Sebastian Fundora Stops Erickson Lubin After Nine Rounds In
Instant Fight Of The Year Candidate
Photos: Esther Lin - SHOWTIME
Top super welterweight
contenders Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora and
Erickson “Hammer” Lubin delivered an instant classic
Saturday night, as Fundora captured the Interim WBC Super
Welterweight Title via TKO after nine rounds in the SHOWTIME
main event from The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part
of Curio Collection by Hilton in an event presented by
Premier Boxing Champions.
In a bout that lived up to the pre-fight hype, both men hit
the canvas and showed tremendous fortitude to recover from
knockdowns and continue to deliver massive blows. It was the
six-foot, six-inch Fundora who struck first with a sweeping
right uppercut that sent Lubin to the mat during the final
seconds of round two.
“I think this was probably my best performance ever,” said
Fundora. “It was a back-and-forth fight. He really brought
his hammer but I decided to bring my drill. The uppercut was
landing like no other. The uppercut is my lucky punch. I’m
here in Vegas, so I feel a little lucky, and that’s my lucky
punch. It lands most of the time with everybody. Southpaw.
Right hand. It doesn’t matter. Once I find that, I feel like
the job’s done.”
Despite appearing on shaky legs after round two, Lubin
recovered in the final minute of round three to bloody
Fundora with a series of head shots. Lubin won three of the
first four rounds on all three scorecards, buoyed by a
bruising body attack against his taller opponent.
In round seven, Fundora and Lubin engaged in a surefire
Round of the Year candidate, as both men took serious
damage. Fundora’s nonstop volume began to show dividends on
Lubin’s face, which started to swell up from damage during
the frame. However, Lubin showed championship mettle by
turning the tide with an unrelenting series of hooks that
eventually forced Fundora to take a knee, the first time
he’s been down as a pro.
“I got hit with a good punch and I didn’t feel like I needed
to get hit again so I took a knee to get a little breather
in and I recovered,” said Fundora. “I intentionally took a
knee. I knew I had to take a knee because if I kept getting
hit like that it wouldn’t be smart for me and I wouldn’t be
able to recollect myself.”
After rising to his feet after the knockdown, Fundora
recovered to out-land Lubin 26 to 12 and 28 to 3 in rounds
eight and nine respectively, according to CompuBox. Overall,
Fundora out-landed Lubin 255 to 149, while Lubin held a 40%
to 36% advantage in punch accuracy. Lubin had early success
with his jab, landing 18 over the first three rounds, but
only connected on 15 throughout the rest of the action.
After a one-sided round nine, and with swelling continuing
to grow around Lubin’s face, his trainer Kevin Cunningham
asked referee Russell Mora to stop the fight, officially
ending the action via a TKO after nine rounds. At the time
of the stoppage, Lubin led 85-84 on two judges’ cards, with
the third judge scoring the fight 85-85.
“I think it was a good decision for Kevin Cunningham to stop
the fight,” said Fundora. “His face shifted from round one
to round nine. It completely morphed and there was a lot of
blood coming out. He’s a tough fighter. He was in the game
the whole time but there’s no need to get hurt that much.”
Lubin was taken to UMC Trauma Center for further observation
post fight. For Fundora, he puts himself in position to face
the winner of the undisputed 154-pound title rematch between
Jermell Charlo and Brian Castańo, taking place May 14 on
“I see Charlo winning the fight against Castańo,” said
Fundora. “I feel like he’ll be too strong for Castańo the
second time. If Castańo wins, that’s great too. I just want
to go after all of them. This is the interim belt so I want
the world champion title. I want the real deal.”
In the co-main event, former super welterweight world
champion Tony “Superbad” Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) cruised
to a unanimous decision, nearly shutting out contender
Sergio Garcia (33-2, 14 KOs) across 10-rounds.
“I pitched a shutout against a guy who just fought a guy
that’s in the main event right now,” said Harrison. “Muscles
are the way in the street, but skills pay the bills.”
