Tim Tszyu unfazed by transition from Keith Thurman to Sebastian Fundora

Tim Tszyu is making the necessary adjustments for a new, unusual opponent.

The 154-pound titleholder from Australia was supposed to have fought former 147-pound champ Keith Thurman on pay-per-view March 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

However, he had to pivot to replacement opponent Sebastian Fundora after Thurman pulled out with a biceps injury less than two weeks before the fight, in which Tszyu’s WBO belt and the vacant WBC title will be on the line.

Thurman and Fundora are radically different fighters.

The former is a 5-foot-7 35-year-old who has fought once in almost five years and has a stick-and-move style. The latter is a hungry 26-year-old who is about as tall as Anthony Joshua — 6-foot-5½ — and fights aggressively in spite of his dimensions.

Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) didn’t seem to be fazed by the change when he spoke to reporters at a media event in Las Vegas.

“I had sparring for the new opponent come in on Monday, and I was grateful for the great work they gave me,” said Tszyu, who is 5-9. “This fight is all about awkwardness when you have someone that tall. But nothing fazes me. It is what it is, and the show goes on. …

“I’ve met Fundora before and I respect him and how he fights. I just have to find the right shots. Every great boxer finds the way to win, and we’ll find those keys on March 30.”

Tszyu and Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) are both coming off fights against Brian Mendoza, with contrasting results.

Mendoza stunned Fundora by stopping him in the seventh round of a fight he was losing in April of last year. Six months later, Tszyu easily outpointed Mendoza in his first defense of his WBO belt.

Tszyu said the Fundora-Mendoza will serve as a lesson for him. And he seemed to imply that the result of his fight against Fundora could be the same.

“I talked to Brian Mendoza and he talked about how Fundora is awkward with his style and that he uses his height to his advantage in different ways,” Tszyu said.

He then added: “My message to the fans is definitely don’t blink during this one.”

Meanwhile, Fundora doesn’t believe that the Mendoza fights will mean much on March 30.

The Southern California fighter had a big lead over Mendoza on the official scorecards after six rounds, 60-54, 60-54 and 59-55. He simply got caught by a big punch and was counted out.

Fundora had been scheduled to face Serhii Bohachuk on the March 30 card when Thurman was injured.

“I was in control of the Mendoza fight, so I don’t want to change too much because of the result,” he said. “And it doesn’t really matter to me what he did against Tszyu. I’m just going to keep focusing on my game.

“I’ve been training hard all camp. We only had a little bit to fix after our last fight, but my dad and my sister keep my mind straight. My sister Gabriela just became world champion, and now it’s my turn to go do the same.”

Fundora hasn’t had to make significant changes in his training because Bohachuk’s style is similar to that of Tszyu.

However, he doesn’t believe that will be a significant advantage for him. He knows he must be at the top of his game to become a major beltholder for the first time.

“Having the right preparation is very important, of course,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s really an advantage that I was preparing for someone similar to Tszyu already. It’s about what happens when you step into the ring.

“Of course, I believe I’m going to win this fight, but not because of an advantage like that. I want to win this fight, become unified champion and keep going from there. We want to keep moving up.”

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie