Team Tszyu’s Focus on Crawford: A Potential Misstep?

By Jeepers Isaac - 03/27/2024 - Comments

Promoter Leonard Ellerbe is critical of Team Tszyu looking past the Sebastian Fundora fight on Saturday towards a lucrative match against WBO junior middleweight mandatory Terence Crawford for a clash that could take place in the fall.

Ellerbe points out that 6’5″ ‘The Towering Inferno’ Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) isn’t someone that Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) can just assume he’s going to beat on Saturday night, March 30th in the title defense of his WBO 154-lb title on Prime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The time factor alone could give the 29-year-old Tszyu problems because he’s only had a week to prepare for the lanky Fundora, and Ellerbe doesn’t think that’s enough time for him to adequately get ready for a fighter of that caliber.

Ellerbe Warns: “Fundora ain’t no chump”

“That’s a no-no. I don’t know what they’re thinking, but Fundora ain’t no chump. He’s a tough out for anyone. He’s going to be coming to fight like he always does, and I expect Tim to have his hands full,” said promoter Leonard Ellerbe to Fighthype about Team Tszyu making the mistake of already looking toward a fight against Terence Crawford next.

With the huge money that Tszyu can get fighting Crawford on PPV, you can understand why he would be overlooking Fundora, especially when you factor in that he was knocked out in his previous fight by a guy that Tim beat last October, Brian Mendoza.

Tszyu is reportedly getting a purse of $10 million for his fight against Fundora, and that number could be just a trifle compared to the money Tim can make fighting Tsyu in a clash that will likely bring in good numbers on PPV in the U.S.

The Challenge of Fundora’s Style

“Stylistically, he creates more problems, and another caveat is that Tim hasn’t had ample time to prepare for a guy like Fundora. Any way you look at it, he [Tszyu] had a week,” said Ellerbe.

Fundora is a much harder opponent for Tszyu to prepare for compared to his previously scheduled foe, the 5’7″ Keith Thurman, who was considerably smaller and not difficult to train for.

“I don’t know if they brought in sparring partners, but it’s not easy to get in the ring with a 6’6″ southpaw who is going to be throwing punches all night long. Tim is going to have to break his will. Will he be able to do that on Saturday night? Tune in,” said Ellerbe.

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