Brian Mendoza Scores Stunning KO Of Sebastian Fundora
In a stunning turn of events, Brian Mendoza pulled off an early candidate for “knockout of the year” with a thunderous three punch combination KO of previously unbeaten, Sebastian Fundora early in the seventh round to score the biggest win of his career and capture the WBC interim 154 lb. title Saturday night.
In the Showtime Boxing / Premier Boxing Champions main event in Carson, CA, Fundora was in complete control of the scheduled twelve rounder, dominating the action by landing hard combinations at close range throughout the first six rounds. But, then, came the dramatic moment that boxing at times can deliver, unexpectedly.
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Mendoza, now 22-2, 15 KOs, caught the 6′ 6″ Fundora with a hard left to the side of his head that staggered and stood him straight up. Mendoza did not hesitate to land a right-left, one two combo that sent Fundora crashing to the canvas and slamming his head. Fundora, now 20-1-1, barely got to a seated position and was counted out just over 30 seconds into the round, thus completing one of the more stunning reversals in a prominent main event in recent memory.
Fundora has been a star in the junior middleweight division for over two years and was making the second defense of his interim 154 lb. title that he won by TKO over Erickson Lubin in April of last year . But, even though he was being dominated in the first half of the bout, Mendoza continued to battle on and eventually landed the huge punch which turned everything around.
“I just never quit. You can hit me all you want. If you don’t kill me, I’m coming back,” the new champ Mendoza told Showtime in the ring. “I just want to thank Fundora for taking this fight. He didn’t need to take this for where he’s at. Thank you for the oportunity…bro, I did it.”
The 29 year old Mendoza’s upset (he had been 12-1 underdog) comes on the heels of having beaten former IBF/WBA world champion Jeison Rosario by KO in November.
To his credit Fundora did not make excuses and conceded that he simply just got caught with a big punch. “This is boxing. We gotta make these fights. I’ll be back. Congratulations to Brian Mendoza. He did his thing,” he said in the ring.
Two of the three judges gave Fundora all six rounds, while the third only gave Mendoza one round before the shocking ending.
The loss clearly derails Fundora’s chances at fighting undisputed junior middleweight champ Jermell Charlo, which he had been waiting on for the better part of the year. Charlo has been scheduled to fight Australian WBO number one Contender Tim Tszyu, but suffered a broken hand late last year postponing their January fight date.
It is believed that Charlo and Tszyu will fight later this Summer. But, it’s now Mendoza who has the WBC interim belt and in line for the possible undisputed title shot. Obviously, Fundora’s camp will be very interested in a potential rematch while they wait for Charlo-Tszyu winner.
Earlier in the co-feature fight, unbeaten junior welterweight Brandun Lee scored a 10 round unanimous decision over Pedro Campa to improve his record to 28-0, 23 KOs. Lee was the busier fighter scoring hard combos throughout the bout. Although, the veteran Campa was a able to land an occasional hard shot on the young Californian star. The win continues to position Lee to get more significant bouts for PBC cards in the future.