Most boxers receive a nickname to help add to their hype and marketability. Here’s how Sebastian Fundora became ‘The Towering Inferno.’
Every great boxer has a nickname. Manny Pacquiao is ‘Pacman,’ Floyd Mayweather Jr. is ‘Money,’ but lengthy super welterweight Sebastian Fundora has a unique moniker being billed as ‘The Towering Inferno.’
The name seems to fit Fundora’s physique and fighting style. Fundora (17-0-1, 12 KOs) gets a lot of attention due to his size. He fights as a super welterweight at 154 pounds but is 6-foot-6. He has the height of a heavyweight even though he’s nearly 50 pounds below that division. Fundora sticks out because of his distinct height advantage over opponents.
“I was always tall, but it wasn’t until I was like, 14, that I grew [to] six feet,” Fundora told FanSided. “And I noticed that. I obviously noticed I was taller than everybody else, even taller than the teachers. That was probably the bigger moment, and I think after high school. I think I was 6-4 during high school. And then after high school, I was like, 6-6, 6-6 and a half.”
Fundora will always be the tallest super welterweight, but his goal is to become the best in the division, not just the tallest. At only 23 years old, the fighter from California is well on his way with an undefeated record while riding a three-fight knockout streak.
Fundora is developing into a knockout puncher as he matures physically.
“With age, we’re maturing a little bit more in the ring, not with just punching power, but technique and knowledge, and it’s been getting better,” said Fundora.
You can watch Sebastian Fundora vs. Sergio Garcia on the undercard of Gervonta Davis vs. Isaac Cruz on Showtime on Dec. 5, starting at 8 p.m. ET
He’s got another test coming up on Sunday, Dec. 5, against undefeated boxer Sergio Garcia. They will battle for 12 rounds on the undercard of Gervonta Davis vs. Isaac Cruz. Garcia (33-0, 14 KOs) has a pristine record but lacks upper-level opposition. Garcia is coming from Spain to fight in Fundora’s home state.
To no surprise, Fundora has a 7-inch height advantage over Garcia. That’s where the “towering” portion of his nickname comes into play. Every boxer with a fun nickname has a story behind it.
“I got that nickname from my promoter, Sampson [Lewkowicz],” recalled Fundora. “And he says it’s from a movie. I never seen the movie. I don’t think I ever will see the movie. But he says it’s a great movie.”
Lewkowicz may be taking some liberties with the word “great” in describing the film The Towering Inferno. It features an excellent cast, including Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, and William Holden, but that’s one of the film’s few redeeming qualities.
The Towering Inferno came out in 1974 when action-disaster movies were all the rage. A terrific cast organized around a flimsy, cheesy plot makes for a mediocre film at best. It might be better that Fundora never sits down to watch the flick.
Still, it’s a cool title for a film and an even cooler nickname for a boxer. However, Fundora wasn’t thrilled with it.
“Well, honestly, my opinion of it, at first, I didn’t like it,” answered Fundora truthfully. “I didn’t like it because I felt like he was picking on me, almost. I was like, this guy was making fun of me, making fun of my height. This guy [Lewkowicz] is like 5-6, but people like it. The fans like it, so I guess I have to like it, you know.”
As long as Fundora keeps putting opponents to sleep, his nickname will ring true. He’s right, fans do like it, and his stature and knockout performances give the nickname credence.
Garcia will try to put Fundora’s nickname to the test, but if he’s not careful, he may go down in flames and become knockout number four in Fundora’s running list.