By: Hans Themistode
The biggest smile of his young life was plastered across the face of Sebastian Fundora.
The freakishly tall junior middleweight had mostly steamrolled his competition but had yet to face someone who was viewed as one of the upper echelon of the division…until this past weekend.
The 24-year-old from West Palm Florida, faced easily his stiffest test in the form of fellow highly ranked contender, Erickson Lubin. Though Lubin tested him like no other, including sending Fundora crashing down to the canvas in the seventh round, the 6’6” rising star dusted himself off and went on to pummel his man, resulting in a ninth-round stoppage victory.
With the win, Fundora safely tucked the WBC interim title underneath his arm, making him the mandatory challenger for the upcoming undisputed clash between unified champion Jermell Charlo and WBO titlist, Brian Castano.
Although both men battled to a highly controversial draw during their first meeting in July of 2021, Fundora believes that Charlo will emerge victorious following their May 14th, contest.
If Fundora’s words prove to be prophetic, Charlo would become the division’s first undisputed junior middleweight champion since Winky Wright in 2001. While achieving such a feat would give Charlo a joyous feeling, he won’t be the only one ecstatic over his historic victory.
“If we can just go and take it all from him, that would be great,” said Fundora following his win over Lubin to FightHype.com.
Over the past several years, Houston’s Charlo has truly come into his own. In addition to scoring a first-round knockout victory over Erickson Lubin in 2017, Charlo has also registered wins over Tony Harrison, Jeison Rosario, Austin Trout, and John Jackson.
While the unified stars boxing ability is well chronicled, he’s gained even more notoriety, thanks to his highlight reel-worthy knockouts. With three stoppage victories in three of his past four ring appearances, Charlo believes he’ll violently put an end to his rivalry against Castano come May 14th.
Still, even with Charlo’s propensity for knockout blows and despite maintaining his championship status since 2016, Fundora believes that if he’s granted a shot at Charlo’s world title, he’ll prove to be far too much for the pugnacious star.
“I feel like we get the job done against him too. He’s another fighter that likes to sit there and bang and trust his power. Just like him, we trust our power too, I just think that we’re stronger.”
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