Sebastian Fundora to Defend WBC/WBO Belts Against Errol Spence Jr. in October

Sebastian Fundora has secured his next opponent.

The 26-year-old Mexican American professional boxer and unified light middleweight champion and Errol Spence Jr. have agreed to a deal for a junior middleweight title fight in Dallas this October, per ESPN.

Sebastian FundoraFundora will defend his WBC and WBO belts, which he won in a split-decision upset over Tim Tszyu in March.

PBC‘s hope is to stage the Prime Video PPV event at AT&T Stadium if the finalized date fits into the Dallas Cowboys‘ home schedule.

Spence, 34, has competed there twice, with wins over Mikey Garcia and Yordenis Ugas.

Following Fundora’s victory against Tszyu, Spence stepped into the ring and called him out, saying, “It’s time to get it on. He got a pretty good height, but we’ll see. We’ll break him down like we always do.”

Sebastian FundoraIndeed, Fundora possesses uncanny height for a 154-pounder at 6-foot-5½ with an 80-inch reach. The 26-year-old’s first title victory came on the heels of his lone defeat, a seventh-round KO loss to Brian Mendoza in one of 2023’s most surprising results.

One year later, Fundora (21-1-1, 14 KOs) is ESPN‘s top junior middleweight after he replaced the injured Keith Thurman on 11 days’ notice to outlast Tszyu.

Known as “The Towering Inferno,” Fundora and his sister Gabriela are the first brother and sister to be full-fledged champions in boxing history.

Spence, meanwhile, will make his 154-pound debut after July’s ninth-round TKO loss to Terence Crawford for the undisputed welterweight championship. Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) was a mainstay of ESPN‘s pound-for-pound list before the setback.

He recently parted ways with Derrick James, who trained him since his amateur days that culminated in an Olympic run at the 2012 London Games.

Spence and James have sued each other surrounding a disagreement over money.

Ryan Garcia Delivers Eighth-Round Knockout of Oscar Duarte

Ryan Garcia has bounced back with a vengeance…

In his first fight with Derrick James as his trainer, the 25-year-old Mexican American boxer delivered a stunning eighth-round knockout of Oscar Duarte at Toyota Arena in Houston and live on DAZN.

Ryan GarciaGarcia’s stellar return to the ring on Saturday night comes after suffering his lone loss this past April.

Just when it looked like the pressure-fighting Duarte was gaining momentum, Garcia turned the tide in a flash with a left hook to the temple that put Duarte on jelly legs. Sensing he had Duarte hurt, Garcia smothered him with punches, including a right hook and uppercut, forcing Duarte to drop to a knee.

Duarte would rise off the canvas after the count of nine, though the referee stopped the fight right then and there, rewarding Garcia (24-1) with his 20th pro knockout.

“I fought hard to find myself again and I did a lot of soul-searching,” Garcia told DAZN’s Chris Mannix about returning to the ring since falling to Gervonta Davis by seventh-round KO nearly eight months back.

Garcia entered the fight flashing his quicker hand speed, though he seemed to respect the power of the heavy-handed Duarte. Toward the second half of the fight, Garcia noticeably resorted to the shoulder roll more, while moving around the ring enough to draw boos from the Texas crowd.

That hook to the temple ended any criticism of “King Ry” on the night as he positions himself to go after a 140-pound world title next, having these words for WBA titleholder Rolando “Rolly” Romero.

“I’m committing to becoming a world champion,” Garcia told DAZN. “If Rollys wants that, bring it on, Rollys.”

Ryan Garcia to Fight Oscar Duarte in December Junior Welterweight Bout

Ryan Garcia is heading back to the mat…

The 25-year-old Mexican American boxing star will return to the ring in a junior welterweight fight against Oscar Duarte on December 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya has announced.

Ryan GarciaThe fight will be streamed on DAZN, and it comes one week before Devin Haney challenges Regis Prograis for the WBC junior welterweight title on DAZN PPV.

Garcia will be competing for the first time since he was TKO‘d by Gervonta Davis — the first loss of Garcia’s pro career — in the seventh round of their April fight.

That bout took place at a 136-pound catchweight, but Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) now will campaign at 140 pounds, the same category as his last two fights before the “Tank” Davis bout took place.

