decision victory over former world title challenger Carlos Ocampo.

Brian Mendoza, an Albuquerque, New Mexico native who now fights out of Las Vegas, is coming into Saturday’s bout with the momentum of having scored the biggest victory of his career to date. Last November, in a one-fight move up to middleweight, he stopped former unified super welterweight champ Jeison Rosario in the fifth round with an eye-catching uppercut. 

The pupil of renowned trainer Ismael Salas is also two fights removed from going the distance in a losing effort against rising star Jesus Ramos. 

The Stakes

At stake is Fundora’s Interim WBC Super Welterweight Title. The victor also assumes next-dibs contender status for the winner of the bout between undisputed 154-pound champ Jermell Charlo and Tim Tszyu.

The Matchup

Fundora is a pressure fighter with an all-action, fan-friendly fight philosophy. Despite his beyond-lanky frame and an 80-inch reach that exceeds that of many heavyweights, the 25-year-old southpaw prefers to fight on the inside, where he has the ability to generate uncanny leverage on his shots.

The uppercut, from both the right and the left side, is a potent offensive weapon and a potential fight-ender. He’s also got a potent left hook that can turn the tide of a fight.

Fundora’s defense continues to be an issue. With a tendency to let his hands drop low and a hyper-focus on offense at the expense of defense, he still gets hit flush way too often.

We both have chips on our shoulders. Undefeated Interim WBC World Super Welterweight World Champion - Sebastian Fundora

Mendoza is a physically strong fighter and all-around solid on offense. The best weapons in his arsenal are a big left hook, a thudding overhand right, and a crisp uppercut. He also likes to work the body and dedicates a large portion of his offensive game to digging downstairs.

Rugged by nature, the 29-year-old is game and durable with a degree of old school toughness. High-end sparring with the likes of Erislandy Lara and Yordenis Ugas, as well as the guidance of Ismael Salas, have rounded out some rough edges to make him a more complete fighter.

Mendoza’s defense continues to be a work in progress. Although he’s not hard to find, he has also shown flashes of quality head movement and solid defensive instincts.

The Words

Sebastian Fundora

“Expect fireworks. I’m bringing my best, so I hope he brings his best. We both have chips on our shoulders. We want to become champions and we have to win on April 8 to do so. Mendoza is coming off a big win and we said ‘heck yeah’ to the fight. It’s a good fight for the fans and a good fight for us.”

Brian Mendoza

“I have another big opportunity in front of me on April 8. Just like in my last fight, I’m embracing the role of underdog so I can shock the world. Sleep on me at your own risk, because I’m coming for everything.”

The Breakdown

The reality is that any fight featuring Fundora is probably going to end up being an all-action battle. This upcoming bout, with a Mendoza who is not at all averse to letting his hands go, will likely be a bell-to-bell war with a definite last-man-standing-is-the-victor vibe to it. 

Fundora has talked about utilizing his reach more and he tried, at least early on, to make the jab more of a factor in his bout with Ocampo. It didn’t take too long, however, for him to get back into his comfort zone inside. He’ll have a ten-inch reach advantage over Mendoza, so a good, fight-controlling jab would be an outstanding weapon to have. At this point, though, he just doesn’t look comfortable being anything more than the inside brawler that he is. Until he finds that comfort at long range and sharpens up his jab, it’s probably best for him to just bang away as usual. 

Mendoza’s best spot is usually on the inside where he can use his physical strength and do damage at short range. He’ll be welcomed to that spot by Fundora and he’ll get every opportunity to employ the strategy that best suits his abilities. The question is whether he’ll have the firepower and general wherewithal to deal with Fundora’s offensive prowess and non-stop aggression.

That’s what makes Fundora-Mendoza this Saturday so interesting. Fundora will be the favorite coming into this bout, but Mendoza will be in the fight for as long as he’s physically in the fight. This is true last man standing stuff right here. Enjoy.

For a closer look at Fundora vs Mendoza, check out our fight night page. 

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