Srisaket Sor Rungvisai knocks out Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in rematch

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai poses for photos after knocking out Roman Gonzalez during the fourth round of the WBC super flyweight championship boxing match.

CARSON, Calif. — Roman Gonzalez was just trying to regain his spot as one of the two or three best fighters in the world Saturday night. Instead, he’s now the answer to a boxing trivia question: what is the biggest road win from a fighter from Thailand ever?

Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai left no doubt as he knocked out Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in the fourth round of their rematch from this March’s Fight of the Year candidate.

It’s been a long road to the top for Sor Rungvisai. As a young teen, he had to walk more than 60 miles in order to obtain a job as a garbage collector while growing up poor in Thailand. He sometimes had to eat leftovers out of the garbage he collected just in order to survive. He started his professional boxing career with a paltry 1-3-1 record. Almost two decades later, he now must be considered one of the best fighters in the world after running off 43 wins in his last 44 contests, the last two coming over a fighter whom many considered the best in the world in Gonzalez.

Many felt Gonzalez (46-2, 38 knockouts) got a raw deal when he ended up on the losing end of a majority decision earlier this year. The Nicaraguan learned the hard way that getting to the top of the mountain is easier than maintaining that spot.

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Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs) came out swinging in the first round as Gonzalez took a more measure approach than he did in the first fight. It didn’t take much for Sor Rungvisai to lure him into a war, which favored the naturally bigger Thai fighter.

Sor Rungvisai was smart and focused a lot of his attack on the midsection of Gonzalez. Gonzalez repeated his mistake from the first fight and went headhunting. Gonzalez was much slower than he looked even in the first fight, as perhaps the punishment of the last few fights at an unnatural weight have caught up to him.


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Sor Rungvisai and Gonzalez duplicated the action of the first fight, rarely letting a moment pass without either of their fists flying. Gonzalez hasn’t looked like the same dominant fighter he was since entering the 115-pound division with a tough win over Carlos Cuadras to earn his fourth world title in as many weight divisions. Sor Rungvisai is a Thai tank and ate Gonzalez’s best shots without changing the expression on his face.

The third round was the best for Gonzalez as he opened up more, but that success would prove fleeting. Sor Rungvisai caught Gonzalez coming in with a monster right hook that planted Gonzalez on his back. Somehow, the Nicaraguan made it to his feet. His instinct was to bang it out against Sor Rungvisai while he was still wobbly. The end result was Sor Rungvisai knocking Gonzalez clean out with a follow up right hook. The time of the stoppage was 1:18.

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“I trained two months for the first fight,” a jubilant Sor Rungvisai said in the ring following the win. “I trained four months for this one. I knew I was going to knock him out.”.

“We were both trading punches,” Gonzalez said. “His were a little bit harder and they caught me. I was a little hurt on the second knockdown but I’m OK now.”.

The first fight was controversial in that many felt that Gonzalez did enough to win it clearly. Sor Rungvisai quieted his detractors — and the assembled crowd at the StubHub Center — when he knocked Gonzalez out cold.

Sor Rungvisai must now face Juan Francisco Estrada, who earned a mandatory spot with a decision win over Carlos Cuadras in the opening fight of the HBO broadcast. The super flyweight division is as hot as it’s ever been, and it’s in a position where there were fighters from four different countries fighting on the main part of the card. Elite Japanese super flyweight Naoya Inoue beat Antonio Nieves of Puerto Rico in what was Inoue’s American debut.

For Gonzalez, some soul searching will need to be done. After winning his first 46 fights witg very little resistance, Gonzalez has now lost two in a row, Saturday’s being a brutal knockout loss. Perhaps he’s found out that 115 pounds isn’t his best weight. For a guy who helped bring the smaller divisions to the masses and never failed to disappoint, there’s still plenty of options.

“I have shown the world I’m the best 115-pound fighter in the world,” Sor Rungvisai said at the post-fight press conference.

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It’s hard to argue after the result of Saturday night.

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