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  Mendoza Extinguishes "The Towering Inferno" Fundora

By William Trillo
Photos: Marlene Marquez


On a crisp and cool evening in Carson, California boxing fans were treated to an evening of knockouts, familiar old faces and unexpected upsets. In the Showtime Main Event Super Welterweight Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) was doused by Brian Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs). In what can only be described as a stunning KO, Mendoza, who is almost eight inches shorter than Fundora, put out the fire of the tall young boxer.

In the early stages of the fight fans were booing as the fighters were short on action. Both men were trying to find the proper firing range with little or no luck. It was lackluster early on. But Mendoza remained patient for six rounds as he tried to figure out a way to get to the chin of the man who literally towered over him.

Then, as the seventh round was barely underway, Mendoza uncorked a left hand that clipped Fundora squarely on the chin. The lanky fighters knees buckled. Mendoza jumped in with a rapid one two combination that crumbled and stopped Fundora who took the ten count. Fight over.

With the upset victory Mendoza captured the WBC Interim World Super Welter strap.

Afterwards an elated Mendoza announced, Now that I have this belt, I want to put this around my mom hopefully. I earned this I want to celebrate with my family. But they cant deny me now. The next one up is Charlo, hes obviously undisputed, but I just always want the best. When they called me for this, I signed it no hesitation. So, Im waiting for a call. Were ready for the world man Mexico, stand up!

On the stunning loss Fundora said, It was a good punch. I dont recognize that moment, but Im fine. Im healthy now, and Ill be back. Ill be back to take the division, and this is a step up and a step down. It happened, but Ill be back. Im not sorry I took this fight, this is boxing. We gotta fight and we have to make these fights. Congratulations to Brian Mendoza he did his thing, but like I said, Ill be back.

As if shot out of a cannon Welterweights Brandun Lee (28-0, 23 KOs) and Pedro Campa (34-3-1, 23 KOs) started letting the artillery fly as soon as the bell to start round one rang. Forget any feeling out round, this one was all about going full speed ahead immediately.

By round three the effects of the Lee punches were all over the right eye of Campa who was swelling quickly. But to his credit Campa kept coming, there was no quit in him. Lee launched Campas mouthpiece numerous times but that did not stop the Mexican warrior. He was there to win. In fact, Campa may have won rounds nine and ten as Lee began to hold and clinch. In a decision the fans didnt like, judges scorecards saw Lee ahead easily after ten rounds, 99-91,97-93 and 98-92.

After the close fight Lee said, My performance was great in the first five rounds and then I slowed down and thats when he started to come on. Thats a veteran thing to do. I learned that Im going to have to pace myself in these kinds of fights, to realize were going 10 round and soon to be 12 rounds and dont change up the game plan.

In the Showtime televised opener, Featherweights Luis Reynaldo Nunez (18-0, 13 KOs) and Christian Olivo Barreda (20-0-1, 7 KOs) put their undefeated records on the line in a slugfest that had the vacant
IBF International Feather up for grabs. Using a superior head snapping jab, Nunez was racking up rounds as the fight ensued. That work paid off as judges saw Nunez as the clearcut winner with scores that read 98-92, 100-90 and 97-93.

On his victory Nunez stated, I was throwing a lot of punches and I realized he was hurt but I couldnt understand how he could take all this punishment and keep going. I want a title shot. I want to fight the best in the division. Whatever is available Ill take it.

Super Welterweight Gabriel Maestre (5-0-1, 4 KOs) took on an overly seasoned Devon Alexander (27-8-1, 14 KOs) in a scheduled eight round contest. Unfortunately, Devon, who is well past his prime, could not answer the bell and the fight was halted in between rounds three and four. Credit Maestra with the TKO and credit to Alexander who had a stellar championship career.

Heavyweight Frank Sanchez (22-0, 15 KOs) made a Mole Hill out of Daniel The Mountain Martz (20-10-1, 17 KOs). By dropping his foe three times in the first round Sanchez may not even need to shower after this too easy test.

Bloodied but not deterred, Flyweight Gabriela Fundora (11-0, 4 KOs) took everything Maria Micheo Santizo (11-3, 6 KOs) had to offer. But in round six Fundora dropped Santizo and went on to score a unanimous decision victory. Scores read 79-72 twice and 77-74 all in favor of Fundora.

Looking as trim as he has been in years, Heavyweight Chris Arreola (39-7-1, 34 KOs) clubbed Mathew McKinney (13-7-3, 9 KOs) with a right hand at the 1:01 mark of round two and that was the end of the show. The ref gave McKinney the ten count and then raised Arreolas hand in victory.

In a six-round attraction, Super Featherweight Gabriel Garcia (9-0, 6 KOs) and Marco Diaz (6-2, 5 KOs) slugged it out in a very fan friendly battle. Both men gave everything they had to offer, each taking turns at landing crisp leather. It was almost too close to call. Final tallies read 59-55 Garcia, 58-56 Diaz with the final judge scoring 58-56 for Garcia who kept his undefeated record intact.

Lightweight Viktor Slavinskyi (14-2-1, 6 KOs) took a razor close Majority decision over Juan Antonio Lopez (17-14-1, 7 KOs) in the opening bout of the night. One score read 76-76 even but judges scorecards of 78-74 and 77-75 gave Viktor the nod.

Super Featherweight Justin Viloria made his pro debut a successful one as he KOd Sirdarious Smith (0-1) in quick fashion. Officially this one came to an end at the 1:12 mark of the first round.

Midway through the first round Heavyweight Federico Pacheco Jr (3-0, 2 KO) clocked Felipe Torres (0-2) with a picture perfect left hook. It stretched Torres across the mat, there was no reason to count. With concerns for the safety of the fighter, the physicians at ringside took Torres out on a gurney. Officially this one came to a halt at the 1:20 mark. Lets hope Torres is okay.

In the Who Has The Bigger Set Of Cajnes fight of the night, Lightweights Adrian Corona (9-1-2, 2 KOs) and Jerry Perez (14-2-1, 11 KOs) slugged it out over the course of the eight round Donnybrook. Fans in the arena applauded both fighters for their courage. This fight was just too close to call and judges scorecards made that clear. In the end one judge scored this one 78-74 for Perez while the other two saw it 76-76 even, a majority decision draw.


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