At the StubHub Center, California, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai made a tremendous, savage statement by knocking out Roman Gonzalez inside four toe-to-toe rounds to make it 2-0 against one of boxing’s future first-ballot Hall of Famers. With back-to-back wins over a fighter still considered by many to be the world’s Pound for Pound leader, Rungvisai’s career trajectory could not be greater right now.
Following the emphatic victory, Rungvisai defends his WBC Junior Bantamweight title for the first time, now climbing to 44 wins, 4 defeats, 1 draw, 40 knockouts. Meanwhile, the fallen Gonzalez slips to 46 wins, 2 defeats, 38 knockouts.
While short-lived, both men waged war on one another just as they had in their original gruelling affair in March. Once again, Rungvisai’s stockier, stronger build seemed to bother the leaner Gonzalez, and, this time as champion, Rungvisai’s confidence and steely determination – despite sharing the ring with a modern legend – was through the roof. With full-blooded, singular shots reigning in from the opening bell, Rungvisai was dangerous.
Gonzalez fought fire with fire, answering every punch, and did enough to land himself on the scorecards going into the 4th, behind one stanza at 29-28 here at Boxing Base. Now entering into furious exchanges, it was only a matter of time before a crunching blow would drastically turn the tables. And it was Rungvisai who soon did just that, sending Gonzalez to the canvas in a heap, courtesy of a crunching right hand counter.
Gonzalez managed to beat the count but, while appearing steady enough on his feet, appeared clearly shaken. Now facing a relentless onslaught, Gonzalez sought to ward off his marauding attacker by gritting it out toe-to-toe. But Rungvisai sensed the end, and swiftly delivered the show-closer before long, with a hellacious right hook leaving Gonzalez out flat on his back. The referee promptly stepped in to wave off the count, and quite rightly so.
This sensational performance cements Rungvisai’s reputation as an icon in his native Thailand, and of course boosts his international appeal, certainly within the hardcore fan community. As of this moment, the consensus mega fight at Junior Bantamweight is likely Rungvisai vs. Naoya Inoue, Japan’s formidable WBO champion – and BB’s No.10 Pound for Pound – who, in his US debut on tonight’s undercard, made it very clear why he carries ‘The Monster’ monicle.
Gonzalez vs Rungvisai II: Undercard
- Naoya Inoue (14-0, 12 KO) was all business against Antonio Nieves (17-2-2, 9 KO) as he defended his WBO Junior Bantamweight title for the first time on American soil. Inoue stalked his prey, breaking down Nieves with a powerful head-body attack, en route to a 6th round retirement stoppage which saw Nieves on the deck a round earlier.
- Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KO) bagged a career-defining victory over Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KO) to comfortably win the Junior Bantamweight meeting, even if the official 114-113 (thrice) verdict seemed surprisingly narrow. Cuadras fought with plenty of guts, as was expected, but his leaky defense rolled out the welcome mat for Estrada’s clean, precise punching. Estrada iced the cake with a 10th round knockdown, courtesy of a hard right down the pipe.
- Ruslan Madiev (10-0, 4 KO) bulked his Lightweight slate some more with a shutout decision over Addiel Ramirez (23-2-1, 21 KO). Scorecards tallied at 80-72 (twice) and 79-73.
- Brian Viloria (38-5, 23 KO) continued his Junior Bantamweight rebuild to further bury his 2009 defeat to Roman Gonzalez, here handily outboxing and stopping Miguel Cartagena (15-4-1, 6 KO) inside 5 rounds.
Spill your thoughts on Gonzalez vs Rungvisai II below, plus the lively Junior Bantamweight scene following this absorbing tripeheader card.