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Latino Fighters Again Make A Statement

Stepanie Trapp/Showtime

New York – Every few years there’s a diversity of champions from different enthic backgrounds in boxing and Saturday night before a national television audience it was Mexico, Argentina, and Mexico continuing to make a statement.

Three contenders and champions,“The Towering Inferno” Sebastian Fundero (Mexican-American), Carlos Adames (Dominican Republic) and Fernando Martinez (Argentina) won their respective bouts defending a title or moved a step closer to a championship.

This is what makes the sport different from others, a diversity of cultures and enthic backgrounds of fighters changing the spectrum that is known for fighters and their heritage. It happens every few years and will continue in the next few months as the end of the year boxing calendar continues.

Saturday night, all of this continued to unfold from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Undefeated super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora defended his Interim WBC Super Welterweight Title with a dominant and unanimous decision over Mexico’s courageous Carlos Ocampo in the televised main event..

Fundora (20-0-1, 13 KOs), of Coachella, Calif., fresh off a victory over Erickson Lubin in a potential 2022 Fight of the Year in April, showed off his noted ability to fight on the inside while also flashing an improved jab against a competitive Ocampo (34-2, 22 KOs), who rode a 12-fight winning streak into the bout.

“I thought I would show a little boxing and put that on display but you know I still had to bang for the fans,” said Fundora, who won by scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111. “That’s what they came here for, so I had to give it to them. I felt my jab was solid and the difference and had him backing up. You know I like to break my opponent down and he was very tough. I am pleased with this performance because I did what we trained for. I trained for boxing and I trained to stay at a distance and I think we did that in the fight.”

The six-foot-six-inch Fundora used his height to his advantage in the early rounds, throwing over 170 jabs in the first three frames. Ocampo went punch for punch with Fundora early, having success with hooks to the body and by finishing combos with left hooks to the head.

“I never felt like he hurt me,” said Ocampo. “It was a tough fight, and Fundora was a quality opponent. If I could get a rematch, I’d train even harder to knock him out next time. My message to everyone in Mexico is that Ocampo is here to stay.”

In round four, the fight turned into a toe-to-toe battle of attrition, as Fundora pushed forward and winged strong shots on the inside. Ocampo was able to stay on his feet, but had multiple moments where he looked weary and like the end might be near. Ocampo was able to almost go punch for punch with Fundora throughout the 12 rounds throwing 869 shots to Fundora’s 871, but it was Fundora who owned the 259 to 192 edge in punches landed.

“He’s a tough Mexican,” said Fundora. “My hat’s off to him. In the middle I wanted to see if I could hurt him. I know Errol Spence Jr. caught him with a body shot and I saw in the middle of the fight he was open for the left uppercut to the stomach so I saw that would slow him down.”

Fundora showed savvy beyond his years in the championship rounds, switching back to a focus on the jab as he cruised through the final two stanzas to earn his unanimous decision.. After the fight, Fundora expressed his hope that his next bout would be for the undisputed super welterweight world championship, currently held by Jermell Charlo.

“I’m the WBC mandatory,” said Fundora. “I’ve earned my spot and we’ll see what happens. But I hope I’m next. Fingers crossed.”

In the co-main event, hard-hitting contender Carlos Adames (22-1, 17 KOs) captured the vacant Interim WBC Middleweight Title with a vicious third-round TKO over Mexico’s Juan Macias Montiel (23-6-2, 23 KOs) and joined three other champions from the Dominican Republic.

“I think I’m No. 1 at middleweight and let’s hope the big names of the division have the courage to face me now,” said Adames/

After a patient start that saw the southpaw Adames lean on his jab and body work in rounds one and two, Adames came out in round three throwing the big shots that have established him as a contender. Montiel, who had previously gone the distance in challenging WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo, was willing to do his part and throw heavy shots of his own,

Carlos Adames vs Juan Macias Montiel

After a back and forth first minute of the third, Adames took full control of the round with a series of hooks that stunned and wobbled Montiel. Perhaps unwisely, Montiel remained on his feet, which allowed Adames to continue the onslaught that led to a 45 to 9 edge in punches landed in round three. Eventually, the punishment was too much by referee Ray Corona, who officially waived off the bout 2:37 into the round with Montiel on his feet.

“No excuses, he was better than me and I lost,” said Montiel. “I’m going to recover from this and I’m going to come back better and stronger. The people in Mexico should all know that.”

“The referee did his job,” said Adames. “I’m a strong fighter and if I had hit him again, I would have really hurt him. He’s a young guy and he still has a career ahead of him in boxing. I knew once I connected on that right hand that it was over and he didn’t have much left and then I went in for the kill. He was done at that point and I went on the attack. His face tells you everything.”

After his stablemates and countrymen from the Dominican Republic, WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Hector Luis Garcia and WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Alberto Puello picked up world titles in August, Adames has set his sights on joining them in the not too distant future.

“I’m ready for the best of the division, for not just Jermall Charlo, but for all the champions there,” said Adames. “I want to face them and beat them. I’m happy for my country and for the people and the fans who came out to see me. I’m happy for my province in the Dominican Republic. They’re very happy for my victory and for my performance tonight.”

In the telecast opener, Argentina’s Fernando Martinez (15-0, 8 KOs) retained his IBF Junior Bantamweight World Championship with a hard-fought unanimous decision over former champion Jerwin Ancajas (33-3-2, 22 KOs) in their 12-round rematch.

Fernando Martinez vs Jerwin Ancajas

“This was about validating the first fight,” said Martinez. “I trained very hard for this fight. I have a lot of people to thank, but most importantly this is for my dad up in heaven. It’s definitely harder to maintain the hunger and retain the title, but now we’re going after ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and everyone else in the division.”

Rich Mancuso is a senior writer Twitter@Ring786 Watch “Sports with Rich” live on Tuesday Nights at 10pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with Robert Rizzo Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.

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