Srisaket Sor Rungvisai left no room for doubt as to who the better man was as he defeated Roman Gonzalez for the second time in six months, this time by crushing knock out, to cap off a run that has the boxing world in shock and pound-for-pound lists in presumable ruins.
The two met in a bloody punchfest on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs where Sor Rungvisai dropped Gonzalez for the first time in his career only to endure a furious comeback from the four-division champion, securing a controversial decision and along with it the WBC Super Flyweight title. That would not be the case this night as Sor Rungvisai imposed his will on a hesitant Gonzalez and landed at will against his suddenly overmatched foe.
Boasting supreme confidence, Sor Rungvisai pressured Gonzalez from the onset and getting the better of the decorated ex-champ with his heavier shots and body work. Gonzalez kept himself in harm’s way throughout the proceedings, but this time it would not serve him well as Sor Rungivisai closed the distance and lowered the boom in the fourth round. A huge right hand sent Gonzalez down to the canvas, only the second time in his career, but a badly hurt Gonzalez rose only to try and generate some offensive momentum that lead to him eating another right hand that knocked spark out and left him on the ground for several minutes.
Gonzalez would eventually rise, but his fall is complete. Regardless of what many thought of their first fight, Sor Rungvisai all but ended Gonzalez’s sudden rise to prominence after two years of a heavy promotional effort by HBO, K2 Promotions and the boxing media who were quick to crown a new best fighter in boxing on the eve of Floyd Mayweather’s impending retirement. Years of wars and fighting above his best weight finally caught up to Gonzalez, being laid out by an unsuspecting opponent in dominant fashion.
Sor Rungvisai stands tall as the best fighter at 115 pounds, but he will be in no shortage of worthy foes ready to topple him. Juan Francisco Estrada and Naoya Inoue both are on the shortlist of potential opponents for boxing’s biggest surprise of 2017, and whoever he ends up in the ring with, Sor Rungvisai has become the must-see attraction at the expense of Roman Gonzalez.
Naoya Inoue Batters Antonio Nieves
In his US debut, Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue had his way with Antonio Nieves over the course of six one-sided rounds. From the beginning, the vaunted power of Inoue was on display as Nieves was in a state of perpetual retreat, only standing his ground when he ran out of room to move.
Inoue was not troubled at all by Nieves and went as far as to taunt his foe once he realized he was in no danger. In the fifth, a sharp left to the body dropped Nieves and the beating continued for only one more round before Nieves’ corner did the right thing and saved their fighter from further punishment. It was a sharp win for Inoue, who looked every bit of the “Monster” as his moniker suggests.
It is no surprise that HBO is heavily invested in Inoue and will be featuring him prominently over the course of the next few months, eventually to mix it up with any of the other fighters who appeared on this stacked card.
Juan Francisco Estrada Edges Carlos Cuadras In Thriller
Juan Francisco Estrada outpointed former Super Flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras by the slimmest of margins to open HBOs Super Flyweight tripleheader. The two battlers were seemingly in perpetual motion, not stopping at any time for a breather for the duration of their 12-round battle which was told in two parts.
Cuadras used a heavy work rate and footwork to easily take the first five rounds as Estrada tried landing between the shots, but was simply unsure of how to stop Cuadras’ advance. In the sixth, Estrada was able to time his shots better and started landing with far more ferocity as he was in a deep hole. In the tenth, Estrada dropped Cuadras with a straight right hand in a moment that ultimately decided the fight. Neither man wilted or gave ground to the other, but Estrada’s strong finish with the knockdown in the tenth was enough to seal the deal.
If 12 rounds of action weren’t enough, a gaffe by Michael Buffer announced Cuadras as the winner by scores of 114-113 on all three cards before the correction was made, leaving Estrada the winner and a surefire rematch with Cuadras down the road.