As Sebastian Fundora waits for the chance to possibly fight for the undisputed junior middleweight championship, he takes the next step of his career on Saturday against a fighter in Brian Mendoza who he should beat without too many complications. But Mendoza is coming off the biggest victory of his career, and his confidence is as high as ever heading into the Showtime main event. Here’s everything you need to know about Sebastian Fundora vs. Brian Mendoza, including the odds, their records and a prediction on who will win.
Fundora could be next in line after Jermell Charlo and Tim Tszyu fight for all of the 154-pound titles, assuming that matchup actually happens at some point. Essentially, Fundora is staying busy against Mendoza while trying to improve his skills. But having to prove himself? No, Fundora feels he’s already managed that.
“I feel like I’ve been proving myself over and over again,” Fundora said recently. “We’re waiting for our shot to fight for the title. They keep putting guys in front of me who they say will knock me out or expose me, but I keep proving them wrong.”
Two fights removed from the toughest of his career —he survived a knockdown in the seventh round to battle back and stop Erickson Lubin—Fundora returned last October and looked solid in outboxing Carlos Ocampo. But Fundora didn’t necessarily put on a championship-level performance, though he used his boxing skills (and long jab) more than he normally does.
Afterward, Fundora said he was pleased with his performance, but it wasn’t an overly impressive victory. Maybe he can get that vs. Mendoza.
“I’m always ready to go toe-to-toe,” Fundora said. “Everyone I fought has been strong guys and Mendoza is another . . . This fight is as important as every other fight before. Mendoza is a contender as well, and we’re not looking at him lightly. We have to get past Mendoza if we want to even think of fighting for the championship.”
Mendoza promises he won’t be an easy assignment for Fundora, particularly since he’s coming off a knockout victory against former unified junior middleweight champion Jeison Rosario last November. Rosario was about a 3/1 betting favorite in that fight, but Mendoza bulldozed his way through him. On Saturday, Mendoza will be an even bigger underdog vs. Fundora.
But he certainly believes in himself.
“When I said I was going to add a former unified champion to my resume, people scoffed and laughed at me,” Mendoza said. “I just thought, ‘OK, keep laughing.’ You don’t have to believe me. I’m going to show you with my actions. That’s what I’m going to do in this fight. I’m going to show that I’m one of the best in this division. That’s the goal. I’m going to pull off another big upset.”
Here’s more info on the Sebastian Fundora vs. Brian Mendoza showdown that U.S. viewers can watch on Showtime beginning at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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Sebastian Fundora vs. Brian Mendoza odds
With Fundora as the -1200 betting favorite (bet $1,200 to win $100) and with Mendoza as the +600 underdog (win $600 on a $100 wager), there’s no reason to bet either money line. If you like Fundora to win, you’re going to have to get more specific (he’s +140 to win by stoppage and -125 to take home the decision victory). If you feel that Mendoza will pull the upset, there’s a better chance he could land a KO shot (+1100) than win by decision (+1400).
If you were looking for a fun parlay for this weekend’s action of boxing (and this is only for entertainment purposes), I might take Fundora to beat Mendoza by decision at -125, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez to stop Christian Gonzalez at -175 and Shakur Stevenson to beat Shuichiro Yoshino by decision at -250. If all those hit, you’d win $350 on a $100 wager.
Sebastian Fundora vs. Brian Mendoza records
As he continues to move toward a world title shot, Fundora’s opposition continues to get tougher. And at 20-0-1 (13 KOs), he continues to win. His last three opponents—Sergio Garcia, Erickson Lubin and Carlos Ocampo—were a combined 91-2, and yet, Fundora was the one to have his hand raised in victory. Mendoza probably isn’t as skilled as any of his last three opponents, but Fundora knows he can’t overlook him.
Mendoza (21-2, 15 KOs) is most certainly coming off the biggest victory of his career vs. Rosario. Check out this uppercut.
Before that, though, Mendoza didn’t have much of a resume of note, and his two losses came to undefeated prospect Jesus Ramos (who just had a big win late last month against Joey Spencer) and against the unknown Larry Gomez.
Sebastian Fundora vs. Brian Mendoza prediction
Despite his somewhat limited resume, I don’t think Mendoza will make it easy for Fundora. But in the end, Fundora will use a nice combination of boxing skills and inside fighting to stymie Mendoza. Mendoza seems sturdy, so I think this fight will go to the scorecards, but Fundora shouldn’t have many problems winning a decision. Say, Fundora somewhere in the 117-111 range.