It takes a big man to go into another undefeated fighter's hometown and take him down, but as the biggest super welterweight in boxing history, Sebastian "The Towering Inferno" Fundora is more than up to the task.
The 6-foot-6 Fundora (8-0, 4 KOs) will face Minnesota-based KO artist Veshawn Owens (9-0, 9 KOs) this Friday, April 13, in an eight-round showdown at the Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The pair will meet on the undercard of the Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes event featuring hometown welterweight Jamal James taking on Abel Ramos (9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT)
Presented by Warriors Boxing and TGB Promotions, the event will also see rugged veteran Edner Cherry battling rising lightweight Dennis Galarza in a 10-round bout and Austin Dulay and Chris Colbert clashing in an eight-round match between unbeaten super featherweight prospects. Also appearing on the card is sensational 17-year-old 154-pound prospect Joey Spencer (1-0, 1 KO), a former No. 1 ranked amateur and nine-time national champion.
Tickets for the live event, which is, are on sale now and are available by visiting www.ArmoryMN.com.
"I've fought in other people's backyards and I've already beaten undefeated fighters too, so I'm used to this," said Fundora, a confident 20-year-old southpaw from Coachella, California. "I don't know much about Owens, but it feels great being able to fight tougher opponents. People are now able to view my full capabilities, instead of knocking guys out in the first round and it doesn't mean as much."
With a heavyweight's reach and height, Fundora is massive for a 154-lb fighter... a natural gift he works on in the gym to its full advantage.
"We trained hard and worked a lot on distance and a lot more power and strength for this fight. I'm not just the biggest, I'm also stronger than anybody else. We started training for this in January. After my last fight, in Argentina, I took a week off and then started working on conditioning in Big Bear. It's been a great camp."
Fundora's promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing, says "The Towering Inferno" is more than a "gimmick fighter."
"He's for real," said Lewkowicz. "He's already beaten some good fighters. How he puts all that size and strength into 154 lbs., I do not know, but Fundora is too big for anyone at this weight. You have to get inside on him and it's just too far to go because he's punishing you for every inch you try to take."
"I'm more than happy with the way things are going," continued Fundora. "A victory in this fight would be a good stepping stone to hopefully fight for a regional belt next. I will have a lot of opportunities after I win."
Philadelphia, PA—Super middleweight contender Jesse Hart wants to be a world champion, not only for himself, but also for his dad, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, the power-punching Philadelphia middleweight from the 1970s who never got his chance.
The younger Hart, 28, puts his world championship hopes on the line when he boxes Demond Nicholson, of Laurel, MD, in one of three ESPN-televised fights Saturday, April 28, from the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University.
"Before I'm finished boxing, I want to win the world title for my dad since he never got a chance himself," Jesse said. "It would mean everything to me."
The Hart-Nicholson 10-rounder is for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) title and will serve as the semifinal to the 12-round World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior featherweight title fight between champion Jessie Magdaleno, of Las Vegas, NV, and mandatory challenger Isaac Dogboe, of Accra, Ghana. The 7pm (EST) televised opener features a pair of Philadelphia heavyweights, Bryant Jennings and Joey Dawejko, for the vacant Pennsylvania Heavyweight Title, also set for 10 rounds.
The nine-fight card, which begins at 4 pm (EST), is being promoted by Top Rank, Inc., in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.
After turning pro in 1969, “Cyclone” Hart knocked out his first 19 opponents and 17 of those fights were promoted by Peltz. Overall, Peltz promoted 27 of Hart’s 41 fights.
“I began watching fights on TV in 1959,” Peltz said. “I was in Madison Square Garden the night Bob Foster knocked out Dick Tiger with that big left hook in 1969 and I also was the Garden when Joe Frazier dropped Muhammad Ali in the 15th round in 1971, but I still consider ‘Cyclone’ Hart to be the deadliest puncher with the left hook I ever saw. No one in my memory could turn a left hook over with power and speed and accuracy the way Hart did. No one!”
One month after knocking out veteran contender Stanley Kitten” Hayward in 60 seconds, ‘Cyclone’ had his knockout streak broken by Don Fullmer in June, 1971, though he still won by 10-round decision. He followed by knocking out Fate Davis in five rounds and he was 21-0, 20 K0s, and heading toward the middleweight title when his world turned upside down—literally.