Garcia applied pressure from the outset, looking to swarm
Harrison and trap him on the ropes in an attempt to become
the third fighter ever to stop the Detroit-native. Harrison
adjusted quickly to the tactics however, and by round four
was peppering Garcia with hard jabs to stop him in his
tracks again and again.
“All I needed to do was land one good punch, but I didn’t,”
said Garcia. “Harrison fought his fight and was very smart
with his jab and his elusiveness, major credit to him.”
As the fight progressed, Harrison varied his attack and had
consistent success landing powerful blows to Garcia’s head.
Harrison dominated the punch stats, connecting on 197 shots
to Garcia’s 103, despite Garcia throwing over 100 more
punches (592-491). Harrison’s sharpness was also reflected
in his 51% connect rate on power punches.
“He was swinging for the fences,” said Harrison. “When he
was missing shots, all I heard was ‘whoosh!’. I felt it. I
was trying to throw a few more counter shots in between. My
composure was everything.”
Garcia remained game throughout and was determined to keep
coming forward until the final bell, but the veteran
Harrison showed ring savvy as the Spaniard’s punches were
never able to bother him. After 10 rounds, all three judges
scored the fight in favor of Harrison with two scores of
100-90 and one tally of 98-92.
“I can put on a show all I want, but the bottom line is that
I need wins and I have two losses in a row instead,” said
Garcia. “Reality is that I’m not at a championship level
yet, but I’ll keep fighting.”
“The first thing I’m going to do, I haven’t seen my kids in
six months,” said Harrison. “I want to see my kids. My step
two, I have a gym called Superbad Fitness. Every time it
rains, it pours in the inside of my gym. My job is to find
guys that can donate to our non-profit to save about a
hundred kids that work out in my gym every day. That’s step
number two for me. Step number three for me, I’m going to
take a vacation.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, super welterweights
Kevin Salgado (14-0-1, 9 KOs) and Bryant Perrella (17-3-2,
14 KOs) fought to a split-draw after 10-rounds of action.
The tactical affair saw Perrella establish his jab from the
outset, a punch he landed 64 times throughout the contest.
Perrella, who is trained by Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr.,
combined consistent movement with the jab, which slowed
Salgado from putting together consistent offense.
“I thought my game plan and execution was great,” said
Perrella. “I boxed smart. I broke him down. I’m not going to
run from him. He was just winging big shots any time I would
step in just trying to knock me out with one punch. I kept
the jab in his face. Jabs to the body. Left hands. I hurt
him. Everything was going great and it looked like I was
sweeping all the rounds.”
For Salgado, he was able to keep the fight close with a
consistent body attack, out landing Perrella 44 to 27 on
body shots, in addition to a 37 to 34 edge in power punches.
Perrella landed the most impactful fight of the punch,
connecting on a sharp left uppercut that caused Salgado to
stumble in round five.
All three judges agreed on only three of the ten rounds
throughout the closely contested duel, eventually leading to
the split-draw by scores of 97-93 for Perrella, 96-94 for
Salgado and the 95-95 draw. After the fight, both men
believed they had done enough to have their hand raised.
“I was shocked by the decision,” said Perrella, who fought
to a draw against Tony Harrison in his last outing prior to
Saturday night. “Two draws in a row. I put my all into this
and I get robbed at the end of the day. It’s a tough pill to
swallow. I easily out boxed him. He barely landed any
punches. I don’t know what more I can do. I did my best. It
is what it is.”
“I felt like I won,” said Salgado. “All Perrella did was run
around and away from me. Maybe if I had pressured a bit
more, that last judge would have leaned more in my favor.
Perrella kept throwing his jab but almost never connected. I
think that tonight was definitely a positive step in the
right direction towards becoming the next Mexican star in
the United States, and I look forward to pleasing the fans
with more Mexican-style fights in the future”