Sebastian Fundora stayed unbeaten and kept his spot near the front of the line at 154 lbs, beating a very game, tough Carlos Ocampo over 12 rounds tonight on Showtime from Carson, Calif.
Judges scored the fight 117-111, 118-110, and 119-109, which was met with some criticism, as was the performance referee Jack Reiss, which we’ll get into in a moment. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 116-112 and 117-111 for Fundora on separate cards.
Reiss was criticized by fans watching at home, including some in our comments, and harshly on TV by Showtime’s Al Bernstein, for seeming close to stopping the fight after eight rounds. He was further criticized when he directed a commission official to fine Ocampo’s corner after round 10, as he felt they’d purposely spilled water in the corner to stall for a bit of extra time before round 11 could begin.
Personally, I thought Reiss was in a tough spot. First of all, he was the one closest to the action, and the action was heavy and hotly-paced, for the most part. Home viewers could also note, if they were paying attention, that Ocampo’s corner had been telling him pretty similar things by the time Reiss was paying close attention to the situation by the seventh round or so. They obviously didn’t want to tell Reiss that they were telling their fighter those things, but everyone seemed to know Ocampo was taking punishment in there, and a lot of it.
In short, I wouldn’t want to have been in Reiss’ shoes. Yes, it’s boxing, a violent sport, but officials are supposed to at least try to prevent the worst from happening. At the same time, yeah, Ocampo was still competing and fighting his heart out. I have no tremendously firm opinion on whether he was stepping a foot too far or if he was right on, but I tend to trust the referee who’s right there with the action more often than not.
At any rate, the fight did go the full 12 rounds, and nothing Reiss did actually negatively impacted the fight. With the water spill, he made clear not to take a point, just to levy a fine, so he didn’t impact the cards. And he did not stop the fight, so he didn’t give Fundora a TKO win, either.
The fight was a good one, not a classic, but rugged, very physical, and fought hard by both guys. Ocampo (34-2, 22 KO) and his team had a good game plan, the fighter executed it pretty well, and in the end he was just in there with a guy who was able to do enough to get the win, and I think Fundora (20-0-1, 13 KO) absolutely deserved the cards. The majority of the rounds, though, did feature good moments for both guys, and as much as I thought Fundora built the proper momentum after the third or fourth round and took over on my score card that doesn’t actually matter, I never felt he was truly dominating Ocampo, nor did he entirely bend the underdog to his will, let alone fully break his fighting spirit.
The W keeps the interim WBC title at 154 lbs on Fundora, meaning he’s got a spot in line to face undisputed champ Jermell Charlo, who is expected to fight another mandatory challenger, Tim Tszyu, in early 2023.
“I earned my spot. We’ll see what happens with those two, and I’d like to see it, I think that’s a good fight,” Fundora said of his plans and the Charlo vs Tszyu matchup.
While nothing — not an interim belt nor a mandatory order — truly guarantees anyone a world title shot, Fundora is doing what he has to do to get one. And give big credit to Ocampo, too, who fought better than most expected, went a full 12 with an aggressive guy who is tough to combat, and I would say earned himself some solid credibility at 154 lbs, certainly enough to get another decent fight next.
Fundora vs Ocampo highlights
Undercard highlights and results
- Carlos Adames TKO-3 Juan Macias-Montiel: Wound up a total mismatch. After a slow first round, Adames (22-1, 17 KO) pretty much took Macias-Montiel (23-6-2, 23 KO) apart in the second, then was smashing the hell out of him in the third. Macias-Montiel was rocked to his core on two very clean power shots, falling against the ropes, and Adames was just continuing to unload. The idea that the fight was stopped too soon is kind of silly; nothing good for Macias-Montiel was happening from there, and he clearly wasn’t on Adames’ level. “I hope the big names have the courage to face me now,” Adames said after the fight. With the WBC interim middleweight title in his grasp, he surely has the target on Jermall Charlo. Adames’ move to 160 has really paid off, and he’s a legitimate contender in a division that desperately needs them.
- Fernando Martinez UD-12 Jerwin Ancajas: No fluke at all, Martinez was once again just the better fighter, and it fully settles any claim that Ancajas lost the first time because he struggled with the weight. By Ancajas’ account, he made the weight fine this time, but he was beaten. Martinez (15-0, 8 KO) just out-fought him, really, not totally dissimilar from the first time around, but give sincere applause to Ancajas (33-3-2, 22 KO), who fought his heart out trying to take the IBF 115 lb belt back from the Argentine, who was a big underdog the first time and a slight favorite this time. (Slight by boxing standards, solid by most sports’ standards.) Ancajas landed a lot of good punches all night, but Martinez mostly walked through them and got his own back, and Ancajas just couldn’t totally keep pace with Martinez’s tempo and speed, and Martinez just had the better timing on top of the speed advantage. Bad Left Hook scored the fight 116-112 and 117-111 for Martinez on our unofficial cards.
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas UD-10 Mykal Fox: Judges had this 98-90, 99-89, and 100-88, which I think saw them going on autopilot a bit in the second half of this fight. Kavaliauskas (23-2-1, 18 KO) dropped Fox (22-4, 5 KO) twice in the third round and had time to finish him there, but didn’t do it, and after the sixth, an old flaw of the “Mean Machine” was in play, where his output dropped off a cliff and he didn’t look inspiring whatsoever. I thought Fox edged enough rounds in the second half of the fight to bring it to 96-92 for Kavaliauskas on my card, or six round to four. Kavaliauskas is a nice addition to the PBC welterweight stable and there are lots of fights I’d be happy to see him in — Stanionis, Butaev, Crowley, Mario Barrios, etc. — but he’s 34 and the ceiling has been clear a while now. And to be fair, styles can make fights, so he could beat, I think, all those guys on the right night. Fox is tall and tricky and clever, too.
- Edward Vazquez SD-8 Viktor Slavinskyi: Scores were 78-74 for Slavinskyi, which seems wild, and then 77-75 and 79-73 for Vazquez, which seem correct. Vazquez (13-1, 3 KO) didn’t make weight here (missed by 2.5 lbs), but the fight went on. It’s a second straight loss for Slavinskyi (13-2-1, 6 KO). Hopefully Vazquez can get his weight in order to stay at 126 or just moves to 130, because the guy can box, he got a very questionable L against Raymond Ford, and was mostly quite good here.
- Gabriela Fundora UD-10 Naomi Reyes: Sebastian’s 20-year-old sister Gabriela improves to 9-0 (4 KO) with a win on scores of 98-92, 99-91, and 99-91, which were all fair. Reyes (9-2, 5 KO) did her best here to make it a tough night, but Gabriela is a 5’9” flyweight, so like her brother she has absurd dimensions for her division, and like her brother she also has a surprising balance that doesn’t always come with the frame she has, as we’ve seen in a lot of other fighters over the years. She is well-schooled and can box.