CARSON, California – Now that Sebastian Fundora has won what amounted to a fight that kept him busy before he gets his title shot, the undefeated Fundora hopes his next bout comes against the winner between Jermell Charlo and Tim Tszyu.

Houston’s Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) and Australia’s Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) are expected to fight for Charlo’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 154-pound championships at some point early in 2023, perhaps as early as January. Tszyu is the WBO’s mandatory challenger for one of Charlo’s four titles and is next in line for Charlo’s first fight since he knocked out Argentina’s Brian Castano (17-1-2, 12 KOs) in the 10th round of their rematch May 14 to become boxing’s first fully unified champion in their division.

As the WBC’s mandatory challenger in the 154-pound division, Fundora will watch intently whenever Charlo fights Tszyu. The 6-foot-6 southpaw favors Charlo, but Fundora doesn’t think an upset is out of the question.

“I do have Charlo for the win, but you know, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Tszyu wins,” Fundora said during a post-fight press conference following his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Carlos Ocampo on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park. “Tszyu is a strong, pressure fighter and I think Charlo does have a hard time with that. But again, I think Charlo’s a harder hitter, so that’s definitely gonna be the difference.”

American contender Terrell Gausha dropped Tszyu in the first round of Tszyu’s most recent bout, but Tszyu recovered and won their 12-round bout by unanimous decision. Judges Robert Hecko (114-113), Bill Lerch (116-111) and Patrick Morley (115-112) scored Tszyu the winner over Gausha (22-3-1, 11 KOs) in their March 26 fight at The Armory in Minneapolis.

The power Charlo has displayed against top junior middleweights, including common opponent Erickson Lubin, makes Fundora (20-0-1, 13 KOs) think he can knock out Tszyu, a son of International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Kostya Tszyu.

“I think he can,” Fundora said. “I’m not saying he is [going to knock out Tszyu], but I think he can, yeah.”

Regardless, Fundora feels he earned his shot at the Charlo-Tszyu winner. The Coachella, California native is prepared to fight another opponent, however, if IBF mandatory challenger Bakhram Murtazaliev gets whoever wins the Charlo-Tszyu bout.

Russia’s Murtazaliev (20-0, 15 KOs) stepped aside three times, which allowed Charlo to fight Jeison Rosario and Castano twice in exchange for lucrative tune-up bouts on those undercards.

“We are the WBC mandatory, you know,” said Fundora, who out-pointed Mexico’s Ocampo (34-2, 22 KOs) by large margins on all three scorecards. “But the winner of Charlo and Tszyu, hopefully, or any of the top 10. I’ll take any of them.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.