Good, bad, worse: Sebastian Fundora’s instinct to brawl, Benn-Eubank debacle

A critical look at the past week in boxing


I’m one of those who wonders whether Sebastian Fundora should use his height and reach more than he does.

The 6-foot-5 junior middleweight’s nature is to fight toe-to-toe, which has worked for him. He remained undefeated after outpointing Carlos Ocampo on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

The fact is he’s an excellent inside fighter in spite of his lean frame and long arms. One could ask: If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Well, giving up his length advantage gives his opponents a chance to get close enough to him to land punches. Ocampo lost a one-sided decision but did his best work when Fundora engaged him inside.

By contrast, I thought Ocampo was helpless when Fundora fought at range behind his jab and threw power punches, as he did in the last two rounds. I can see him dominating opponents with that tactic if he perfects it. He could be a 154-pound, left-handed version of Wladimir Klitschko.

I think he needs to work on landing his jab more than he does; he connected on 16% of them against Ocampo, according to CompuBox. And he has to follow with straight lefts, right hooks and other power punches, which he didn’t do early.

Fundora’s father-trainer Freddy Fundora agrees at least to some extent: The younger Fundora said he and dad worked on fighting at range during training camp for the Ocampo fight. So they might be moving in that direction.

In the end, Fundora’s instinct is to brawl, to please the fans who are hungry for action. That probably won’t change. That said, his best course might be to switch back and forth – from brawling to boxing – depending on the circumstances.



Kudos to the British Boxing Board of Control for refusing to sanction the Conor Benn-Chris Eubank Jr. fight after Benn’s “A” sample tested positive for a banned substance, after which it was postponed.

Benn’s handlers complained that he wasn’t given due process by the BBBofC, an allegation that will be sorted out over time.

The bottom line was this: Benn failed a drug test conducted by a reputable agency, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. The BBBofC made the responsible decision by pulling its support.

What about Benn’s “B” sample, which typically confirms the initial finding? Organizers would’ve been remiss to allow the fight to proceed in the off chance the second sample is negative.

I hate the fact that promoter Eddie Hearn refused to embrace the BBBofC’s decision but I have to give credit to him and his partners for deciding not to find an outside body to sanction the fight, which they probably could’ve done.

I won’t speculate on their true motives but they collectively made the decision that was best for the sport.

And, finally, there’s Benn. Surprise, surprise: He swears he’s a clean fighter even though Clomifene – a female fertility drug that can boost testosterone – was found in his body. Almost every athlete in his position says the same thing; it means next to nothing. He could face suspension.

The Benn-Eubank debacle was bad for boxing for obvious reasons but it would’ve been a lot worse had the fight taken place.



Boxing lost a legend in Eder Jofre.

The Hall of Famer from Brazil, who died last week at 86, was arguably the greatest 118-pounder of all time, No. 1 pound-for-pound for a time in the 1960s and certainly the best boxer his country has ever produced.

Jofre was a brilliant boxer with fight-stopping power and he was durable, which is how he was able to compile a record of 72-2-4 (50 KOs) in his long career.

He went undefeated from 1957 to 1965, starting his career with a record of 47-0-3. Between 1960 and 1965 he won a version of the bantamweight and then the undisputed world championship and was essentially untouchable.

That is until he ran into his nemesis and fellow Hall of Famer, Fighting Harada of Japan, who handed him his first loss (a split decision) in 1965 and then did it again (a unanimous decision) the following year.

That appeared to be the end of Jofre’s career, as he “retired” at 30 after the second setback against Harada.

Then, after three years away, he put together one of the greatest comebacks ever.

The then-33-year-old returned as a featherweight in 1969 and reeled off 25 victories in as many fights, winning the WBC 126-pound title by decision over Jose Legra at 37 years old in the process.

If there was any doubt about his greatness before his comeback, there definitely wasn’t afterward.

Jofre was one of the best to ever do it. RIP, champ.



Fundora, ranked No. 1 by the WBC, has earned the right to face the winner of the January fight between undisputed champion Jermell Charlo and Tim Tszyu. Could he beat Charlo, who I expect to prevail of Tszyu? I doubt it. Charlo is one of the best in the business. However, as I’ve said in the past, I wouldn’t put anything past Fundora. He has innate resolve that makes him difficult for anyone to defeat. I hope he gets his chance. … Middleweight contender Carlos Adames (22-1, 17 KOs) was the star of the show on the Fundora-Ocampo card Saturday. The Dominican, a complete fighter, overwhelmed a good, strong opponent in Juan Macias Montiel (23-6-2, 23 KOs) en route to a third-round knockout. Could he beat the top 160-pounder, Jermall Charlo? I wouldn’t be shocked if he did. He has the tools – speed, power, all-around ability – to become a pound-for-pounder. … Junior bantamweight titleholder Fernando Martinez (15-0, 8 KOs) proved his one-sided victory over Jerwin Ancajas (33-3-2, 22 KOs) in February was no fluke, as he did it again on the Fundora-Ocampo card. I wouldn’t pick Martinez to beat some of his 115-pound rivals, including Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez. But his relentless pressure would be hell for anyone. He’s the real deal.


Sebastian Fundora grinds out unanimous decision victory over Carlos Ocampo

Carlos Adames dominates, stops Juan Macias Montiel in third round

Fernando Martinez defeats Jerwin Ancajas by wide decision again

Chris Eubank Jr.-Conor Benn fight postponed in wake of Benn's failed drug test

Promoters aren't giving up on the Chris Eubank Jr.-Conor Benn fight

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie