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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

PBC on Prime Video — Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora: 5 greatest storylines to look at in Las Vegas

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The primary pay-per-view occasion of 2024 for Premier Boxing Champions is upon this weekend in Las Vegas as the corporate based by highly effective adviser Al Haymon begins a brand new chapter in its practically decade-long story. 

Unbeaten junior middleweight titleholder Tim Tszyu, the son of Corridor-of-Famer Kostya Tszyu, headlines his first PPV card on U.S. soil when he welcomes late alternative Sebastian Fundora in a 154-pound unification title bout at T-Cell Area on Saturday. The occasion marks the primary for PBC with Prime Video after airing on Showtime and FOX in recent times. 

Let’s take a better have a look at the most important storylines getting into the return of big-time boxing to the struggle capital of the world. 

1. Keith Thurman damage creates uncommon PPV improve 

For as massive of a reputation as former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman brings to the desk, the 35-year-old has been so inactive and injured of late that it turned simpler for critics to malign the PBC’s selection of utilizing him in opposition to Tszyu because the headliner of Prime Video’s kickoff occasion. Alas, a late damage suffered throughout coaching camp pulled Thurman from the struggle, permitting the 6-foot-6 Fundora to step up late from the already loaded undercard. Regardless that Fundora is recent off the lone defeat of his professional profession — by knockout, no much less — to latest Tszyu opponent Brian Mendoza (who, coincidentally, replaces Fundora in opposition to Serhii Bohachuk on the PPV major card), he is an unquestioned improve from Thurman, who has by no means fought professionally at 154 kilos. Fundora’s measurement and quantity alone are sufficient to create a formidable problem for Tszyu, the WBO titleholder who will even be competing for the vacant WBC belt, and one that may solely be tougher in that Tszyu had virtually no time to organize. The truth that he accepted the struggle so eagerly is a testomony to Tszyu’s character. However there is no query that the leisure issue has additionally been upgraded contemplating each fighters want to have interaction at shut vary for your entire struggle. 

2. PBC can solely profit from Terence Crawford rumors

If the improve to Tszyu-Fundora wasn’t sufficient to boost the spirits of boxing followers getting into PBC’s long-awaited return, the truth that pound-for-pound stalwart and undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford has reportedly thrown his identify into the combination to struggle the winner is nothing wanting juicy and thrilling. It will solely get higher for PBC if preparations have been made for Crawford to attend in particular person, which is hopefully the case. However Tszyu’s administration instructed media members on Monday in Las Vegas that Crawford has already entered negotiations to struggle the winner. Ought to his opponent grow to be Tszyu, who seems on the verge of breakout stardom, this might grow to be some of the thrilling developments within the sport for the second half of 2024. 

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3. Ultimately, Rolando Romero goes to need to win an enormous struggle

With a nickname like “Rolly” and the form of humorousness on social media that may be seen as an acquired style, Romero has been lengthy checked out because the clown prince of the 140-pound division. He could also be a titleholder getting into Saturday’s co-main occasion in opposition to Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz but each of Romero’s wins in title bouts have been extraordinarily disputed by followers and consultants alike. Romero does an important job enjoying the position of eclectic B-side, which he portrayed effectively forward of his knockout PPV loss to Gervonta Davis in 2022. However it’s clearly “put up or shut up” time for Romero now because the A-side in opposition to the cussed and highly effective Cruz. Romero has a little bit of Ricardo Mayorga in him, however even “El Matador” wanted to return to the drafting board following high-profile defeats and rebuild his case for one more future title shot. In Romero’s case, his resume merely wants a crucial win — badly — to even justify his standing as a world titleholder. In some ways, this may very well be the defining struggle of the 28-year-old Romero’s profession in opposition to the uncommon fighter who was beforehand in a position to push Davis to the restrict in a razor-thin defeat.

4. Romero-Cruz winner may very well be headed towards big-money “Tank” rematch

Whereas Gervonta “Tank” Davis is rumored to be making his return in June to defend his 135-pound title in opposition to unbeaten Frank Martin, the winner of Romero-Cruz may actually discover themselves in line for a rematch to shut 2024. Davis has fought at 140 kilos earlier than when he stopped Mario Barros of their 2021 PPV struggle. The division can also be just too scorching proper now to rely out any potential crossover struggle involving a number of promoters or networks, much like what occurred when “Tank” and Ryan Garcia crushed PPV projections of their superfight final April. Garcia will struggle 140-pound titleholder Devin Haney in April and each the winner and loser of that struggle may very well be linked to future blockbusters in opposition to Davis, Romero or Cruz. Contemplating the cash popping out of Saudi Arabia of late, it is a good time to be a boxing fan and there’s no weight division threatening to do larger issues within the new yr than junior welterweight.  

5. Count on a reboot of PBC familiarity on the Prime Video broadcast

With former Showtime Sports activities president Stephen Espinoza now added to the combination for PBC behind the scenes, it was no shock that the announcement for the debut broadcasting workforce on Prime Video would have a well-recognized really feel because of the return of Brian Custer (host), Mauro Ranallo (play-by-play) and Abner Mares (colour commentary). However the addition of Corridor of Fame coach Joe Goossen and Jordan Plant, each of whom labored on PBC on Fox protection in recent times, reveals a full reunion is at hand. Veteran ringside reporter Claudia Trejos rounds out the English language broadcast workforce, which can name a two-bout preliminary card free to all on Prime Video earlier than the beginning of the four-bout major PPV card. 

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