Two Big Upsets Highlight Easter Weekend

Undefeated unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev and undefeated contender Sebastian Fundora left the weekend with their first losses in massive upsets. MJ as he is known entered the ring in San Antonio, Texas this weekend on DAZN for his fourth title defense of the junior featherweight titles he picked up in 2020 when he defeated the exciting Daniel Roman. MJ was known for his potent offense and exciting style but was coming off a layoff due to a hand injury suffered in his late KO win over Ronny Rios. The odds were heavily tipped in the defending champion’s favor against the veteran contender from the Philippines. Marlon Tapales at 36-3 scored split decision in a terrific fight to end the Uzbek champion’s reign. The first round was a horrible preview for the great fight that was to follow, both men combined for six total landed punches in an unbelievably cautious round. Tapales soon began to take over in the second round behind a crisp left uppercut from the southpaw stance and a right hook. Tapales employed a skillful shoulder roll defense as he propped his right shoulder to block the left hand and used his left glove to block the right hook. When MJ did get through, Tapales did roll his head with most of the shots and did not take the full brunt of the blow. Tapales faded a little down the stretch resulting in a close fight where I agreed with  Sergio Caiz 113-115   Jose Roberto Torres 113-115 and disagreed heavily with  Javier Alvarez 118-110 scoring the other way. In the main event on Showtime, Sebastian Fundora lost in what could be the Upset of the Year and the KO of the Year. Winning a shut out on two cards and a near shutout on the other, Fundora the 6’5″ 154 lber garnering excitement and climbing the ranks was stretched out on the canvas Saturday night. Fundora billed as “the Towering Inferno” was entering as the division’s second hottest contender behind Tim Tszyu and vying for his chance at the undisputed crown held by Jermell Charlo. 20-2 Brian Mendoza had other plans when a left hook rocked Fundora to his heels. The punch buckled the legs of the rangy Fundora whose head sank into punching range for Mendoza. Mendoza’s overhand right spiked Fundora’s head like a volleyball and sent him crashing to the canvas. Fundora laid on his back looking up at Referee Ray Corona as the count reached ten. Dazed and not knowing where he was, Fundora appeared to be arguing with the referee rather than trying to get up. This appears to be a massive setback for Fundora who was in control of the fight and coming of the Erickson Lubin victory looked like a bonafide challenger.

Other Results

-Chris Arreola and Frank Sanchez scored knockouts at heavyweight in a possible set up for them to face each other

-Brandun Lee defeated Pedro Campa at welterweight in a dogfight to advance to 28-0 in a fight much more exciting than the one sided judges cards would indicate

-Camden NJ’s own Raymond Ford dominated former champion Jesse Magdaleno to remain undefeated dropping him twice in en route to a unanimous decision win. This may set him up for the winner of the Lara vs Wood rematch for the WBA Title at featherweight

-Israel Madrimov comes off a layoff to remain undefeated in a dominant unanimous decision in a tune up fight at middleweight

-Thomas Mattice took another “0” after a controversial point deduction put him out of reach on the scorecards he scored an even more controversial TKO in the final round. He loaded up on right hand after right hand prior to the fight being waved off. Great determination, the fight should have continued.

-Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez moves down to flyweight to beat WBO champion Gonzalez by unanimous decision overcoming a broken jaw

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