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Tszyu vs Fundora: PBC On Prime Stuck in the Past

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Tszyu vs Fundora: PBC On Prime Stuck in the Past
Photo Credit: Sean Michael Ham, Premier Boxing Champions

The juxtaposition remains jarring at Premier Boxing Champions.

Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO junior middleweight title vs. Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) on March 30 in Las Vegas in the main event of PBC's inaugural pay-per-view event on Prime Video, after original opponent Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) suffered a biceps injury in training.

The original plan was former champion Keith Thurman to face WBO super welterweight champion Tim Tszyu. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

The original plan for March 30 was for former welterweight champion Keith Thurman to face WBO super welterweight champion Tim Tszyu. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

After Paramount shut down Showtime's sports division at the end of 2023, one would think the PBC move to Prime Video provided an excellent opportunity to learn from past mistakes, i.e., overpriced pay-per-views, noncompetitive bouts, fights that fans didn't ask for, etc.

But it doesn't appear any lessons were learned. Is it interested in flipping the script, or are we prepared to derail another train on a much faster course?

No one asked for Thurman vs Tszyu.

Thurman vs Tszyu Never Made Sense

Keith Thurman always seemed a poor choice of opponent. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions Tszyu vs Fundora

Keith Thurman always seemed a poor choice of opponent. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions

When it was announced in late January that Tszyu would face Thurman, a former unified welterweight world champion, at a 155-pound catchweight on PPV, it was met with confusion and dismay, as it deserved.

The running joke throughout the last few years has been that PBC fighters are notoriously inactive. When you're introducing yourself to a new business or entity, the goal should be to make a good first impression, right?

Let's take your most active current world champion in Tszyu and pit him against a challenging opponent who promises to deliver an exciting fight.

Was a career-long welterweight coming off a third hibernation the best option they could come up with?

The 35-year-old Thurman suffered his only loss in July 2019 against future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao when Thurman was floored in the opening round. He rallied down the stretch but ultimately lost a split decision.

Thurman has never been in a boring fight, but the rigors of inactivity have held a firm grip on the Florida-based fighter for the last seven years. Had he not been injured, the Tszyu fight would have marked Thurman's second fight in the previous 1,715 days.

It should be no surprise to anyone Thurman got hurt. This is what generally happens to inactive fighters. They must lose weight and essentially overtrain to get in shape, exacerbating the possibility of a training injury.

Tszyu vs Bohachuk Was The Fight To Make

Serhii Bohuchuk only needed one round to knockout Patrick Allotay last July. It took Jaime Munguia four rounds. Photo: Lina Baker, 369 Promotions Tszyu vs Fundora

Serhii Bohuchuk only needed one round to knockout Patrick Allotay last July. It took Jaime Munguia four rounds to do the same. Photo: Lina Baker, 369 Promotions

In my opinion, Tszyu should have been fighting Serhii Bohachuk of Ukraine (23-1, 23 KOs) all along. You have two orthodox pressure fighters and guaranteed fireworks. It's a much better way to kick off a new multi-year rights agreement, not a guy who has fought twice in the last five years.

Whether the winner was Tszyu or Bohachuk, now you have fans excited about the sport again, and perhaps new fans are hooked and willing to pay more to see the next fight.

Is Tszyu vs Fundora Worth Your Money?

But once again, PBC is repeating the mistakes of the past. There's no free trial. They wanted you to pay $74.99 to see Thurman vs Tszyu and now $69.99 to watch Tszyu vs Fundora.

Tszyu fought three times last year, and Fundora is coming off a brutal knockout from 11 months ago. Is this really worth your hard-earned money?

Again, is PBC interested in flipping the script, or are we prepared for another derailment?