In September, 1971, during a fight with veteran contender Denny Moyer, Hart and his Portland, OR, opponent were trading shots in close during the sixth round when both men fell through a sagging rope and landed on the concrete floor of The Spectrum. Moyer injured an ankle and Hart was knocked temporarily unconscious. The fight was declared a No Contest. Two fights later, Moyer challenged world champ Carlos Monzon and was stopped in five rounds in Rome, Italy.
Hart was never the same after fighting Moyer, going 9-9-1. He knocked out Matt Donovan in his next match, then was stopped twice by Nate Collins and Jose “Monon” Gonzalez. He beat Sugar Ray Seales in the summer of 1975 and followed that with a career-best 10-round draw against Bennie Briscoe at The Spectrum that November. Knockout losses to Briscoe (in the rematch) and to future world champs Marvin Hagler and Vito Antuofermo ended his career in 1977 at the age of 25. He made one ill-fated return in 1982 and lost to Tony Suero in Atlantic City. At the end, he was 30-9-2, 28 K0s.
The younger Hart is trying to win a world title for dad, even if it’s in an era where world titles are more plentiful. “Cyclone” had only one champion to deal with—Monzon--and there were plenty of quality challengers around—Briscoe, Tom Bogs, Emile Griffith, Jean-Claude Bouttier, Jose Napoles, Tony Mundine.
Jesse fought bravely last September in Tucson, AZ, getting off the canvas in round two to give Gilberto Ramirez all he could handling before losing a 12-round decision for the WBO 168-pound title. He is back as the No. 1 contender for Ramirez and as high as No. 3 for WBC champion David Benavidez.
If he is successful against Nicholson, chances are Hart will find himself in another world championship fight before the end of 2018.
And that should make him and dad happy.
Punching machine Drew Brown aims to stick the boot in and put Northampton on the world stage again by winning boxing’s exciting new tournament Ultimate Boxxer.
The undefeated 21-year-old enters the debut Ultimate Boxxer event on Friday 27th April at the Manchester Arena and believes he can win the tough one-night elimination contest and be crowned the first ever winner.
Usually boxers are born out of tough inner-cities, where hardship and few opportunities in life force them to fight their way out of poverty in a rags-to-riches story of world title glory.
However, Brown hails from the quiet market town of Northampton in the heart of England, often described as the Rose of the Shires, more known for its beautiful countryside, thatched cottages and parish churches.
Northampton was once the centre of the world’s boot and shoe making industry which gave rise to the nickname The Cobblers of the local football team. And Nearby Silverstone hosts the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at the iconic race track.
There’s never been a British boxing champion from Northampton and Brown intends to change that. The last Northampton fighter to challenge for the British title was hard-as-nails Alan Bosworth way back in 2002, Like Bosworth, Brown is a product of Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club.
The diversity of contenders in Ultimate Boxxer gives all fighters who have not had the golden opportunities in their careers to really punch their way to glory and become boxing’s next big star - and Brown aims to be that man.
Brown, who has won all seven pro fights with exciting all-action style, said: “I can’t wait for Friday 27th April in Manchester and show everyone that I’m the Ultimate Boxxer,”
“I’m a fighter from a small town, maybe some people or my rivals in Ultimate Boxxer have never heard of Northampton, but they will do after this tournament,”
“I might not come out of an inner city, but I’ve still got the heart and desire for a fight, I’d warn them don’t mistake where I come from as weakness, underestimate me at your peril,”
“Ultimate Boxxer has given me an opportunity, regardless of my background, to be discovered, it’s a platform to showcase my talent to the world. When opportunities like this present themselves you have to grab it and that’s what I intend to do,”
“People in Northampton will remember me forever if I win it. That would put me in the history books,”
“I’ve been going to the boxing gym since I was 10 years old and I’ve been going there every day since with the aim of becoming a champion one day, the dream is the British title.”
The Danny Garcia fan won 32 of 42 amateur bouts and still trains at the gym where he started with ex-pro John Daly.
His gym mates include women’s world champion Chantelle Cameron, super-flyweight contender Nathan Reeve and Carl Fail, who last month won silver at the European Under-22 Championship.
“The vibe at the gym is amazing,” said Brown. “Everywhere I look I see champions and we all push each other.
“Chantelle is a machine. She is a real inspiration.”
“As soon as I heard about ‘Ultimate Boxxer,’ I thought; ‘This is right up my street.’
“The other fighters are six, eight and 10-round fighters. They want to jab and jab and walk you down, while I like to get stuck it and throw lots of punches.
“I’m confident I will be able to outwork them all and win this.”