Fighting a hard-hitting former junior middleweight champion on short notice seemed like a tall order before Brian Mendoza’s last fight.

Now that he has sent Jeison Rosario into an early retirement, Mendoza has accepted the tallest task of all within the 154-pound division. has confirmed that Mendoza will challenge Sebastian Fundora for “The Towering Inferno’s” WBC interim super welterweight title.

The 12-round bout between Fundora and Mendoza will headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader April 8 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Russia’s Radzhab Butaev (14-1, 11 KOs, 1 NC) and Lithuania’s Egidijus Kavaliauskas (23-2-1, 18 KOs) are scheduled to square off in the co-feature, a welterweight bout.

Junior welterweight Brandun Lee (27-0, 23 KOs), of La Quinta, California, will face an opponent to be determined in the 10-round opener of this telecast.

Big Fight Weekend’s Dan Rafael first reported on Twitter that the Fundora-Mendoza match was finalized.

The undefeated Fundora – a 6-foot-6 southpaw from Coachella, California – will make the second defense of a WBC belt he won when he got off the canvas in the seventh round to stop Erickson Lubin after the ninth round of their spectacular slugfest last April 9 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The 25-year-old Fundora (20-0-1, 13 KOs) out-pointed Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo (34-2, 22 KOs) by unanimous decision in his most recent action, a 12-rounder October 8 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

For the 29-year-old Mendoza (21-2, 15 KOs), an Albuquerque native who resides and trains in Las Vegas, this championship chance represents the biggest opportunity of a pro career he launched in May 2014.

After losing an eight-round split decision to unheralded Larry Gomez (10-2, 8 KOs) in November 2019 and a 10-round unanimous decision to unbeaten contender Jesus Ramos (19-0, 15 KOs) in September 2021, Mendoza capitalized on his opportunity to face Rosario, a former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champion, in a 10-round middleweight match November 5 at The Armory in Minneapolis. Mendoza took that fight on approximately 10 days’ notice, once Cuban southpaw Yoelvis Gomez (6-0, 5 KOs) withdrew due to an injured right wrist.

Mendoza, who was listed as a 2-1 underdog, dropped Rosario twice and stopped him in the fifth round of a co-feature Showtime televised three months ago.

Mendoza’s vicious right uppercut sent Rosario to his gloves and knees early in the fifth round. A dazed Rosario tried to get up, but he fell back down and referee Mark Calo-oy stopped the action 35 seconds into the fifth round.

The Dominican Republic’s Rosario (23-4-1, 17 KOs) lost by knockout or technical knockout for the fourth time as a pro. Though only 27 years old, Rosario announced his retirement in his locker room after Mendoza defeated him.

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