By Ian S Palmer
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand will be defending his WBC Junior Bantamweight Title at the StubHub Center in Carson, California this Saturday, September 9th when he takes on Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua. Rungvisai, who’s also known as Wisasksil Wangek, pulled off an upset back on March 18th when he beat Gonzalez by a controversial majority decision to take his title and hand the former champion his first career defeat as a pro. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on HBO while fans in the UK can catch the action on Sky Sports.
Gonzalez was dropped in the first round of their meeting in March and Rungvisai was deducted a point for head butting in the sixth, but he managed to fend off a late surge by Gonzalez to win the crown. Gonzalez is a former four-division world champion and won the WBC Junior Bantamweight Crown last September with a unanimous decision over Carlos Cuadras. He has also been a titleholder at minimumweight, light-flyweight and flyweight.
The 30-year-old climbs through the ropes with an excellent record of 46-1 along with 39 Kos to his name. Gonzalez is well known for his speed, power and boxing skills and his fight against Rungvisai was just the fourth time he’s gone the distance since November of 2012. Gonzalez is basically known as a knockout artist and had 10 straight Kos to his name until meeting McWilliams Arroyo in April of 2016. However, Gonzalez has now gone the distance in his last three fights.
Gonzalez still has plenty of power though with a current knockout ratio of 81 per cent. But he’s also a good technical boxer. His mobility allows him to control the ring and he likes to use his aggression to unleash quick, painful combinations on his opponents whenever he sees an opening. He may not be the best defensive boxer in the world, but has a solid chin to absorb shots when he does get tagged. Gonzalez turned pro in 2005 and has 229 rounds of experience since then.
He won the WBC flyweight title when he stopped Akira Yaegashi in the ninth round in September of 2014. He then defended it two months later by stopping Rocky Fuentes in six rounds and then beat Valentin Leon by third-round TKO in February of 2015. After that, he stopped Edgar Sosa in two rounds in May of 2015 and then Brian Viloria in nine rounds in October of 2015. Gonzalez stands 5-feet-3-inches tall and has a reach of 64 inches.
The 30-year-old Rungvisai enters the contest with a mark of 43-4-1 with 39 Kos. His four losses have come against Cuadras by eighth-round technical decision in May of 2014, a 10-round unanimous decision to Kenji Oba in February of 2010, a third-round Ko to Yushin Yafuso in June of 2009 and a third-round TKO to Akira Yaegashi in March of 2009. Those two stoppages came in his first two pro fights and he drew his third outing when he went six rounds with Sean Patavikorngym in August of 2009.
Rungvisai has lost just once since 2009 and is currently enjoying a 15-fight winning streak with 13 of those outings coming by way of knockout. However, until meeting Gonzalez, Rungvisai had been taking on questionable opposition as his previous three opponents were making their pro debuts and the two before had limited and losing records. In fact, most of his last 17 opponents have had losing records and 14 of his 48 fights have been against boxers making their pro debuts.
Rungvisai turned pro in 2009 and he has 178 rounds under his belt since then. Other than beating Gonzalez, his biggest wins have been against Yota Sato, and Jose Salgado. He’s a southpaw who also stands 5-feet-3-inches tall and his reach is slightly shorter than Gonzalez’s at 63.5 inches. Rungvisai also has pretty good power, albeit against mostly Grade B opposition, as his current knockout ratio is identical to Gonzalez at 81 per cent.
The lack of quality opponents definitely didn’t appear to hurt Rungvisai in his first fight with Gonzalez and he had enough energy and skill to take the title. However, Gonzalez will be better prepared this time around and should be able to do enough to set up a trilogy here by regaining the crown.