Rungvisai: I knew I was going to KO Gonzalez
By Sean Jones: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai says he knew he was going to knockout Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in their rematch last Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Rungvisai, 30, made easy work of Gonzalez, knocking him out in the 4th round in one of the easier fights of his career.
Gonzalez offered up almost no offense before getting knocked down twice in the 4th. It wasn’t a fight. It was a rout. Gonzalez was overmatched in this fight and he had no business being inside the ring with the taller, stronger and more active Rungvisai.
Rungvisai feels he can beat anyone in the super flyweight division, and he may be right. He retained his WBC 115 lb. title in beating Gonzalez for the second time, and he also showed a lot of people in the boxing world that his earlier win over the Nicaraguan fighter was no fluke. Rungvisai defeated Gonzalez by a 12 round majority decision on March 18 of this year on HBO PPV on the undercard of the Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Danny Jacobs card at Madison Square Garden in New York.
There were a lot of complaints from the boxing fans that Rungvisai didn’t deserve the victory. But the judges saw the way that Gonzalez’s body was being moved from the impact of Rungvisai’s big punches in the first fight, and they felt that he had landed the heavier and cleaner shots. Moreover, Rungvisai had knocked Gonzalez down in round 1 of that fight.
”I knew I was going to knock him out,” said Rungvisai. “I am very proud of my performance; I hope I inspired all Thais that we are as good as any other people in the world. I have showed the world that I am number one at 115 pounds. I think the way I fought today should eliminate all doubt that anyone has [after his controversial first victory over Gonzalez].”
Rungvisai showed he’s not only the best, but he could be someone that could unify the division if he can get the other champions to fight him. You can forget about WBO champ Naoya Inoue to fight Rungvisai, as he’s already made it clear that he’s moving up to the 118 lb. division to fight as a bantamweight.
Naoya Inoue moving up to bantamweight
Inoue (14-0, 12 KOs) fought well in beating Antonio Nieves (17-2-2, 9 KOs) in winning a 6 round victory after Nieves’ corner stopped the fight at the end of round 6. The boxing fans were hoping after the fight that Inoue would commit to a unification fight against Rungvisai, but that does not appear to be in plans for the future. Inoue wants to move in weight to fight at bantamweight. Inoue did not look big last Saturday night. He certainly didn’t look as big as Rungvisai. It’s odd that Inoue would want to move up in weight without first proving himself against Rungvisai
”It was my American debut and I was able to complete seven rounds and have a successful finish and I’m grateful,” said Inoue after the fight last Saturday night. “I was pleasantly surprised that there are so many fans here and it motivates me to put on better performances. I’d like to keep performing well, but I plan to go up in weight in the future,” said Inoue.
That’s disappointing news for a lot of the boxing fans, as they were counting on Inoue fighting the winner of the Roman Gonzalez vs. Rungvisai rematch. We know that Inoue was interested in fighting Gonzalez if he had won last night, but we figured that he would also be open to a fight against Rungvisai if he came out on top. Evidently, Inoue doesn’t seem to be too thrilled at the idea of facing Rungvisai next before moving up in weight. The bantamweight division has some easy marks that Inoue can probably beat with a high degree of success.
You can’t say the same thing if he were to stay at 115 and fight Rungvisai. That could end badly for Inoue, who showed a lot of holes in his defense last night against Nieves. The punches that Nieves was hitting him with would be potential knockout blows if Rungvisai were the one throwing them. Inoue seemed to be the real deal, but him choosing to move up in weight to the bantamweight division without fighting Rungvisai has to make you wonder whether he was just a paper champion.
I wouldn’t favor Inoue to beat Rungvisai, because he’s too easy to hit, and he’s kind of slender looking. Rungvisai is built more solid, and he’s more of a Gennady Golovkin type of fighter, who gleefully looks to destroy his opponents by taking them apart. Inoue would be in a world of hurt if he had to battle Rungvisai, as he would be facing a real threat to him for the first time in his 5-year pro career. Inoue still hasn’t faced a big puncher during his career. Rungvisai would be a big step up in class from the likes of Inoue’s past opponents Nieves, Ricardo Rodriguez, Kohei Kono and David Carmona.
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- Artur Beterbiev vs. Meng Fanlong on September 25 on ESPN+
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