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Fundora outlasts Tim Tszyu in Vegas bloodbath

Plus, Pitbull mauls mouthy Rolly, Valdez beats Wilson and more

This article originally appeared in Steve Wellings’ Substack

Tim Tszyu’s willingness to take on tough challenges came back to bite him in Las Vegas when boxing’s own Eiffel Tower, Sebastian Fundora, defeated him on points. 

Fundora was put on the scrap heap after losing to Brian Mendoza. Now, he is a unified WBO and WBC super-welterweight champion by split decision scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 116-112 the other way.

There were extenuating circumstances, of course. This was one of the bloodiest battles ever, courtesy of Fundora’s busted nose and Tim’s lacerated head that was sliced open by an accidental elbow. 

There are more questions than answers after the fight:

  • Was the cutsman up to standard and did he have all the tools needed to correctly stem the flow of blood?
  • Why didn’t the corner take control and call it for another day? By forcing a no-contest or trying their early luck on the scorecards, the loss may have been prevented. No doubt Tszyu himself would’ve vehemently opposed this option.
  • Whose idea was it to have portly Errol lumber into the ring to issue a slurred call out? This was clearly the plan all along. Assuming Tszyu had won, Spence was ready to challenge him instead. Therefore freezing Terence Crawford out of the picture even more.

As for the winner, Fundora has reinvigorated his career and what a stage to do it. Now a two-belt king, joining his sister in the ranks of world rulers, this is a feel-good story. Fundora’s manager later revealed that a rematch had been verbally agreed but not lawfully. Fundora’s father wants to him rest up first.

Not much to feel good about for Tszyu, meanwhile. His esteemed father, Kostya, bounced back from a shock 1997 loss to Vince Phillips and the prodigal son can now do the same.

Here are some more quick flurries from the past week…

Romero rewired by savage Pitbull Cruz

Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz has seen his stock rise even further after knocking out Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero. Cruz was business all week in the build-up and has become immensely popular. Ignoring Rolly’s nonsense, the pocket rocket did his talking in the ring. 

Weirdly, judge Chris Flores had Romero up 66-65 at the time of the stoppage, which is not the same fight I saw. Flores has previous form. He was the referee last February who dished out a notoriously lengthy count to Emanuel Navarrete when he was dropped heavily by Liam Wilson.

Valdez revives career as Estrada & Muratalla win

Oscar Valdez weathered the storm from Liam Wilson on Friday night to prevail in round seven. Adopting a Canelo style of tuck up and explode, Valdez waited for Wilson’s jab and discipline to wane and he pounced. 

An Interim belt was on the line in Arizona. Emotional after the win, Valdez moves on to the final stages of his career. Wilson may never realise his world title dream.

Seniesa Estrada conclusively ended her verbal war with Yokasta Valle by unifying the belts at minimumweight. The bout was a fast and frenzied affair, which suited the ten-twos format. 

Meanwhile, Raymond Muratalla looked a little flat against Xolisani Ndongeni. Muratalla needs a higher-profile opponent to get the blood pumping. His team later revealed that a fight between Teofimo Lopez had been close to fruition before Teo chose Steve Claggett instead.

Zurdo new WBA champ at cruiserweight

Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez filled out into a pudgy cruiserweight but showed skills and stamina to widely defeat Arsen Goulamirian. Ramirez reckons he can eat his way up to heavyweight and wants a cruiserweight unification first, possibly against the winner of the upcoming Opetaia-Briedis rematch.

The new WBA king got $400,000 for his efforts, while the now ex-champion banked $625,000. Goulamirian dismissed claims that he had been too inactive but he looked like a fighter struggling with ring rust. 

The lack of a body attack hurt him too, as well as flat feet. Ramirez has always been talented, only a little wayward in his decision-making process. It all came together here for the Mexican.

Wardley and Clarke draw in British title battle

Fabio Wardley held on to his British and Commonwealth titles after a thrilling heavyweight clash with domestic rival Frazer Clarke. Dropped and deducted a point, Clarke’s gas tank and indecisiveness cost him. 

Rough-and-ready Wardley fought through a horrifically damaged nose. Frazer’s jab was immense but Wardley’s aggression and power kept him well in it.

The ‘Axe Man’ is back for more

Eight years after bailing out of a schooling at the fists of Vasyl Lomachenko, Jamaica’s finest Nicholas Walters returned for another assault on the world titles. Whether he can replicate the kind of form that saw him dominate Nonito Donaire remains to be seen. 

A 38-year-old lightweight, Walters will have his work cut out against the big boys. Defeating the lethargic yet talented Joseph ‘Blessed Hands’ Adorno on Pro Box is a step in the right direction.

Media Credits: PBC, Boxing Scene, DAZN.

About Steve: Experienced boxing writer, author of 8 books and podcaster of over 500 eps. 20 years in the sport. Covered hundreds of shows for newspapers and Boxing News magazine. Chief video script writer for Motivedia channel and BN+. For enquiries: stevenwellings1982@gmail.com.

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