Sebastian Fundora impressively stops Erickson Lubin in nine
Sebastian Fundora is listed at 6-foot, 5½-inches tall. “The Towering Inferno’s” heart may be bigger—if that’s possible. Fundora took one plowing shot after another by power punching Erickson Lubin in a battle of junior middleweight southpaws Saturday night from the Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fundora (19-0-1, 13 knockouts) proved he can handle adversity.
He got up in the seventh round to stop Lubin (24-2, 17 KOs) in the ninth, when Lubin’s trainer, Kevin Cunningham, wisely ended it on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
At the time of the stoppage, Lubin was ahead on two of the three judge’s scorecards, with Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld each having him up, 85-84, and Tim Cheatham having it 85-85.
Although, it seemed a matter of time before Fundora would end it with his fists—and constant tenacity.
“I think this was probably my best performance ever,” the 24-year-old Fundora said. “It was a back-and-forth fight, and he really brough his hammers today, but you know what, I decided to bring my drill and that’s what I did. My uppercut was landing like no other, it got the job done.”
Fundora had turned Lubin’s face into a mass of bloody, swollen flesh.
“The uppercut is my lucky punch,” Fundora said. “I’m here in Vegas, so I feel a little lucky, and that’s my lucky punch. It lands most of the time with everybody. Southpaw. Right hand. It doesn’t matter. Once I find that, I feel like the job’s done.
“I knew he was going to come to fight. Lubin is an incredible fighter. I wish him nothing but the best. He caught me with a good punch that made me think for a second. I recollected myself and I got the job done.”
Fundora dropped Lubin in the second with a right uppercut. Lubin dropped Fundora for the first time in his career in the seventh.
“I got hit with a good punch and I didn’t feel like I needed to get hit again so I took a knee to get a little breather in and I recovered,” he said. “I intentionally took a knee. I knew I had to take a knee because if I kept getting hit like that it wouldn’t be smart for me and I wouldn’t be able to recollect myself.
“I started to eat the cake in one bite. I went back to my corner and my dad said, ‘Don’t be doing that. Don’t be acting dumb.’ I came back in the next round and I figured stuff out again.”
After the ninth, Lubin’s face looked ready to burst.
It’s when Cunningham ended it.
“I think it was a good decision for Kevin Cunningham to stop the fight,” Fundora said. “His face shifted from round one to round nine. It completely morphed and there was a lot of blood coming out. He’s a tough fighter. He was in the game the whole time but there’s no need to get hurt that much.
“I see (Jermell) Charlo winning the fight against (Brian) Castano. I feel like he’ll be too strong for Castano the second time. If Castano wins, that’s great too. I just want to go after all of them. This is the interim belt so I want the world champion title. I want the real deal.”
On the undercard, Tony Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) made easy work of Sergio Garcia (33-2, 14 KOs) winning by 10-round unanimous decision.
“I pitched a shutout against a guy who just fought a guy that’s in the main event right now,” Harrison said. “Muscles is the way of the streets, but skills pay the bills. He was swinging for the fences. When he was missing shots, all I heard was ‘whoosh!’. I felt it. I was trying to throw a few more counter shots in between. My composure was everything.”
The only round Garcia may have won was the second.
“All I needed to do was land a (expletive) punch,” Garcia said. “Just one good one. But I didn’t. Harrison fought his fight and was very smart with his jab and his elusiveness, major credit to him.”
Kevin Salgado and Bryant Perrella fought to a split draw in the other televised fight.
Salgado (14-0-1, 9 KOs) was making his U.S. debut and Perrella (17-3-2, 14 KOs) was looking to break free from the throes of a 1-1-1 stretch over his previous three fights. Draws seem to follow Perrella.
“I was shocked by the decision,” Perrella said. “Two draws in a row. I put my all into this and I get robbed at the end of the day. It’s a tough pill to swallow. You know I easily outboxed him. He barely landed any punches. I don’t know what more I can do. I did my best. It is what it is.
“I thought my gameplan and execution was great. I boxed smart. I broke him down. I’m not going to run from him. He was just winging big shots any time I would step in just trying to knock me out with one punch. I kept the jab in his face. Jabs to the body. Left hands. I hurt him. Everything was going great and it looked like I was sweeping all the rounds.”
Salgado, obviously, thought he won.
“I felt like I won,” he said. “All Perrella did was run around and away from me. Maybe if I had pressured a bit more, that last judge would have leaned more in my favor. Perrella kept throwing his jab but almost never connected.”
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com 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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