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Tim Tszyu Dubs Sebastian Fundora ‘Unprofessional’ As They Trade Barbs Over Burgers


LAS VEGAS – With a big night at the T-Mobile Arena around the corner on Saturday, an otherwise respectful build-up between Tim Tszyu and late replacement Sebastian Fundora turned ugly over a burger.

Ahead of some media obligations at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during fight week, Tszyu and his team saw the gangly Fundora sitting down and eating fast food, and the Australian branded the opponent he will meet for both the WBC and WBO light-middleweight titles as unprofessional. 

“I live and breathe this sport,” said Tszyu. “I remember once in an interview with Cristiano Ronaldo [a disciplined soccer star] – and I implement the same way of living as he did. I live by that code of the disciplined lifestyle, and I saw him [Fundora] yesterday having pizza; he was having burgers, and I was in shock. I was actually in shock, that a professional athlete two days out from a fight was eating s*** like that. It baffles me.”

Fundora defended his food choices, argued that he was on track to make weight and said that Tszyu should not be concerned by what he chooses to fuel himself with.

“Honestly, I don’t think anything I do should bother him,” Fundora responded. “It’s not affecting him in any way. Eating burgers, pizza – yes I can do it. Besides the fight, this is vacation time for me, why can’t I enjoy it? Am I not allowed to enjoy myself? Everybody else in Vegas is walking round with their tall beers and stuff like that – I don’t drink – let me enjoy myself. This is a week for me. Let me enjoy myself.”

This row aside, Tszyu and Fundora have been amicable through fight week. 

“He’s a good guy,” Fundora went on. “I actually met him when [Jermell] Charlo fought [Brian] Castano the second time. I was talking to his manager at lunch yesterday at lunch, and they were saying, ‘How can you eat that burger?’ And I said, ‘Because I can.’ 

“I’ve got a fast metabolism and I work hard. If you think it’s unprofessional, I guess that’s on you. You’re not the one eating the burger so what does it matter? It was a burger and fries and a Powerade, to balance it out, from Johnny Rockets. 

“I’m not eating burgers every day for my diet, but for right now I’m not home so I don’t really get to eat what I want to eat anyway, so I’m just going to enjoy what I do. I never don’t make weight; I never missed weight before. Unprofessional? That’s a poor choice of words.”

Regardless of the burger row, the stakes are high on Saturday. Tszyu is the favorite, and the names of both Terence Crawford and Errol Spence are on the lips of those in Las Vegas about future foes for the victor, while Spence sent out a message on social media calling out Tszyu specifically, in a quiet snub to Fundora.

“I don’t really pay attention to those things,” Fundora said. “Tim Tszyu is fighting me this weekend; we will see what happens after. I would love to fight Errol Spence or Terence Crawford, those are names I already said, I already mentioned them before, so if we can get that fight after Tzsyu, we will.”

Asked whether Tszyu is now looking beyond him, or whether the Australian has had his head turned by the big names on the horizon, Fundora is convinced that he is not being underestimated.

“He might be,” Fundora said initially. “When I look into his eyes, I don’t see it. The way he talks, as well, in front of the camera, I don’t see it. He’s taking the fight very seriously… I feel the respect.”

Tszyu might respect Fundora as a fighter, but that doesn’t extend to his nutritional fight-week choices. 

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