Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Iran Diaz on Oct.6
By Jim Dower: WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (40-4-1, 41 KOs) will be making a soft defense against #13 WBC Iran Diaz (14-2-3, 6 KOs) on October 6 at the Impact Arena in Pak Kret, Thailand.
This is the second straight easy fight for the 31-year-old Rungvisai following his grueling 12 round majority decision victory over Juan Francisco Estrada earlier this year on February 24 in Inglewood, California. Before that fight, Rungvisai had defeated former four division world champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in consecutive fights.
Rungvisai seems to have made a conscience decision to take easy fights rather than continuing to fight tough opposition. Rungvisai has picked a bad time to ease off on taking on the best fighters from the 115 pound weight division. Just when he’s picking up a lot of new boxing fans after his two big wins over Chocolatito and Estrada, Rungvisai has decided to go back to his old habit of facing obscure fighters from the bottom of the rankings or ones that aren’t rated at all. In other words, it’s one step forward and two steps backwards for Rungvisai in terms of his career. This level opponent likely won’t interest HBO to want to televise Rungvisai’s next fight.
Rungvisai has been resting on his laurels since his wins over Estrada and Gonzalez. In Rungvisai’s last fight, he defeated 38-year-old former world title challenger Young Gil Bae (28-7-2, 22 KOs) by a 1st round knockout on July 21. Fighting in his home country of Thailand, Rungvisai was able to impress his loyal boxing fans by stopping Bae in round 1. However, the fight was a mismatch between a world champion and an old over-the-hill fighter.
Rungvisai’s next fight will be a world title defense of his WBC 115 pound title against fringe contender Diaz. This is not the fight that the boxing public was interested in seeing from Rungvisai. They were hoping that he would defend his WBC title against Juan Fransico Estrada in a rematch or faces the likes of IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas or WBA champion Khalid Yafai. Even a fight against Donnie Nietes would be preferable to a title defense against Iran Diaz for Rungvisai. Nietes is a good fighter and would give Rungvisai problems.
“I am excited to showcase my skills at home in Bangkok. As a world champion boxer, this is a rare opportunity for me to be able to compete in front of my people,” Sor Rungvisai said to ESPN.com. “I will do my best to retain my title. I am very deep in preparations right now for one of the most significant bouts of my career.”
Rungvisai pulled off an upset in beating Roman Gonzalez by a close 12 round majority decision in their first fight in March 2017. Gonzalez sustained a lot of damage in the fight. In the rematch, Rungvisai left no doubts in stopping Chocolaito in the 4th round in September 2017.
Rungvisai had the opportunity to fight in the headliner on Superfly3 on September 8, but he chose instead to fight Diaz in Thailand. It’s obviously a questionable move on Rungvisai’s part because he could increase his popularity in the U.S by fighting on HBO on Superfy3.
Rungvisai’s opponent Diaz has shown improvement recently in beating former world champions Hernan Marquez and Luis Conception. Before that, Diaz had been stopped by Nodine Oubaali and Juan Hernandez Narvarrete. Diaz seems to have problems with fighters with punching power, which is bad news for him now that he’s scheduled to face the big punching Rungvisai next.
It’s too bad Rungvisai doesn’t want to fight in the U.S for his next fight, because it would be great to see him fight one of the top super flyweights on HBO. It’s doubtful that Top Rank would let IBF 115 pound champion Jerwin Ancajas fight Rungvisai. Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions likely would be able to match Rungvisai against someone like Donnie Nietes or Khalid Yafai.