In a surprise ending, underdog Brian Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs) dethroned interim WBC junior middleweight champion Sebastian ‘The Towering Inferno’ Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs), knocking him out in the seventh round on Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
In the seventh round, the lanky 6’5 1/2″ Fundora attempted to throw a left uppercut from too far away. Mendoza then landed a left hook that stunned Fundora. He then nailed Fundora with a hard right hand that sent him down.
While Fundora fell, Mendoza nailed him with a parting left to the head. The referee then counted Fundora out. As hurt as he was, there was no way that he could get back up to continue fighting. The time of the stoppage was at :39 of the seventh round. Fundora was ahead through six rounds by the scores 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55.
It was predictable that Fundora would eventually get knocked because he’s been taking a lot of punishment in his fights during his career.
In Fundora’s war with Erickson Lubin last year in April, he was dropped hard in the seventh round, and fortunate that he wasn’t finished off because he was badly hurt.
Fundora played it safe in his last fight against Carlos Ocampo, choosing to box him to a 12-round unanimous decision last October. In 2019, Fundora fought to a 10-round draw against the unheralded Jamontay Clark. In other words, Fundora was a knockout waiting to happen, and he was never as good as some people thought he was.
With the win, Mendoza is now the WBC mandatory challenger to undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo. Unfortunately, Mendoza will need to wait until next year or perhaps 2025, as Charlo only fights once a year and has four titles; in theory, it could be two to three years before Mendoza gets a shot at Charlo.
Former heavyweight world title challenger Chris Arreola (39-7-1, 34 KOs) knocked out little-known Mathew McKinney (13-7-3, 9 KOs) in the second round The 42-year-old Arreoladropped McKinney with a right hand to get the stoppage. The time was 1:0 of round two.
Undefeated heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez (22-0, 15 KOs) destroyed journeyman Daniel “The Mountain” Martz (20-11-1, 17 KOs) by a first-round knockout. Sanchez knocked Martz down three times before the bout was halted by referee Gerard White at 1:41 of round one.
Light welterweight contender Brandun Lee (28-0, 23 KOs) was forced to go the distance to defeat Pedro Campa (34-3-1, 23 KOs).
Despite Campa having been knocked out recently by Teofimo Lopez, Lee had many problems with him en route to winning by a 10-round unanimous decision by the scores 99-91, 97-93, and 98-92.