- Tarrian Rodgers
Brian Mendoza shocks the boxing world with major upset
Brian Mendoza did the impossible Saturday night he was a 11-1 underdog taking the fight on 10 days' notice against an undefeated world champion. Mendoza sent the “Towering Inferno” up in smoke after a stunning picture-perfect knockout in the seventh round.
Mendoza had little success going into the seventh round taking damage and eating significant uppercuts. Mendoza was able to sustain a run when he caught and crushed Fundora with a snapping left hook. Fundora got caught in an awkward bent over position. Mendoza followed up by connecting with a clubbing right and left hook.
Fundora fell to the canvas and couldn’t muster up the strength to stand back up as referee Ray Corona counted to ten. A disappointed Fundora shook his head. Mendoza fell to his knees and pounded the canvas in celebration. The fight was called off 39 seconds into the seventh round. The victory was significant as Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs) won the interim WBC title.
“I started losing a couple of rounds, but I didn’t care, you’ll never see me give up,” said Mendoza. “I would’ve given up years ago when I took some losses. I kept on sparring and look at me now. A year ago, I was in a swing bout after the main event. Nobody cared who I was or what I was doing. This is proof. You keep working, you're going to make it, baby.”
Mendoza has done nothing but work to get in this position. Last year he sent former world champion Jeison Rosario into retirement after another upset. Now that he is champion, he’ll have his fair list of suitors. He could wait to fight the winner of Jermell Charlo and Tim Tzsu. Charlo holds all the belts at 154. Or some other fights include a rematch to avenge a 2021 loss to Jesus Ramos, fights against the likes of Brian Castano and Joey Spencer, as well as matchups against the likes of Danny Garcia, Tony Harrison, Jarrett Hurd, and Jessie Vargas,
As for the former champion Fundora. He said he’ll be open to a rematch. Fundora got caught which happens in boxing he was dominant throughout the fight. “He was throwing that overhand right all night and I was dodging and dodging, but in boxing, the second you fall asleep, you get punished. It was a good punch. I don’t recognize that moment, but I’m fine. I’m healthy now, and I’ll be back. I’ll be back to take the division and this is a step up and a step-down. It happens, but I’ll be back.”