No one is saying Brian Mendoza saved Saturday’s PBC show in Las Vegas now headlined by the Tim Tszyu-Sebastian Fundora junior middleweight title fight. But Mendoza’s professionalism in the lead-up allowed things elsewhere on the card to be shuffled around relatively seamlessly.

Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs) prides himself on staying in shape, and when Keith Thurman was injured, the PBC card was rejigged. Fundora was elevated from the co-main into the main event against Tszyu – but that left Serhii Bohachuk (23-1, 23 KOs) without a dance partner. Until Mendoza fielded a call.

“Right, obviously they took [Tszyu’s] opponent away from him, and Fundora had to move up, and [Bohachuk] would have been without,” Mendoza said. “So now we’re fighting for that interim title and that’s the thing.”

Mendoza emphasized that it’s the perfect example of his philosophy: Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.

“You know, this isn’t the type of fight you take on two weeks’ notice,” Mendoza said. “He’s a dangerous opponent. But like I said, we’ve been ready. We’ve been in shape, sparring with Tim Tszyu and Eric Priest, who just fought on the Golden Boy card last week. We were just staying super-sharp.”

Mendoza, 30, stays grounded in his mission and avoids ballooning up between fights. In his last two matchups, as it happens, Mendoza boxed both fighters in Saturday’s main event, stunningly knocking out Fundora and then losing a decision to Tszyu in Australia.

It has been well-documented that Fundora was already training for a slot on the bill, so he was ready. But what kind of shape was Mendoza in when his call came?

“Oh man, the whole stay-ready thing also applies to my diet,” he said. “I’m a clean eater, I’m a healthy eater, I maintain a healthy weight year-round. I’m in shape: We do sprints, all the bag work, everything we have to do. There’s no stone unturned, even in this short camp, because they did tell me that I could possibly be a backup for this card.

“Even just on a ‘maybe,’ we were going at 110 percent, and they told me if this didn’t work out, maybe [a fight in] April. So we were going full steam ahead. This is when preparation meets opportunity.”

Bohachuk, from Ukraine but based in Los Angeles, has a fearsome 100 percent KO record. Mendoza recalls watching Bohachuk in his lone loss, when he was stopped in eight by Brandon Adams in 2021.

“I’m a fan of boxing, so I saw his fight with Brandon Adams years ago,” Mendoza said. “I always just watch a lot of boxing, so I’ve seen him over the years and I just feel like there’s a lot of holes in his game that I can just take advantage of.

“I feel like I’m going to get the stoppage before the 12th round.”

Like many others, Mendoza will have his sights set on the main event – as a fan, yes, but also because he will target a meeting with the winner if he is successful.

“Of course, and I’m fighting for the WBC interim and I’ll be the mandatory for the winner of that, because they’re fighting for that whole title,” Mendoza said. “So of course my eyes are going to be glued to that fight. I’m very interested in that one.”

He also thinks that the Fundora’s blend with Tszyu is more attractive than that of the original opponent, Thurman.

“I actually do think so, because of the way their styles match up,” Mendoza said. “Obviously, Keith Thurman is an elite fighter and everything. I just feel like the stylistic matchup for this is going to be true fireworks.”