Unbeaten super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno’’ Fundora offered a clear warning to the rest of the 154-pound division as he prepares to defend his interim WBC title against former title challenger Carlos Ocampo live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Saturday, October 8 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.
“Everyone in the division has to watch out,” said Fundora. “Because I’m coming. I’m definitely not overlooking this opponent, but whenever I get that title chance, I’m ready for it.”
Already considered perhaps the most exciting fighter in the sport at just 24-years-old, Fundora explained the mentality that has allowed him to thrill fight fans time and time again.
“A lot of people who come out to these fights are working class and they spend their hard-earned money to go watch a good fight, and that’s what I want to deliver,” said Fundora. “I fight for the fans. Without the fans, boxing is not the same.”
For this fight, Coachella, California’s Fundora will share the stage with his younger sister, 20-year-old rising flyweight Gabriela Fundora, who competes in an undercard bout at Dignity Health Sports Park. Although it will be the first time they share a card, Sebastian is confident that the training from their father Freddy will allow each to focus on their individual tasks.
“We always train together, so preparing to fight on the same date didn’t require any adjustments or changes really,” said Fundora. “My sister is going to fight before me and I’ll be focused on my fight, even while watching her. We’ve trained all camp so that I know what I’m supposed to be doing at that moment. I’ll definitely be ready by the time it’s my moment to get in the ring.
“This opportunity shows that the hard work me and my sister have been putting in, is really paying off. I’m already in a comfortable spot in my career, but it really shows how her hard work has gotten her to this platform.”
Fundora’s stock skyrocketed after his most recent outing, which saw him claim the vacant Interim WBC Super Welterweight Title by stopping Erickson Lubin after nine rounds, in a memorable bout on SHOWTIME in April that is a certain contender for 2022 Fight of the Year. Despite the career-best victory, Fundora saw the outcome as him simply proving what he already believed about himself.
“I feel like I didn’t learn anything in my last fight, I just went out there and proved what I already knew to everyone,” said Fundora. “In that camp we were focused on showing everyone that I’m an elite fighter at 154 pounds.”
The 6-foot-6 Fundora also showed an ability to overcome adversity in the duel against Lubin, and wisdom beyond his years. After dropping his opponent in round two and racing out to an early lead, Fundora was on the receiving end of a vicious onslaught from Lubin in round seven and elected to take a knee to recuperate. Between rounds nine and 10, Lubin’s corner was forced to throw in the towel after Fundora rose to his feet and regained control of the action.
“I never had a doubt in my mind during the Lubin fight,” said Fundora. “If I doubted myself, I would not be here right now. I had the composure to use my brain and take a knee during that fight. I got hit with a good punch and I was like, ‘let me take a little breather’, instead of getting hit like that again. I used my intelligence.”
On October 8, Fundora makes the first defense of his interim title against the rising Mexican contender Ocampo, who enters the fight on a 12-bout winning streak. Since a 2018 loss to unified welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr., Ocampo has moved up in weight and reeled off win after win to earn another shot at a top fighter. Fundora expects that motivation, combined with the Baja Californian’s aggressive style, to equal memorable action for everyone watching.
“Ocampo is a big, Mexican 154-pounder,” said Fundora. “He’s been at this weight for a while now and I know he’s coming in hungry. It’s his second chance on the big stage and I’m eager to see what he brings to the ring. I’m ready for him to bring his best. He’s going to be an aggressive fighter with a classic Mexican style. This is a perfect fight for Southern California. What more could you want?”
THREE EXCITING SHOWDOWNS TO STREAM LIVE ON SHOWTIME SPORTS® DIGITAL PLATFORMS THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 BEGINNING AT 7:30 P.M. ET/4:30 P.M. PT
Three exciting showdowns featuring contenders and rising prospects will stream live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME® Boxing Facebook page this Saturday, October 8 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
With action kicking off at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, the COUNTDOWN show, hosted by Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell, features veteran welterweight contenders Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas and Mykal Fox squaring off in a 10-round bout. Featherweight contenders Viktor Slavinskyi and Edward Vazquez also meet in an eight-round duel, while unbeaten flyweight prospect Gabriela Fundora, the younger sister of unbeaten headliner Sebastian Fundora, kicks off the show battling Mexico’s Naomi Reyes in a 10-round fight.
The preliminary bouts will lead up to a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT featuring Interim WBC Super Welterweight Champion Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora defending his belt against former title challenger Carlos Ocampo in the main event.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Sampson Boxing, are on sale now and can be purchased at axs.com.
The stacked non-televised undercard lineup also includes unbeaten lightweight prospects Justin Cardona (8-0, 6 KOs) and Angel Alejandro (10-0, 4 KOs) in a six-round matchup, Filipino Olympic bronze medalist Eumir Marcial (2-0, 1 KO) taking on Steven Pichardo (8-2-1, 2 KOs) in a four-round middleweight attraction and super welterweight Brandon Lynch (11-1-1, 8 KOs) facing Argentina’s Roque Junco (11-12-1, 6 KOs) for eight-rounds of action.
Rounding out the card will be unbeaten Phoenix-native Elijah Garcia (11-0, 9 KOs) battling Mexico’s Edgar Valenzuela (7-1, 6 KOs) in a six-round middleweight duel, unbeaten featherweight Shon Mondragon (7-0-1, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout and featherweight Jose Perez (10-1-2, 4 KOs) stepping into the ring for a six-round showdown.
A two-time Olympian for his native Lithuania, Kavaliauskas (22-2-1, 18 KOs) now fights out of California as he seeks a second shot at a 147-pound world title. The 34-year-old came up short in his first attempt, dropping a 2019 title bout against Terence Crawford before most recently losing to unbeaten Vergil Ortiz Jr. in August 2021. He will be opposed by Maryland’s Fox (22-3, 5 KOs), who returns to the ring after dropping a controversial decision to Gabriel Maestre in August 2021. Standing at nearly six-feet-four-inches tall, the 26-year-old has used his size and boxing acumen to establish himself as a crafty contender in a pro career that dates back to 2014.
Originally from Ukraine and residing in Los Angeles, Slavinskyi (13-1-1, 6 KOs) will look to bounce back from his first defeat on October 8, which came via majority decision against hard-hitting contender Claudio Marrero in February. The 32-year-old had previously ridden a six-bout winning streak into that fight, which included a decision triumph over Leduan Barthelemy in June 2021. He will face the 27-year-old Vazquez (12-1, 3 KOs), a Fort Worth, Texas-native who most recently defeated Jose Argel in July. Vazquez’s only blemish came via split-decision against the unbeaten Raymond Ford in February.
Trained by her father Freddy alongside her brother Sebastian, Fundora (8-0, 4 KOs) has impressed since turning pro in May 2021, dominating her competition on her way to eight early wins. The 20-year-old from Coachella, Calif., will return to Dignity Health Sports Park for the third time after earning her first two pro victories at the venue. She will battle Nayarit, Mexico’s Reyes (9-1, 5 KOs), who turned pro in 2016 and suffered her only loss via decision in 2018. Since then, Reyes has put together five-straight victories, with four coming by stoppage.