Tszyu vs Fundora: NY Fights Expert Predictions



Tszyu vs Fundora: NY Fights Expert Predictions

The inaugural Premier Boxing Champions on Prime Video card features WBO World Super Welterweight champion Tim Tszyu of Australia (24-0, 17 KOs) vs. Sebastian Fundora of Coachella, California (20-1-1, 13 KOs). Tszyu's title and the vacant WBC belt are on the line in Tszyu vs Fundora.

For this, we can thank Keith “One Time” Thurman, the original opponent who withdrew ten days ago with a bicep injury. Fundora was scheduled for a bout on the undercard against Serhii Bohuchuk of Ukraine but agreed to take the fight with Tszyu.

Yes, as a matter of fact there is a height difference between Tim Tszyu and Sebastian Fundora. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions Tszyu vs Fundora

An unusual-looking faceoff: Tim Tszyu and Sebastian Fundora. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

To his credit, Tszyu said yes to swapping out a 35-year-old 5-foot-10 orthodox opponent with just one fight since 2019 with a 25-year-old 6-f00t-6 southpaw who can crack. Tszyu said yes and quickly brought in taller sparring partners to prepare. Meanwhile, don't cry for “El Flaco” Bohuchuk, who will take on Brian Mendoza, who is the most recent opponent of both Tszyu and Fundora and who was acting as a Tszyu sparring partner until the musical chairs exercise.

The first PBC card in 2024, this Saturday, March 30, will serve as its launch on a new platform after working primarily with Showtime Boxing, as well as Fox Sports and a handful of obscure cable networks. Bounce, anyone?

Tszyu: ‘We're Finally Here'

Tim Tszyu didn't hesitate to accept a last minute change of opponent for this title fight. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions Tszyu vs Fundora

Tim Tszyu didn't hesitate to accept a last-minute change of opponent for this title fight. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions

At Thursday's final news conference, Tszyu spoke from his warrior mentality, which has endeared him to fans worldwide.

“We’re finally here. It’s been a long road, but I’ve dreamt of this moment my whole life. Everything I’ve done has led to this point.

“The show goes on, and destiny awaits. Saturday night, we get to fight for the belts. It’s all about collecting belts and collecting legacy. We’re going to show that the Tszyu name is the greatest boxing family of all time.

“It’s quite hard to prepare for a fighter like Fundora. But a true champion rises to the occasion. I came here as a throwback fighter, and that’s what I want to be. I’m living the way I speak. I’m here to do exactly what I say.”

Fundora: ‘Time To Prove What We're Made Of'

Tszyu vs Fundora Press Conference

Sebastian Fundora can erase the stain of his first loss with a win over Tim Tszyu. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

His last-minute dance partner, Fundora, is embracing the opportunity.

“What a change of events. From opening the card to headlining in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas. This is a big opportunity that we’re going to take advantage of on Saturday night.

“This is the moment and the time for me to become world champion. My sister did it six months ago, and now it’s my turn.

“Losses happen in boxing. I made a mistake, and I paid for it. Everything has still lined up the way it should, and now we have a chance to find out who the best fighter at 154 pounds is.

“I always look at myself as the underdog. Now it’s just time to prove again what we’re made of. I’m so thankful to fight for my dream on Saturday night.”

Fans are the winners, with a far more interesting and competitive main event. Quickly sizing things up, how do the expert boxing journalists at NY FIGHTS see it going on Saturday?

Tszyu vs Fundora: The Prediction Panel Says

Tim Tszyu took out the tough Brian Mendoza. Photo: Zain Mohammed, No Limit Boxing

Tim Tszyu took out the tough Brian Mendoza. Photo: Zain Mohammed, No Limit Boxing

Aaron Brason-Stewart, writer: I think Tszyu will win by knockout between rounds four and eight. It will take him a round or two to figure out the range, and then Tszyu will take control and stop him. Tszyu by knockout.

Beowulf Jones, writer: Fundora’s getting knocked out Saturday. After his knockout loss against Mendoza, he's insane to think he can bounce back against a fighter as dangerous as Tszyu. It’s like trying to recover from a car crash by flying on a plane in a nosedive with both engines on fire.  Fundora would be better served taking a tuneup, not the sharpest, most powerful fighter he’s ever faced. Tszyu is a hell of a body puncher, and he couldn’t miss a giant target like Fundora’s body if he tried.

