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Tim Tszyu Set For His Tallest Order On Short Notice In Sebastian Fundora


Tim Tszyu (Left) and Sebastian Fundora Face Off During March 21 Open Media Workout In Las Vegas. Photo Credit: Sean Michael Ham, TGB Promotions

Tim Tszyu put his best foot forward for a tall order on very short notice.

It is nearly impossible to simulate the style of an opponent more than six inches taller than most of your divisional peers. Tszyu and his team never expected an exact match for Sebastian Fundora, but they came close enough given the allotted time.

“We had sparring for the new opponent come in on Monday,” Tszyu said of the late switch. “I was grateful for the great work they gave me. This fight is all about awkwardness when you have someone that tall.

“But nothing fazes me. It is what it is and the show goes on.”

Tszyu-Fundora will headline the inaugural installment of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Prime (Saturday, Prime Video Pay-Per-View, $69.99). Their WBO/vacant WBC 154-pound title unification bout takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The event will mark the first Vegas fight for Sydney’s Tszyu (24-0, 17 knockouts), No. 1 at 154. He was originally due to face former welterweight titlist Keith Thurman (30-1-1, 22 KOs), who withdrew due to a torn biceps. The development came barely two weeks out from fight night, but a contingency plan already was in place.

Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) was slated to face Serhii Bohachuk (23-1, 23KOs), No. 9 at 154, in the PPV opener before he was elevated to the main event. The switch meant a drastic style adjustment for for the 5’9″ Tszyu.

Thurman is 5’7” and orthodox; undersized, if anything, for the 154-pound division and nearly a foot shorter than the 6’6″ Fundora. Tszyu’s team raced to bring in southpaws Mykal Fox (22-4, 5 KOs) and Ardreal Holmes Jr. (15-0, 6 KOs). Fox is 6’4” and has a slightly longer reach (81”) than Fundora (80”). The 29-year-old Holmes is 6’2” and one of the division’s rising prospects.

The pair of emergency twin towers were put to work early and throughout fight week. Tszyu also had a cheat code of sorts in camp–a common opponent in Ring No. 3-rated Brian Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs).

Fundora’s lone defeat came to Mendoza via stunning seventh-round knockout last April 8 in Carson, California. Tszyu then defeated the relocated Albuquerque native via unanimous decision last October 15 in Broadbeach, Australia. The win marked the first defense of Tszyu’s upgraded WBO 154-pound title.

Mendoza spent this camp with Tszyu as a standby opponent for the March 30 show. He will now face Bohachuk in an interim WBC title fight on the Prime Video free-view show.

“I talked to Brian Mendoza and he talked about how Fundora is awkward with his style,” noted Tszyu. “That he uses his height to his advantage in different ways.

“I just have to find the right shots. Every great boxer finds the way to win and we’ll find those keys on March 30.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Follow @JakeNDaBox

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