Tim Tszyu Rolls With the Punches: Thurman Out, Fundora In

By Tim Compton - 03/18/2024 - Comments

WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu is unphased by the latest last-minute replacement with Sebastian Fundora stepping in as a substitute for injured Keith Thurman for the March 30th event on Prime Video PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Tszyu (24-0, 17 KO) will have his WBO title on the line and the vacant WBC 154-lb belt will also be at stake for his 12-round headliner against Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs).

Tim remarks that he’s accustomed to his opponents pulling out of his fights, saying on X, “I’m used to the word ‘pull out.’ Thurman, Charlo, Zerafa, Lubin. As the saying goes, ‘The Show Must Go On.'”

New Challenge: Sebastian Fundora

This is a tougher fight for Tszyu than what he would have dealt with against the 35-year-old Thurman, who hadn’t fought in two years and hasn’t beaten anyone noteworthy since his victory over Danny Garcia in 2017.

Fundora, 26, is young and in the prime of his career, and he should give Tszyu a thought fight. What makes Fundora a poor option is that he’s been out of the ring for a year since suffering a seventh-round knockout against Brian Mendoza in 2023.

Tszyu’s last win came against Mendoza last October, and he’s fighting on the undercard. It’s unknown how much effort PBC put into contacting other promotional companies for a replacement.

There are better fighters than Fundora who could have jumped at the chance to fight Tszyu for the WBC and WBO 154-lb titles.

If PBC didn’t attempt to find a better opponent, they’re not coming out ahead with Fundora because he’s not a big enough name for fans to want to purchase the March 30th event without a steep price drop from $75 from the $40s.

When Will Tszyu Finally Get His Big Break?

Tszyu has failed to attract the biggest names during his career, and the important question is when he will finally attract a popular fighter. Terence Crawford could move up soon to 154, but there are no guarantees that he’ll agree to fight Tszyu.