In our predictions to begin the year we predicted 2022 was going to be the year of rematches, and after a number of those in January they continue to come this weekend, as we see a highly anticipated, and long over-due, rematch between former 2-time WBC Super Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43) and the man who first dethroned him, Carlos Cuadras (39-4-1, 27), with the two looking to reclaim the currently vacant WBC Super Flyweight title. The very title Cuadras took from Srisaket in their first meeting.
In recent years the Super Flyweight division has been getting the respect it deserves, and the fighters are getting the credit and audience it has long been due, but sadly when these two first fought in 2014 things weren't like that, and many missed out on the bout, and the controversy and bad taste that it left. The expectation was that the two men would rematch some time after that bout, but few watching that bout would have expected an almost 8 year wait for the two to go again.
When they first fought Srisaket was an unknown outside of Asia, and was looking to make his second defense of the title which he had won by destroying the under0rated Yota Sato. Cuadras on the other hand was an unbeaten contender, and seen as one of the future stars for Mexican boxing having had a solid amateur career and been co-promoted by Teiken. Interestingly Teiken won the purse bids for that bout and arranged for it to be in Mexico, giving Cuadras the best chance of winning. And win is what he did, when the bout was stopped prematurely, giving Cuadras a technical decision victory, and seemingly bailed him out as Cuadras was starting to come on strong and wear down his man. It seemed the ending was very much a lucky escape for the Mexican fighter, who had looked great boxing and moving in the early rounds, but had burnt a lot of energy with his movement, and was visibly slowing in the rounds prior to the finish. Had the bout not been stopped there's a fair shout that Sriskaet would have either stopped Cuadras, or reeled him in on the scorecards.
Following his title win Cuadras seemed to do what he could to avoid a rematch with the Thai, who became mandatory for the WBC title when he beat Jose Salgado a year later in a final eliminator, but ended up waiting almost 2 years longer for his eventual shot, which came against Cuadras' conqueorer Roman Gonzalez. Despite the long wait he made the most of that bout, taking a questionable decision over Gonzalez, before destroying the Nicaraguan legend in a rematch to put himself firmly on the international stage. Sadly for Srisaket, despite his success against Gonzalez, he has had to wait 8 years now to get his hands back on Cuadras, and neither man has quite looked the same in recent bouts. Despite that this is a bout fans of the division will be looking forward to, and will be expecting real fireworks from. Fireworks we were denied somewhat in their first bout when Cuadras' movement played such a major factor in the action.
Thankfully neither man really needs much of an introduction thanks to the fact both have had numerous big bouts available around the world in recent years. But still it is worth quickly looking over what the two men have done, and what they bring to the ring.
The heavy handed Srisaket is a beat of a fighter with a physically imposing style that combines relentless pressure, physical toughness and strength and freakish punching power. At his best he was a total monster, and someone fighters did their best to ignore. He showed how good he was in his prime against Yota Sato, destroying the talented Japanese fighter who retired soon afterwards. He also showed it when he dismantled Jose Salgado. Sadly though his most notable bouts came when he was perhaps on the slide a little bit, with both of his wins over Roman Gonzalez and his win over Juan Francisco Estrada coming after his 30th birthday. He wasn't shot, not by any means, but he was starting to lose something and that became particularly clear when he faced Hiram Irak Diaz, in 2018 just 18 months after the first Gonzalez fight, and against Amnat Ruenroeng in 2020. It's been a slow regression, hidden by his power, but it has been clear for those following him over the last decade or so.
Cuadras on the other hand is more of a boxer-puncher than Srisaket. He's light on his feet and was a very good amateur boxer who has kept much of those amateur skills in his locker. Prior to facing Srisaket he was seen as more of a puncher who could box, and at the time sported a 29-0 (24) record, but in recent years his power has proven to be less effective at the higher levels, but his boxing skills, shot selection, movement and hand speed have all been great weapons for him. Like Srisaket he is best known for his bouts with Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada and sadly like Srisaket his career is certainly winding down his career. He's currently 33 and has gone 4-4 in his last 8 bouts, suffered his sole stoppage loss last time out, to Estrada, and only narrowly squeaked past Jose Maria Cardenas in 2019, in his last win. He looks to have aged, and whilst he put in a great performance against Estrada last year, he was still stoppage in what looks likely to have been one last hurrah from him.
Given both men are past their best, and are likely coming to the end of their careers, which have both been excellent, it can be hard to judge this one. Sadly for Cuadras however we get the feeling this bout is rather personal in the eyes of Srisaket. He will feel that his loss of the title to Cuadras was wrong, and needing to wait so long to get his hands on the Mexican in a rematch would have just infuriated him more. The Thai will be hungry for revenge and that hunger, we feel, will drive him on. Not just to win, but to win quickly than Estrada did, afterall he's hunting another bout with Estrada himself. We suspect a very fired up Srisaket starts fast, looks to bully Cuadras, who will be slower than he was in their first meeting, and will break him down to the body. The Mexican, has lost some of the speed and movement which kept him out of harm at times in their first bout, and that will be a major issue here against the pressure of Srisaket.
We expect to see Cuadras make a fight of it at times, but will be broken down in the middle rounds and stopped as Srisaket becomes the first ever 3 time WBC Super Flyweight champion.
Prediction - TKO7 Srisaket
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.