By: Hans Themistode
It’s become customary for every top-ranked 154-pound contender to call Jermell Charlo’s name following an explosive win. Joining in on that very ceremony was newly crowned WBC interim titlist, Sebastian Fundora.
The 6’6” contender wasted no time in calling out the unified champion once he placed the final nail in Erickson Lubin’s coffin just a few short weeks ago.
On April 9th, at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Fundora and Lubin engaged in a Fight of the Year contender. After dropping his man in the second round, Lubin roared back, sending the freakishly tall contender to the canvas for the first time in his career in the seventh.
Although Fundora appeared to be on unsteady legs, he eventually regained his composure. As a result, he pummeled Lubin, forcing his corner to throw in the towel. The moment he was awarded the interim crown, Fundora brazenly set his sights on Charlo.
Unperturbed by yet another call out from someone highly ranked at 154 pounds, Charlo took Fundora’s words in strides. In the mind of the Houston native, perpetual callouts by the competition simply come with the territory.
“When you become a champion like this, you got mandatory after mandatory,” said Charlo to a group of reporters. “In 2017, I knocked the number one guy out, turned around, and knocked out the other number one guy.”
At some point, if Fundora continues to run roughshod over the competition, Charlo is well aware that a showdown against the lanky contender could become inevitable. Presently, however, Charlo believes he has bigger fish to fry.
On May 14th, in Los Angeles, California, Charlo will attempt to put his rivalry with Brian Castano to bed. The two initially fought almost one calendar year ago, on July 17th. Although both men raised their hands victoriously following 12 rounds of back and forth action, neither was pleased with the final result as they were forced to settle for a split decision draw.
Currently, becoming the division’s first undisputed champion since Winky Wright in 2001, is of the utmost importance to Charlo. But that doesn’t mean the truculent star isn’t willing to play matchmaker. With Castano receiving his undivided attention, Charlo believes that Fundora should face a certain pound-for-pound fighter from Omaha, Nebraska, who recently called him out as well.
“Maybe I be the shot caller and make the decisions on who I want to fight next,” continued Charlo. “Fundora, go fight somebody else. [Terence] Crawford y’all go fight each other, I’m busy, mother fucker I’m busy.”