It was a lot to ask Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora for another performance like his Fight of the Year win over Erickson Lubin. Fundora (20-0-1, 13 KOs) used his height and reach to his advantage more often Saturday for a solid victory over Carlos Ocampo of Ensenada, Mexico (34-2, 22 KOs). Scorecards read 119-109, 118-110, 117-111.
“I wanted to play with a little bit more boxing today, try something new,” said Fundora. “That's what I wanted to explain. I still had to go in there and bang for the fans because I know that's what they came for,” said Fundora of the Carson, California fans, many from his hometown of Coachella, California.
The 6-foot-5 super welterweight with pop in both hands could fight from the outside, but after several early rounds behind the jab, Fundora crowded Ocampo, leaning on him and trading shots. Ocampo looked for ways to sneak in his shots, but it was a difficult assignment. He had trouble landing clean punches. Fundora held Ocampo off with body punches, trying to land the same devastating uppercuts that hurt Erickson Lubin.
“It's just something I like. You know I like to bang, break the opponent down,” said Fundora. “He's tough, very tough. He took the punches. That's what I expected. He's a tough Mexican fighter. Hats off to him.”
The fight was briefly marred as referee Jack Reiss saw Ocampo fading after round eight. He was still defending himself and fighting back, but Reiss warned Ocampo and his corner to step things up. “Necessita pelea – you have to fight!” said Reiss. It was unnecessary and distracting. Ocampo stood his ground, and he made it to the final bell on his feet. It helps erase his unfortunate first-round knockout loss to Errol Spence, Jr., even though he wasn't the winner on Saturday.
Fundora landed 259 of 871 punches (30%), Ocampo 192 of 869 punches (27%). Fundora landed 57 body shots to just 27 for Ocampo, and 59 jab against just 8 for Ocampo.
Fundora said he was happy with the victory. “I am pleased because I did what I trained for. I trained for his boxing. I trained for a lot of distance. I used it more in this fight.”
Fundora remains the WBC interim titleholder at super welterweight and the mandatory challenger for the winner of the Jermell Charlo vs. Tim Tszyu bout early in 2023. “I think I have my spot. I earned my spot. I hope I'm next. Fingers crossed,” said Fundora.
Carlos Adames Stops Juan Macial Montiel in Three
Middleweight contender Carlos Adames of the Dominican Republic (22-1, 17 KOs) staked his claim to a title fight next with an impressive third-round TKO win over Juan Macial Montiel of Los Mochis, Mexico (23-6-2, 23 KOs). Montiel was outgunned from the opening bell, not landing a single punch in round one. He stepped up his effort, only to be met by incoming fire from Adames via hard right hooks followed by left hands to the body.
In the third round, Adames rocked Montiel with a hard rock hand that shook Montiel off his feet, but he avoided a knockdown bouncing off the ropes. It only postponed the outcome and extended the damage as Adames closed the show. Referee Ray Corona stopped the fight with 23 seconds left.
“The referee did his job. I'm a strong guy. He's a young fighter. He still has a big career in boxing,” said Adames. “I knew that once I hit him with that right hand, it was all over. I went in for the kill. If you see his face, it tells everything.”
Adames said, “I hope the big ones have the courage to face me now,” including Jermall Charlo. “I do feel like I'm number one right now.”
Martinez Makes It Two Over Ancajas
Fernando Martinez of Buenos Aires, Argentina (15-0, 8 KOs) proved his first victory over former super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines (33-3-2, 22 KOs) was not a fluke. Martinez pounded the Filipino veteran down to win by a wider margin this time. Scores were 119-109 and 118-110 X 2.
“It's harder definitely to maintain that hunger and maintain the title,” said Martinez after the fight. “We're going after everyone in the division,” naming Roman Gonzalez at the top of the list.
If it's true a fighter gains a 10% edge from winning a championship title, Martinez took his status out for a spin after his surprise win over Ancajas earlier this year. The all-action fight was a bit messy in the first few rounds. Martinez began pulling away as his power shots started landing more accurately and with more authority. Ancajas has never been knocked down as a pro. He kept coming forward on shaky legs eating too many shots hoping for one lucky punch. Martinez could see it and showed little fear of Ancajas catching him with anything damaging. By the ninth round, there was little point letting Ancajas continue to take a beating. His corner let the former champion continue, a poor decision. He was taken to an area hospital as a precaution.
“My record shows that I'm a champion liar,” said Martinez. “It doesn't show the intensity I have. With two or three more fights, I'm going to buy that house my mother needs.” Martinez is the first champion promoted by former Argentinean champion Marcos Maidana, and the win leaves the Philippines without any world champions.
Kavaliauskas Revs Engine, Runs Over Fox
Fueled by two knockdowns in the third round, California-based Lithuanian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (23-2-1, 18 KOs) muscled his way back into welterweight division title contention with a unanimous decision over Mykal Fox of Washington DC (22-4, 5 KOs). Fox did his best to make it competitive, but the judges saw it all Kavaliauskas' way by scores of 100-88. 99-89, and 98-90. Kavaliauskas' only losses came to Terence Crawford and Vergil Ortiz Jr.. Most fans saw a knockdown of Crawford by Kavaliauskas go unscored. Expect him to get another opportunity, perhaps against someone like Jaron “Boots” Ennis.
Fundora Family Wins Two – Gabriela Fundora Wins First Ten-Round Bout
Gabriela Fundora (9-0, 4 KOs) took care of business easily in her first ten-round bout, winning by unanimous decision over Naomi Reyes of Mexico (9-2, 5 KOs). Scores were 100-90 X 2 and 98-92. Like brother Sebastian, Fundora, at 5-9 towers over her flyweight division competitors, and she fought an intelligent fight, using her reach in the early rounds to prevent Reyes from getting inside and taking damage when she did. Deeper into the fight, as Fundora wore Reyes down, she landed solid right hooks and body shots to secure the win.