The matchup with Duarte will also be Garcia’s first with Derrick James, who was ESPN‘s 2022 Trainer of the Year, leading his corner.

“Here you have a guy [Duarte] who’s coming off 11 KOs in a row,” De Le Hoya said. “There’s a guy who’s a power puncher who’s going to come forward and make Ryan fight. It’s the proper fight after a knockout loss to Gervonta.”

Garcia, who fights out of Southern California, is still seeking his first world title.

Later this month, he’ll enter mediation with Golden Boy Promotions as the sides attempt to resolve a dispute. Among the issues: Garcia claims his promotional deal to compete on pay-per-view platforms besides DAZN wasn’t honored.

According to Garcia’s demand letter sent to Golden Boy in June, the fighter was advised that his April superfight against Davis “could not happen unless it was broadcast on DAZN because of an exclusive agreement Golden Boy had separately negotiated with DAZN.”

The PPV fight against Davis was broadcast by Showtime — a broadcast partner of PBC (Davis’ promoter). DAZN also carried the fight on its streaming service and was paid a $1.25 million fee to step aside as the exclusive broadcaster, of which $120,000 Garcia personally paid to DAZN, per the letter.

Despite the disagreement and pending mediation, Garcia and De La Hoya were able to finalize this fight against Duarte to keep Garcia’s career moving.

“It’s business as usual,” De La Hoya told ESPN last month. “We have a couple of pending issues that should not impede any type of progress moving forward. I truly feel that we’re going to get this behind us and then move on with his career.”

Duarte, meanwhile, presents a chance for Garcia to bounce back from his first career loss and build some momentum heading into a pivotal 2024. Duarte (26-1-1, 21 KOs) has won 11 fights since his only career loss, all by KO.

The 27-year-old Mexican fighter, who competes at 135 pounds, will make a major jump in class for the Garcia bout.

Garcia’s career-best win remains a seventh-round TKO of Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell in January 2021, when Garcia survived a knockdown.

With an impressive showing over Duarte, Garcia appears poised for more marquee fights after the big business he delivered with Davis in April. Garcia said on social media that he earned $30 million for that fight.

“We’re looking to do a major, major fight with Ryan, possibly around Super Bowl weekend,” De La Hoya said. “I would love to talk to Bob [Arum] to see what’s going on with him and Teofimo [Lopez], but there’s other options as well.”

Ryan Garcia Training with Derrick James Ahead of 140-Pound Title Campaign

Ryan Garcia has a new trainer…

The 24-year-old Mexican American star boxer will train with Derrick James in Dallas ahead of his campaign for a 140-pound title, Garcia announced on social media.

Ryan GarciaGarcia presented James as his trainer on Instagram, where he boasts 10.4 million followers. Garcia had parted ways with trainer Joe Goossen following a seventh-round KO loss to Gervonta Davis last month in Las Vegas.

That superfight, which netted $22.8 million in ticket sales, was contested at a 136-pound catchweight, but Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs), ESPN’s No. 6 boxer at 140 pounds, will compete at junior welterweight going forward.

“I’m searching for greatness,” Garcia told ESPN. “I’m looking to improve. I’m looking to be a champion with Derrick James. I feel he can guide me and mentor me.”

James is ESPN’s reigning Trainer of the Year. In 2022, the former boxer guided Errol Spence Jr. and Jermell Charlo to unification title wins, as Spence added a third welterweight title while Charlo became the undisputed junior middleweight champion.

Earlier this year, James began working with former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, and now the trainer has added a fourth marquee fighter to the mix. James is known for perfecting power punchers, so it’s a natural fit with the heavy-handed Garcia.

Garcia first teamed with Goossen as an amateur boxer in Southern California. Garcia was trained by his father, Henry, for many of his pro fights, but Eddy Reynoso took control of the corner in 2018.

Reynoso, Canelo Alvarez‘s longtime trainer, guided Garcia to five wins in five bouts, including his seventh-round TKO of Luke Campbell in January 2021. Following that career-best victory, Garcia was out of the ring for 15 months while he addressed his mental health and recovered from wrist surgery.

When Garcia returned in April 2022, there was a familiar face in his corner alongside his father: Goossen. Goossen, 69, trained Garcia for three fights: a decision win over Emmanuel Tagoe in April 2022, a sixth-round KO of Javier Fortuna in July and, finally, the loss to Davis.