Fundora’s body is large, tall, and shaped like the monolith from 2001. Remember the psychedelic sequence at the end of the Kubrick film? That’s what Fundora will see when Tszyu sleeps him. Tszyu by knockout.

Brian Mendoza scored big upset win over Fundora

Sebastian Fundora was winning on all three cards until Brian Mendoza scored a shocking knockout. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime Boxing

Jack Kelly, writer: After Keith Thurman was forced to withdraw from the fight due to injury, Sebastian Fundora stepped up to the plate and accepted the main event slot on the first-ever PBC Prime Video PPV on just 11 days' notice. He deserves massive respect for rising to the occasion when his name was called, but I don’t think Tim Tszyu has been getting enough credit for going through with the last-second switch himself.

At the tail end of his camp, he had to go from preparing for a 5-foot-8 orthodox fighter moving up in weight who primarily boxes on his toes to a 6-foot-6 southpaw who, despite his dimensions, fares better in close quarters. I expect Fundora to be competitive early, but see two of Tim Tszyu’s most underrated attributes, his timing and punch placement, being the difference in the end. Tszyu by decision/stoppage.

Colin Morrison: UK Bureau Chief: I'm looking at this as a huge showcase bout for Tim Tszyu. If the original opponent was still in place I would predict Tszyu by obliteration. Nothing changes after the late alteration. Fair play to Fundora for stepping in, but he's going to get absolutely worked over on Saturday. Tszyu by stoppage in round eight. 

Sebastian Fundora won a Fight of the Year finalist against Erickson Lubin in 2022. Photo: Showtime Boxing Tszyu vs Fundora

Sebastian Fundora won a Fight of the Year finalist against Erickson Lubin in 2022. Photo: Showtime Boxing

Matthew Pomara, writer: This is a much more interesting fight than the originally scheduled Tszyu vs Thurman fight. Does Tszyu have the experience? Yes. Did Fundora look bad in his last fight? Also yes. So, this should be an easy prediction.

Not so fast! While it is easy to dismiss Fundora, considering Tszyu’s experience, taking the fight on 11 days' notice, plus losing to  Brian Mendoza because of sloppy tactics, there is something about him that makes you pause on making the obvious rash decision.

There is a formula for victory here. If Fundora can harness his ridiculously imposing height and reach to his advantage, it could be the antidote to Tszyu’s poisonous body attack.

Fundora needs to stay outside and frustrate the tough Aussie. He needs to avoid getting in a firefight and maintain a pace that will allow him to stay active and cautious throughout the fight without spending his gas tank too early. If he does those two things, he pulls the upset! While it is the longshot, I am going with Fundora by decision.

Tim Tszyu bit down and made it a ruff night for Carlos Ocampo, although it only lasted 67 seconds. Photo: Courtesy Palmerbet

Tim Tszyu bit down and made it a rough night for Carlos Ocampo last June, although it only lasted 67 seconds. Photo: Courtesy Palmerbet

Michael Woods, editor: Tim Tszyu is a frequent fighter. He’s sharp, on the ascent, will gain confidence and keep improving as he handles fighters like Fundora. About Fundora – bless his cajones, taking on Tszyu in the first fight back after being stopped by Brian Mendoza is not a decision made by an iffy soul. This kid is of warrior stock.

Styles, psyches, and such could come together and give us a really good main event. Tszyu by decision with a three- to four-point edge.

Gayle Falkenthal, West Coast Editor: I believe Sebastian Fundora when he calls his upset knockout loss to Brian Mendoza a mistake and one he promises he's learned from. But it's not the first time Fundora has taken a big punch; it's the first time he didn't manage to survive the count. Fundora will give his all and he can cause Tim Tszyu serious problems, especially early in this fight.

But the confident, stronger, more defensively responsible Tsyzu will be too much for Fundora in the end. It will be a moral victory for Fundora with a good showing and surviving to the final bell, although he may suffer a knockdown along the way. Fans should salute both men for taking this fight and putting on an old-fashioned show. Tszyu by decision.

Tszyu vs Fundora Results

Tszyu by knockout: three

Tszyu by decision: four

Fundora by stoppage: one brave soul!


Gayle Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist and the only woman journalist who is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). She is West Coast Bureau Chief based in San Diego, California.