Brian Mendoza shocked the world on Saturday night by scoring what could be the frontrunner for knockout of the year and upset of the year. Down big on all three scorecards, Mendoza stopped Sebastian Fundora with a three-punch combination in the seventh round to win the WBC interim super welterweight title.
The win was a stunning upset for Mendoza, who was an 11-to-1 underdog going into the fight. Just 13 months ago, Mendoza was fighting in non-televised walkout bouts.
But in November, he knocked out former unified champion Jeison Rosario on 10-day notice in his first fight at 160 pounds. The impressive win set up the fight against Fundora.
Speaking at his post-fight press conference at the Dignity Health Sports Park, Mendoza said, “It's crazy, man. I'm really here. I wasn't supposed to be here. I wasn't supposed to make it this far. This is just adding fuel to the fire. I'm going to continue working harder than I was. I don't know how that's going to be possible, but I'm going to find a way. It's just belief. You have to kill me to get me to stop.”
Mendoza's rise in the sport has been meteoric, and the win against Fundora is the biggest moment of his career so far.
The knockout combination he landed in the seventh round will go down as one of the most memorable moments in boxing this year, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the new WBC interim super welterweight champion.
Mendoza's message to his opponents is clear: “The time to beat me was back then, the old Brian. This is a new monster you see in front of you.” With his impressive win against Fundora, Mendoza has firmly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the super welterweight division.