Brian Mendoza has revived his career with three consecutive stoppage victories ever since losing a unanimous decision to Jesus Ramos Jr. in 2021.
The boxer nicknamed “La Bala” has shown a propensity for power by crushing Benjamin Whitaker, Jeison Rosario, and most recently in April, Sebastian Fundora with a come-from-behind KO.
The dramatic upset win against Fundora landed Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs) the interim WBC super welterweight title and set him up with a matchup against Tim Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) in a fight that will take place Saturday at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia. The bout will headline a Premier Boxing Champions event on Showtime starting at 10:30 p.m. EDT.
The resurging Mendoza believes he has the power to outlast Tszyu for yet another upset win.
“Me [I’m the bigger puncher in this fight]. Based on my resume and what I’ve done, I have more one-punch knockouts. Once [Tszyu] gets you, he’s a good finisher and everything, but just based on the facts that I have more explosive shots,” Mendoza said during a press conference this week.
“The thing about me. I have power, but I’m not just a power puncher. I don’t go in there trying to look for one shot. I’ll hurt you for 12 rounds … I’m even content with that. I do look for the knockout. I do want to put on a big show. I think that’s why I even got called here to this beautiful country in the first place for this title fight. But I’m in there to put on punishment for 12 rounds.”
Mendoza was arguably losing every round against Fundora before landing a dynamite combination in the seventh round to fan out “The Towering Inferno.”
“I pour my heart and soul in each and every time, and you’re never going to see me say, ‘I wish I would have done this or that.’ I’m leaving it all out there, and that’s really what you see when I’m in the ring,” said Mendoza.
“You saw in my last few fights. It’s been the fifth round, sixth round, and seven, and I carry the power late, and I’m totally fine, you know, however long the fight needs to go for me to get that victory. That’s what I got to do.”
Mendoza will be fighting for the 154-pound WBO title that Tszyu now owns after the sanctioning body stripped undisputed champion Jermell Charlo of the belt and elevated the intertim titlist Tszyu to full champion status.
Tszyu was Charlo’s mandatory challenger, but Charlo opted to take on Canelo Alvarez instead, thus forcing the WBO to make a decision.
“I want to take out everybody in my division as well. It’s part of the game, and that’s why I say once we go in there, that switch flips, and it’s war. We’re aiming for the same goal, and only one can come out on top,” said Mendoza.
“I have that chip on my shoulder, and it’s just no pressure. I’ve already tasted that defeat, and I know I don’t ever want that again. So hunger is really what makes a difference here, and I feel like that’s what adds to my hunger more than anyone else.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.