Sebastian Fundora had a feeling he would fight Tim Tszyu one day. After the withdrawal of original opponent Keith Thurman due to injury “The Towering Inferno” gets his opportunity to take on the Australian having got the news just over a week ago. Moving up the card to main event status is a shot in the arm for Fundora’s career after losing last time out. Earlier this week the 26-year-old spoke to Boxing News about the call-up, the challenge of Tszyu, the defeat to Brian Mendoza and much more.


BN: How has your week been so far? Interesting?

SF: Very interesting. A big change but we’re ready for it.


BN: Is this one of the more memorable weeks in your career.

SF: Definitely. As of right now this is the biggest week of my career.


BN: When did you found out you were going to step in for Keith Thurman?

SF: We got the news on Sunday. Our promoter called us and said Keith got injured with his bicep. Are you willing to take the fight with Tim Tszyu? And they mentioned the two belts: the WBC and the WBO. Of course we’re going to take it.


BN: Preparation wise have you been doing anything to adjust to your new opponent or do you know enough about Tim Tszyu anyway?

SF: We had a feeling we were going to fight Tim Tszyu maybe the next fight or the fight after that. With the opponent we had before [Serhii] Bohachuk he’s an orthodox fighter, he’s a pressure fighter and he’s a power puncher. All of these things check the same list as Tim Tszyu. The only difference is he’s a little taller but the way we’ve been preparing is good enough. I think we’re more than ready for anybody.


BN: How do you overcome Tszyu? What do you think will be the biggest difference between you on the night?

SF: Just using my brain, using my boxing skills to display the difference between us.


BN: Since the defeat to Brian Mendoza, how’s life been for you?

SF: It’s been the same. Especially with this different outcome now we’re fighting for a championship. Of course, with that loss it puts us back a little bit but with this opportunity it puts us back in place. It seemed like nothing happened. Now we’re fighting in a unified title fight. Everything’s good.


BN: Was the loss as simple as being caught by a good shot or was there more to it?

SF: That’s what I honestly think. I don’t want to call it a lucky shot because there are no lucky shots in boxing, everything happens for a reason. I made the mistake. I put my hands down, leaned forward but those are things you can easily fix. Those are reminders. Don’t do those. Those are a big no in boxing so that’s an easy fix. We came back to the gym we’ve been training for a year working on those things and we’re more than ready now.


BN: How come it’s taken you so long to get back in the ring? Has there been any injuries or any issues?

SF: I was just waiting for the call. I’ve been ready since last October. Ready, ready, ready. With PBC changing platforms… the business side of boxing… we’ve been ready.


BN: Watching you on camera you’ve always struck me as someone who is laid back. So, when you faced adversity like the defeat to Mendoza fight how did you handle that? Is it something you get over quickly or did it affect you in the days and weeks after?

SF: If it does it doesn’t last very long. My family are very supportive. My father, my coach, my sister, we stay together and if for some reason I’m feeling down they pick me back up and remind me where I’m at and remind me to work hard and to continue working hard.


BN: How highly do you rate Tim Tszyu, and have you pinpointed any weaknesses you can exploit?

SF: I have him as the best [at] 154 right now. So, if I beat him, I will become the best 154. I’ll be the unified champion. Tim’s a great fighter. Exciting. The way that we have been training is the way that we beat him.


BN: Is it correct that everyone is assuming this fight won’t go the distance.

SF: Probably. This is what boxing is made for. You want to see those knockouts. It’s like with basketball and [American] Football you want to see touchdowns, you want to see goals, you want to see slam dunks. I’ll be going for it, I’m sure he’ll be going for it. It’s going to be a great night.


BN: Is boxing a way of life for you? Some fighters treat it as a job and switch off from boxing after they’ve fought.

SF: It is 24/7 for me. Of course, I do treat it as a job, this is my job but I’m sure for all fighters it’s the same thing. It’s just how they live their life after the sport or after the fight. I’m 100 per cent boxing. Everyone in my family does it. My gym is literally right next to my house. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t get away (laughs).


BN: How many times do you think you’ve been asked about how you make the weight?

SF: Millions. That and how tall am I are neck and neck.


BN: When do you think you will move up in weight and has it been on your mind?

SF: As of right now it’s really easy to do [154lbs]. It’s not really a big deal but when the time comes, I’ll definitely move up. I do want to become a world champion at this weight class, maybe we’ll think about moving up after that.


BN: This is PBC’s first fight with Amazon Prime so there will be a lot of eyes on this event. How do you deal with that type of pressure, or do you even look at it that way?

SF: Maybe a couple of years ago it got my attention a little more. But I’ve fought in main events before, I’ve fought on pay-per-view cards before as well. And I’ve fought in Vegas, and I’ve fought great opposition before. This is another time, another fight. Of course, the stakes are bigger with the two belts on the line but we’re ready.


BN: What’s your thoughts on the super-welterweight division right now?

SF: It should be interesting the next couple of months especially after this fight. I hear [Terence] Crawford’s the mandatory for the WBO [title] so maybe that fight can happen after. We have Errol Spence apparently moving up, too. If Keith Thurman recovers maybe we can get a fight with that guy. There’s a lot of names coming up. I think it’s soon to be the best division.