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Should The Tim Tszyu-Sebastian Fundora Fight Have Been Stopped Early?

Posted on 04/02/2024

By: Sean Crose

First things first – Sebastian Fundora looked fantastic in his victory this past weekend over undefeated junior middleweight titlist Tim Tszyu. He was battered, he was bloodied, but the Californian pushed ahead, earning himself not one, but two divisional championship belts. Yet it’s hard to deny that an accidental head gash on the skull of Tsyu changed the course of the entire fight. “That fight was completely noncompetitive in the first two rounds,” former world titlist Paulie Malignaggi said on the Deep Waters podcast, “and I don’t want to hear that Fundora came out with an adjusted game plan and he adjusted. He didn’t adjust anything.”

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Sure enough, as gutsy as Fundora was, he was being simply outclassed by Tszyu until the cut literally prevented Tszyu from seeing clearly. After that it all came down to Fundora keeping the partially blind Tszyu from successfully coming in on him as had been the case earlier. In other words, it’s hard not to wonder if Tszyu would have won had it not been for that unfortunate injury. “Every single round you are forced to fight with an injury like that,” said Malignaggi, “you’re probably going to lose those rounds.”

Malignaggi then went on to indicate that Tszyu’s courage had led to him damaging his career. “He’s going to get fazed out because he’s too dangerous, because he would have beat Fundora easily,” Malignaggi stated. “Instead, now he’s going to go home, he’s going to get phased out, they’re going to move this title to Spence and PBC’s going to keep it.” Sure enough, the fiery New Yorker made it clear that Tszyu, who took the fight against the extremely tall Fundora on short notice (after the original opponent, Keith Thurman, stepped out of the match due to an injury) deserves a a second go with Fundora. “Tszyu deserves a rematch,” Malignaggi said, “and he doesn’t deserve to be phased out now on account of doing the right thing.”

It’s hard not to agree with Malignaggi’s reasoning. With that being said, Tszyu has been gracious in defeat (not that he doesn’t want a rematch). “Congratulations to @SebastianFundo1,” the Aussie claimed on social media. “Well earned victory. Never backed out of any challenge and trying to inspire the next generation to fight through all adversities that are presented. I’ll be back. For ALL the belts. The goal remains the same. Warrior shit only.”

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