Monday, May 29, 2023  |



Sebastian Fundora is bubbling over for a crack at Erickson Lubin

Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora looked a little different than everyone else on stage with him Thursday talking about his upcoming fight on Saturday night (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) against Erickson “Hammer” Lubin in a 12-round battle of junior middleweight southpaws on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader in a Premier Boxing Champions event from the Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fundora’s legs extended across the stage, and in his glasses and lime-green collared shirt, he looked as if he just skipped an English 101 class. At 6-foot, 5½-inches, Fundora is always going to be unique regardless of whom he’s lined up against. An hour before wearing an easy smile during the press conference, a different Fundora (18-0-1, 12 knockouts) was on display.

An anxious Fundora who couldn’t wait to get into the ring.

Lubin (24-1, 17 KOs) will be Fundora’s biggest test.

At 26, Lubin has been on the comeback trail, winning six-straight fights since his devastating first-round loss to WBC junior middleweight titlist Jermell Charlo in October 2017. Lubin poses a dangerous challenge, because a loss here to the 24-year-old Fundora could put him on “the opponent” heap.

“I couldn’t care less what his career has for him,” Fundora said. “I’m here to do my job, like I always do. I don’t think Lubin poses any problems. We’re ready for whatever he brings. Expect a great fight from both fighters, I hope he brings his A-game. Whatever this fight shows, whether I have to fight inside, in what I’m hearing a lot, and if he’s willing to fight inside, bring it on. If it’s a boxing fight, it is what it is. I’m ready for anything.

“I suppose on paper, it looks like my biggest challenge. At least on paper. But these last couple of fights have been all big, hard fights. I see this fight just as hard as the rest of them. If I could fight every month, I would fight every single month.”

Lubin says he made a mistake by climbing into the ring with Charlo too early in his career. Lubin says he’s wiser and more mature than the “Hammer” that climbed through the ropes almost five years ago.

“I had just turned 22 years old, and I dared to be great,” said Lubin, who’s trained by Kevin Cunningham. “I was in that fight with Charlo with three years of experience as a pro. My experience only gets better, and better, and I only get better and better every time I step in that ring. I want to show that I’m the best at 154 pounds. I want to get into that fraternity of the pay-per-views and highest paydays.

“We don’t underestimate anybody. (Fundora) is a tall statue of a guy, 6-6, 6-7, whatever they want to list him at, and I think skills pay bills. He’s a good fighter. He comes into shape. But like I said, skills pay the bills.”

This will be Fundora’s first main event on SHOWTIME.

“The next one after this we’re going to be fighting the champion (Charlo),” Fundora said. “We’re going to put everything and all into this fight.”

The SHOWTIME card will also feature former WBC junior middleweight titlist Tony “Superbad” Harrison taking on Sergio Garcia in the 10-round co-main event, with unbeaten junior middleweight Kevin Salgado opening the telecast against Bryant Perrella in the 10-rounder.

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/ since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.


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