16
Oct
2019

Fundora v Zepeda: Final quotes and weight for ShoBox event

RINGSIDE 21/06/2019

📷 Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

Undefeated super welterweights Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora and Manuel “Baby” Zepeda both made weight a day before their ShoBox: The New Generation debuts Friday night live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.

The 21-year-old Fundora (12-0, 8 KOs), who was officially measured today at six-foot-five-and-a-half inches, has knocked out his last four opponents and started 2019 in electrifying fashion with a third-round knockout of then 10-0 Donnie Marshall. Said to be the tallest 154-pound boxer in the division’s history, Fundora faces Mexico’s Zepeda (17-0, 4 KOs), a busy, five-year veteran who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on fight night.

In the co-feature, Michel Rivera (15-0, 10 KOs) from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic takes on Mexico’s Rene Tellez Giron (13-0, 7 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout. In the opening bout of the tripleheader which boasts six fighters with a combined record of 90-1, undefeated prospect Yeis Solano (14-0, 10 KOs) will face former Argentine Lightweight Champion Elias Damian Araujo (19-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout.

Here is what the fighters had to say on Thursday from WinnaVegas Casino.

FINAL WEIGHTS, REFEREES AND JUDGES

Super Welterweight 10-Round Bout

Sebastian Fundora – 152 ¾ lbs.

Manuel Zepeda – 152 ¼ lbs.

Referee: Mark Nelson; Judges: Robert Hoyle (Las Vegas), Bob LaFratte (Iowa), Russell Mora (Las Vegas)

Lightweight 8-Round Bout

Michel Rivera – 134 ½ lbs.

Rene Giron – 135 lbs.

Referee: Adam Pollack; Judges: Robert Hoyle (Las Vegas), Bob LaFratte (Iowa), Russell Mora (Las Vegas)

Lightweight 8-Round Bout

Yeis Solano – 134 ½ lbs.

Elias Araujo – 133 ¾ lbs.

Referee: Mark Nelson; Judges: Robert Hoyle (Las Vegas), Bob LaFratte (Iowa), Russell Mora (Las Vegas)

FINAL QUOTES:

SEBASTIAN FUNDORA:

“I’m used to people focusing on my height. I’ve always been the tallest fighter in my division and in my age bracket. It’s not going to go away and I understand why people talk about it. If anything, it helps me get more publicity so it’s a good thing.

“I usually bring the fight to my opponents. I think the best defense is a good offense. It’s natural for me to fight on the inside because that’s what my father taught me when I was younger.

“This fight is just another stepping stone for me. It’s just another step to get higher in the rankings and get closer to a title shot.

“My opponent is taller than most fighters I’ve faced. I don’t know much about Zepeda but I know he comes from a boxing family and that usually makes for good fights. I’m expecting fireworks. We’ll take it round by round but I know what the fans like, and that’s knockouts.”

MANUEL ZEPEDA:

“Everybody is talking about Fundora’s height but it’s not that important to me. They are putting so much attention on it but this is a 50-50 fight. I think that I can win and I just hope that at the end of the fight we will go home to our families healthy.

“This will be my first time fighting somebody taller than me but I don’t feel at a disadvantage. I am very well prepared. This is a great opportunity for me. It’s a dream for me to be fighting here in the U.S. on television.

“Fundora has a Mexican style of fighting. He likes to come forward so I think the fans will be in for a great fight. This will be exciting and all-action. I’m prepared for 10 rounds but that’s not what I’m planning for.

“I’m going to use my intelligence and my ability to box. Fundora has never fought somebody with the skills that I have. I will read him and adjust my gameplan. I’ll capitalize on his mistakes.”

MICHEL RIVERA:

“I’m happy to be making my U.S. debut. I love the Dominican Republic but the opportunities are not the same over there. That’s why I’m slowly moving my training camp to Miami. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been training with Luis Ortiz’s trainer, German Caicedo. I can already feel the difference.

“Giron is a strong boxer but nothing that I haven’t seen before. He is a Mexican and he is always looking to fight. He’s small but he’s a warrior. I am prepared for every scenario. I don’t think he has enough skills to counter me. I believe I’m the better fighter and that I can win this fight.”

RENE TELLEZ GIRON:

“I’m usually the smaller fighter, so this is nothing different for me.

“This is my first time ever in the U.S. but I’m not worried about that. I’ve traveled to different places and challenged champions. I went to Ukraine and beat an undefeated fighter, so I am looking forward to a great fight.

“Rivera is a great fighter. To be undefeated is no easy feat, so of course he should be respected. But to me, this is just another fight and that’s how I will treat it. I came here to get the win.”

YEIS SOLANO:

“I’m so happy I finally get to fight on television in the United States. I’ve been here for 11 months, training very hard. I know a lot of fighters come to this country looking for their dreams to come true, trying to succeed, but not everybody makes it. I’m determined to make it and I will.

“Things are very different in Colombia. The level of sparring you can get there is not as good as the sparring partners I can get here. Training camps are different. You work harder here.

“I’m actually happy I’m fighting Elias Araujo instead of my previous opponent. Romero was a runner, he moved around a lot and that made him hard to pin down. Araujo, on the other hand, stands in front of you and comes forward. I like that. He’s a good match for my style.

“I can pack a punch. I have power and a mean left. I’m not concerned about Araujo. I’m winning on Friday night.”


 

ELIAS ARAUJO:

“Soccer was my passion for most of my life; I wanted to be like Lionel Messi. But that changed the very first time I went to a boxing match. A friend of mine invited me to his amateur fight in Rufino, Santa Fe and that was it. I fell in love with boxing.

“I started boxing at 25, that’s late for a boxer but I have been an athlete my entire life. I don’t feel I’m at a disadvantage. I was offered this fight a few weeks ago, and I took it, of course. I’ve been in training camp with Sebastian Fundora, the main event of this card. This is my time to shine.

“Argentina is a good place to start your boxing career but it has its limitations. Coming to the United States was the next step for me. There are more resources here: better sparring partners, more money and more opportunities.

“There are a lot of champions from my home state [Santa Fe]: Carlos Monzon, Marcos Maidana, Carlos Baldomir, even Lucas Matthysse can be considered from Santa Fe since he kind of grew up there. I want my name to be added to that list one day. I want to be the next boxing powerhouse that comes from Santa Fe, Argentina.”

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