PBC on Prime Video — Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora: Five biggest storylines to watch in Las Vegas

The first pay-per-view event of 2024 for Premier Boxing Champions is upon this weekend in Las Vegas as the company founded by powerful adviser Al Haymon begins a new chapter in its nearly decade-long story. 

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

Let’s take a closer look at the biggest storylines entering the return of big-time boxing to the fight capital of the world. 

1. Keith Thurman injury creates rare PPV upgrade 

For as big of a name as former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman brings to the table, the 35-year-old has been so inactive and injured of late that it became easier for critics to malign the PBC’s choice of using him against Tszyu as the headliner of Prime Video’s kickoff event. Alas, a late injury suffered during training camp pulled Thurman from the fight, allowing the 6-foot-6 Fundora to step up late from the already loaded undercard. Even though Fundora is fresh off the lone defeat of his pro career — by knockout, no less — to recent Tszyu opponent Brian Mendoza (who, coincidentally, replaces Fundora against Serhii Bohachuk on the PPV main card), he’s an unquestioned upgrade from Thurman, who has never fought professionally at 154 pounds. Fundora’s size and volume alone are enough to create a formidable challenge for Tszyu, the WBO titleholder who will also be competing for the vacant WBC belt, and one that can only be more difficult in that Tszyu had almost no time to prepare. The fact that he accepted the fight so eagerly is a testament to Tszyu’s character. But there’s no question that the entertainment factor has also been upgraded considering both fighters prefer to engage at close range for the entire fight. 

2. PBC can only benefit from Terence Crawford rumors

If the upgrade to Tszyu-Fundora wasn’t enough to raise the spirits of boxing fans entering PBC’s long-awaited return, the fact that pound-for-pound stalwart and undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford has reportedly thrown his name into the mix to fight the winner is nothing short of juicy and exciting. It would only get better for PBC if arrangements were made for Crawford to attend in person, which is hopefully the case. But Tszyu’s management told media members on Monday in Las Vegas that Crawford has already entered negotiations to fight the winner. Should his opponent become Tszyu, who appears on the verge of breakout stardom, this could become one of the most exciting developments in the sport for the second half of 2024. 

3. Eventually, Rolando Romero is going to have to win a big fight

With a nickname like “Rolly” and the kind of sense of humor on social media that can be seen as an acquired taste, Romero has been long looked at as the clown prince of the 140-pound division. He may be a titleholder entering Saturday’s co-main event against Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz yet both of Romero’s wins in title bouts have been extremely disputed by fans and experts alike. Romero does a great job playing the role of eclectic B-side, which he portrayed well ahead of his knockout PPV loss to Gervonta Davis in 2022. But it’s clearly “put up or shut up” time for Romero now as the A-side against the stubborn and powerful Cruz. Romero has a bit of Ricardo Mayorga in him, but even “El Matador” needed to return to the drawing board following high-profile defeats and rebuild his case for another future title shot. In Romero’s case, his resume simply needs a critical win — badly — to even justify his status as a world titleholder. In many ways, this could be the defining fight of the 28-year-old Romero’s career against the rare fighter who was previously able to push Davis to the limit in a razor-thin defeat.

4. Romero-Cruz winner could be headed toward big-money “Tank” rematch

While Gervonta “Tank” Davis is rumored to be making his return in June to defend his 135-pound title against unbeaten Frank Martin, the winner of Romero-Cruz could certainly find themselves in line for a rematch to close 2024. Davis has fought at 140 pounds before when he stopped Mario Barros in their 2021 PPV fight. The division is also simply too hot right now to count out any potential crossover fight involving multiple promoters or networks, similar to what happened when “Tank” and Ryan Garcia crushed PPV projections in their superfight last April. Garcia will fight 140-pound titleholder Devin Haney in April and both the winner and loser of that fight could be linked to future blockbusters against Davis, Romero or Cruz. Considering the money coming out of Saudi Arabia of late, it’s a great time to be a boxing fan and there is no weight division threatening to do bigger things in the new year than junior welterweight.  

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

With former Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza now added to the mix for PBC behind the scenes, it was no surprise that the announcement for the debut broadcasting team on Prime Video would have a familiar feel thanks to the return of Brian Custer (host), Mauro Ranallo (play-by-play) and Abner Mares (color commentary). But the addition of Hall of Fame trainer Joe Goossen and Jordan Plant, both of whom worked on PBC on Fox coverage in recent years, shows a full reunion is at hand. Veteran ringside reporter Claudia Trejos rounds out the English language broadcast team, which will call a two-bout preliminary card free to all on Prime Video before the start of the four-bout main PPV card. 


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