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Late substitute Fundora surprises Tszyu, new unified champion

Sebastian Fundora (21-1-1) was called as a late replacement to fight Tim Tszyu (24-1). Fundora replaced the injured Keith Thurman and he made the most of this opportunity.

The towering (197 cm tall) Fundora beat Tszyu on Saturday night (March 30) in Las Vegas, and unified WBC and WBO world titles in super-welterweight division.

Fundora won via split decision. Two judges scored the fight in favor of him (116:112 and 115:113) and one scored 116:112 in favor of Tszyu.

“I’ve been praying for this moment for a long time,” the new titleholder said. “I’m happy Tim Tszyu gave me the opportunity for my dream to come true. This is boxing. You’re going to get hurt. I just had to use my brain. I hope you guys could see I used my brain. He’s world-class for a reason. The way I won my belt, it’s an honor to make history with him,” Fundora added.

Tszyu started strongly, winning the first two rounds. But in the end of round two he got a bad cut in the, from where it poured blood for remaining of 10 rounds and impaired his vision. Fundora was also pouring blood from nose. It was one of bloodiest battles in modern boxing.

“I couldn’t see, all credit to him,” said a dejected Tszyu. “Momentum was rolling in the first two rounds, and then boom… This is boxing. These things happen. Congratulations to Fundora. We’ll bounce back. I showed up and I always stand up. I’ll fight whoever, whenever. Terence Crawford, if you want a good scrap, you know who to call.”

In the undercard of the big event in Las Vegas, Isaac Cruz (26-2-1) became new WBA World super-lightweight champion. Cruz stopped Roland Romero (15-2) in round 8.

Erislandy Lara (30-3-3) defended the WBA World middleweight title, stopping Michael Zerafa (31-5) in round two.

Ukrainian Serhii Bohachuk (24-1) won the WBC Interim World super-welterweight title. He beat convincingly via unanimous decision Brian Mendoza (22-4).

Credit: John Locher/AP