In a notable upset Thailand's Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (19-3-1, 18) scored the most notable victory of his career as he dethroned Japanese fighter Yota Sato (26-3-1, 12) of the WBC Super Flyweight title.
The bout, the first world title bout for Srisaket took some time to get going after a long series of formal introductions speeches and advertising, though once the bell went to start the bout the Thai challenge brought the action.
The opening round was some what close with Sato managing to land a number of his own shots early though Srisaket managed to land several eye catching flurries that won him the round on one of the judges score cards. From then on Srisaket merely took over the bout and clearly won rounds 2-4 as he started to set an unbelievable tempo.
At the start of round 5 the score cards all read in favour of the Thai with scores of 39-37 (twice) and 40-35. It was thought by many, including myself that Srisaket would have to slow eventually and after the hectic pace he was forcing it seemed likely he would tire soon.
Both rounds 5 and 6 were better for the defending champion as he managed to create some space though the bout was typically being fought at close quarters which suited Srisaket due to being naturally smaller.
After the two good rounds for Sato it didn't take long for Srisaket to put his foot back on the gas and launch a ridiculous assault in round 7 that saw Sato pinned in the corner whilst the challenger unloaded for a good portion of the round. The referee, Italy's Guido Cavalleri, did well not to stop the bout at the end of the round with Sato taking a genuine pounding in a round that was hard not to score 10-8 to the challenger.
Having just survived round 7 Sato knew that he was going to have to regain his senses in round 8 though Sriaket jumped on him trying to corner him once again. This time when Sato was forced to eat a series of shots the referee stepped in seeing that Sato was now being battered with little chance of turning it around in the coming rounds.
This loss for Sato, his first loss since 2005, was the first stoppage loss of his career and sees the trend of defending Japanese world champions being defeated in Thailand continue.
Sor Srisaket, who genuinely announced himself on the world stage with this victory will not be a fighter that many will be wanting to face. He's relentless, hard hitting and whilst technically not great he's fantastic at cutting the distance as he did time and time again here.
World Title Results
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