Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora faces Carlos Ocampo live on Showtime this Saturday.
Boxing returns to the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA, as Showtime returns with a stacked card. The headliner for this one will feature WBC interim super welterweight champion Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora (19-0-1) defending his title against the tough veteran Carlos Ocampo (34-1). Also known as the “War Grounds,” the tennis court-shaped venue has hosted boxing’s most memorable battles, and this card looks to continue that legacy.
The 24-year-old Fundora has captured the imagination of many fans with his 6’6” height and fighting at super welterweight, which shouldn’t make sense, but it does. Although he has only been a Pro for five years, Fundora has catapulted the WBC rankings placing him in the position to fight for the full title as early as next year if it isn’t vacated. The king of the division is undisputed champion Jermel Charlo (35-1-1), and while he has a tough title defense in January against Tim Tszyu (21-0), Fundora vs. Charlo would be electric.
The best-laid plans, at times, can be ruined or altered based on the outcomes of the fight. Those dreams were challenged in April when Fundora faced Erickson Lubin (24-2) in an absolute war. The fight had plenty of round of the year nominations while being a strong candidate for fight of the year. Fundora was knocked down and faced real adversity, but he would overcome it and stop Lubin in the ninth round to earn the WBC interim title. Looking back, would Fundora do anything differently? Fundora told FanSided, “Of course. In that second round, if I had focused a little more, I feel like we could have gotten him out of there. The seventh round (that was when Fundora suffered a knockdown), it happens, but we got back up and got the job done.”
Sebastian Fundora vs. Carlos Ocampo will be streamed live on Showtime & the Showtime App
After that war, Charlo was unavailable, so the next best thing was to fight a top contender, which is Ocampo. The Dignity Health Sports Park can be intimidating as many fighters mentioned that it feels like the fans are on top of you when you fight at the venue because of how it is set up. Is there any pressure to perform or be the headliner? “I know how the fans there are. They are very demanding when it comes to fights (laughs). I’m excited for it. I fought Jorge Cota (30-6) there and got a fourth-round TKO. I feel like that is my fan base, and I’m at home. I’m just going to do what I do. They enjoy it every time, and hopefully, they enjoy this one as well” said the undefeated super welterweight contender.
Preparation for the task at hand is left to Fundora’s head trainer & father, Freddy Fundora. Although they mainly work out of Coachella, CA, this time around was slightly different. Fundora told FanSided, “We stayed based here in Coachella, CA, but we’ve been moving a little more to the L.A area for sparring. No one notable, but we have been getting the work. We also trained with Delilah (Ponce-Rico) at his gym in South El Monte. It’s been a good, productive camp.”
Team Fundora is a family business as Gabriela Fundora (Sebastian’s sister) is also a pro fighter. But like many families, big brothers and little sisters have a special bond. The bond now extends to the boxing world, given that they are both pros.
“It’s always been a big brother to little sister type of conversation. The fact that she is now a professional adds more to the conversation. She can see the world I’m in. We’ve been taking her to the last couple of fights, so she sees the venues and how the fans get so she can become more comfortable. Now that she is fighting on a card like this, she will be comfortable already.”
When the topic of things that Fundora likes to do on his own and with his family, he said,” I like to eat a lot. I like to go to different places and try different foods. I just spend a lot of time with my family. We do Karaoke but aren’t great singers (laughs). On the weekend, if we aren’t training, then we are watching a fight or talking about boxing.” Hearing about Karaoke, I had to ask, who is the best singer in the family?”
Fundora told FanSided, “I think my sister is because she isn’t shy and will sing in front of everybody. My father as well, but when he sings in Spanish.”
After getting some of the family stories out of Fundora, he zoned right back on Saturday and reiterated how focused he is on putting together a great performance. Fundora’s message to the fans was simple.
“Stay tuned. It’s going to be a great fight. We have two Mexicans fighting each other, which is perfect for Southern California. Expect fireworks! My sister is also fighting, so come early enough, and you can see her fight.”