Long term readers of this site will know that we have our favourites, it's naturally when you follow a sport to have favourites. One of those favourites, in fact our favourite from Thailand over the last couple of years, has been Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (34-4-1, 31) who is a real whirlwind of a fighter with a mentality that seems him always seeking a knockout. The reason we like him so much is his style which always makes it worth tuning in to see him in action.
Today Srisaket was fighting in a real make or break fight as he took on Mexico's Jose Salgado (34-3-2, 27) in a WBC Super Flyweight world title eliminator. At steak was the WBC silver title and a potential rematch with WBC world champion Carlos Cuadras. Cuadras had beaten Srisaket last year for the title, via technical decision, and had scored a technical draw with Salgado. Both men wanted the Cuadras rematch and both wanted their shot at a world title.
On paper the bout had everything. Two talented and hard hitting fighters, two men with real motivation and two men willing to put it all on the line. In the ring however things weren't as even as they looked on paper.
From the opening round Srisaket looked like he was fighting with the intention of making a statement. He came out smelling blood and quickly forced Salgado on to the retreat. This basically allowed Srisaket to do as he wished, and what he wished to do was stop Salgado.
The Mexican did well to remain competitive during the opening round, despite eating some monster shots. Much of Salgado competitiveness seemed to be due to Srisaket just being slightly off with his range and timing. In the second round Srisaket found that range and not only forced Salgado on to the retreat but began connecting with serious shots to both the head and body. It seemed that Srisaket not only wanted to enforce his will but to break Salgado's bit by bit as the Mexican tried to fight back off the back foot.
The pattern continued through round 3 with Salgado taking the heavier shots and trying to fight back. It was however looking ominous for the Mexican visitor who had no real answer for Srisaket's strength, power or aggression. He had the movement and bravery to fight back and survive but not really to test Srisaket who was a man on a mission.
In round 4 Srisaket stepped up his aggression and managed to land a nasty shot that seemed to create a horrible crack that echoed around the arena. The shot sent the crowd wild though Salgado did well to remain on his feet. Whilst Salgado didn't tumble it was clear he was hurt and Srisaket knew it as the Thai went hunting with a relentless onslaught. Salgado traded with him, landing a monster shot that Srisaket took clean, worryingly for Salgado it bounced off the Thai who continued to unload, snapping the neck of the Mexican who went down in a heap soon afterwards.
The referee waved the bout off immediately, it was pointless in counting. Salgado was a beaten and broken man.
For Srisaket this does get him he rematch with Cuadras, a bout he had been wanting following his loss to the Mexican a year ago. It also notches him his second world class win, following a win Yota Sato. Whilst much of Srisaket's record is "padded", he's one of the few truly world class Thai's and given his style he is someone who deserves to get a lot more attention than he currently gets. Hopefully a win in a rematch with Cuadras will see him begin to get the respect that he deserves. In many ways he's the most interesting match up for Naoya Inoue at 115lbs and a unification bout between Srisaket, if he beats Cuadras, and Inoue would be mouth watering.
(Image courtesy of Thairec.com)
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