Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora: Unpacking a deep, interesting card

The Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora pay-per-view card Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is unusually deep even though Tszyu lost his original opponent.

Tszyu had been scheduled to defend his 154-pound title against Keith Thurman but Thurman pulled out a few weeks ago with a biceps injury, after which Fundora agreed to take the veteran’s place in the main event.

Here is a look at the featured fights on the show, including the most interesting thing about each of them.


Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) vs. Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs)

Division: Junior middleweight (154 pounds)
At stake: Tszyu’s WBO and vacant WBC titles
Most interesting thing about it: I would rather have seen Tszyu defend his belt against Thurman because of Thurman’s history. However, it will be fascinating to see whether the 5-foot-8½ Tszyu can chop down his 6-5½ opponent, as Brian Mendoza did in October. Fundora seems vulnerable after his first setback but he has had success at a high level.
Who wins?: Fundora’s only advantages are his height and reach, which won’t be enough against Tszyu. The beltholder will adjust to Fundora’s dimensions and break him down. Tszyu KO 8.


Rolando Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) vs. Isaac Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs)

Division: Junior welterweight (140 pounds)
At stake: Romero’s WBA title
Most interesting thing about it: Can Romero keep Cruz off of him? That’s the mission of everyone who faces the relentlessly aggressive Mexican, whose only loss since early in his career was a close decision against Gervonta Davis. Romero will have to use his jab and timely counter shots to get Cruz’s respect to have his hand raised. It won’t be easy.
Who wins?: Romero has the power to get Cruz’s attention but not enough to deter his unusually fit, durable opponent. Cruz will outwork Romero and win a clear decision.


Erislandy Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) vs. Michael Zerafa (31-4, 19 KOs)

Division: Middleweight (160 pounds)
At stake: Lara’s WBA title
Most interesting thing about it: What does Lara have left at 40? The possible future Hall of Famer from Cuba holds a major title and continues to win fights but his opposition has been suspect. Plus, he’s more willing to exchange punches with his opponents than he used to be. That presumably is the result of him losing a step in terms of his speed and reflexes.
Who wins?: Lara. He isn’t what he once was but he remains as clever as ever and has retained enough of his physical tools to beat Zerafa, a good, rugged but limited fighter.


Julio Cesar Martinez (20-3, 15 KOs) vs. Angelino Cordova (18-0-1, 12 KOs)

Division: Flyweight (112 pounds)
At stake: Martinez’s WBC title
Most interesting thing about it: Is Angelino Cordova the real deal? The Venezuelan came out of nowhere to deliver two eye-opening performances, decision victories over one-time title challenger Axel Aragon Vega and former champ Angel Acosta. However, Martinez, making his seventh title defense, is a significant step up in opposition.
Who wins?: Cordova’s impressive little run ends here. Martinez won’t overwhelm his capable opponent but he’ll wear him down with his relentless aggression and stop him.


Elijah Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs) vs. Kyrone Davis (18-3-1, 6 KOs)

Division: Middleweight (160 pounds)
At stake: No major titles
Most interesting thing about it: This is a significant test for Garcia. The 20-year-old prodigy has overwhelmed second-tier opponents with his ability and power, which has generated excitement. Davis is a step up for him. The 29-year-old veteran is an excellent technician with experience in big fights. And he’s tough. Only the naturally bigger David Benavidez has stopped him.
Who wins?: Davis will give Garcia problems with his skillset but he doesn’t have the power to keep Garcia off of him for 10 rounds. Garcia will take him out late in the fight.


Brian Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs) vs. Serhii Bohachuk (23-1, 23 KOs)

Division: Junior middleweight (154 pounds)
At stake: No major titles
Most interesting thing about it: Power vs. Power. Mendoza demonstrated the destructive nature of his punches with his brutal knockout of Fundora. And all 23 of Bohachuk’s victories have come by stoppage, which leaves little doubt about his ability to hurt opponents. Thus, this could be the most entertaining fight on the card. Don’t blink.
Who wins?: Mendoza might be the more durable fighter. That will allow him to take Bohachuk’s punches and deliver his own. Mendoza by late KO.

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie