Sebastian Fundora: I Fell Asleep For A Second [Against Mendoza] And I Paid For It

Boxing Scene

Sebastian Fundora received a devastating reminder regarding focus last April 8.

The then-undefeated Fundora comfortably outboxed Brian Mendoza during the first six rounds of their fight that night for Fundora’s WBC interim super welterweight title. The 6-foot-6 southpaw shut out Mendoza on the scorecards of judges Lou Moret (60-54) and Zachary Young (60-54) and won five of the first six rounds according to judge Nathan Palmer (59-55).

All it took was a split-second lapse in concentration for the hard-hitting Mendoza to tattoo Fundora with a left hook that abruptly altered the course of their careers. As soon as Fundora stumbled backward, Mendoza quickly followed up with a punishing right-left combination that knocked Fundora flat on his back.

Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) wanted to get up, but his body wouldn’t cooperate. Referee Ray Corona counted him out 39 seconds into the seventh round of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

That costly experience will help keep Fundora focused when he encounters Ukraine’s Sergii Bohachuk (23-1, 23 KOs) on March 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Fundora, of Coachella, California, and Bohachuk, who resides and trains in the Los Angeles area, will fight for the vacant WBC super welterweight title because former undisputed 154-pound champ Jermell Charlo has been designated the WBC’s “champion in recess.”

The 26-year-old Fundora reflected on his loss to Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs) during a press conference Wednesday at The Conga Room at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

“Honestly, I don’t think I learned anything,” Fundora said. “It was more of a reminder. You know, you can’t mess around in the sport. You know, I fell asleep for a second and I paid for it. But you know what? I had a year to regroup and start training again and do everything right. And, you know, God gave me this opportunity to fight for this title, you know, something we been planning for. And, you know, we got it and Imma show up.”

Bohachuk, 28, has knocked out each of his five opponents since Southern California’s Brandon Adams (23-3, 15 KOs) stopped him in the eighth round of their March 2021 bout in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. That is the only professional bout Bohachuk hasn’t won by knockout, but Fundora isn’t overly concerned about his upcoming opponent’s 96 percent knockout ratio.

“You know, my last fight, this guy [Mendoza] was a big hitter,” Fundora said. “The fight before that, that guy [Carlos Ocampo] was a big hitter. I only fight the best in 154. You know, if I have to fight Tim Tszyu next, it’ll be great. Whoever they put me in front of, I want. You know, I wanna be the best 154. You know, right now you could say Tim is, but maybe later on we’ll get that fight and it’ll be good, you know?”

Australia’s Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) will battle Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC), a former WBA/WBC welterweight champ from Clearwater, Florida, in the 12-round, 155-pound main event March 30. Tszyu’s WBO junior middleweight title won’t be at stake because the WBO wouldn’t approve the inactive Thurman as a championship challenger.

Fundora-Bohachuk will open a four-fight pay-per-view telecast that’ll mark Premier Boxing Champions’ first show on its new platform, Amazon Prime Video.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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