We've long said that the Super Flyweight division is the best in the sport, and today we saw another great Super Flyweight bout, as Nicaraguan great Roman Gonzalez (46-1, 38) traded blows with Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (42-4-1, 38) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น] in a bout for the WBC title.
The Thai entered the bout as a massive under-dog, though looked calm and relaxed as he entered, whilst Gonzalez looked like a worried man, despite being a massive favourite. From the opening round it was clear that Srisaket hadn't read the script and he took the fight Gonzalez and scored a knockdown in the opening round. It wasn't a massively hurtful knockdown but it was one that seemed to essentially say, “I'm not here to make up the numbers”.
The Thai showed his firepower again in the second round as he backed up Gonzalez and seemed to hurt the Nicaraguan sensation, who simply looked over-whelmed, over-sized and under-powered. Gonzalez had his moments towards the end of round 2, but they weren't enough to get the round.
Things went from bad to worse for Gonzalez who managed to move through the gears in round 3 but was left with a cut from an accidental headclash, one of many to occur during the fight. Although cut it was clear that Gonzalez was finding his groove, despite Srisaket smelling the blood of the Nicaraguan.
Gonzalez was backed up early in round 4 but really showed his class as he took the fight back to Srisaket and landed some shots that would have felled most fighters in the division. It was only Srisaket's incredible chin that seemed to keep him upright. Gonzalez, now having the bit between his teeth, had a great round 5 and round 6 as he took on Srisaket in a war, and seemed to badly hurt the Thai in round 6, the best round for Gonzalez. Not only was Srisaket hurt but he also had a point deduction after another clash of heads. Although the heads were clashing the deduction seemed a harsh one with neither man really to blame, and the heads coming together was more a stance thing than an actual malicious act.
Despite having lost the sixth round 10-8, and being hurt, Srisaket bounced back to win round 7, hurting Gonzalez late in a round that was one of the best of the year, with both fighters trading through out. The traded again in round 8, with Srisaket starting well and bullying Gonzalez at times before being rocked late in the round
Unfortunately for Gonzalez the bleeding from the cut and the size disadvantage was taking it's toll, and although he had hurt Srisaket a couple of times he could never force the Thai down, like he had been able to do with foes earlier in his career. Instead Srisaket just out muscled Gonzalez, ate his bombs and regularly spat them out before firing back, using his natural size advantage.
Going into the championship rounds it seemed that Srisaket may have just been in the lead, and both looked exhausted. Srisaket however relied on his size again to force Gonzalez back for most of round 11, taking the round despite a real spirit fight back by Gonzalez late on. It seemed, in his head, that Srisaket believed he had done enough and he essentially did nothing in round 12, a round that seemed like it could be important. It was a round that Gonzalez took, and took clearly with Srisaket holding and spoiling. It could have cost the Thai.
As we got to the score-cards the were announced 113-113, a draw, and 114-112, twice. It seemed close enough to have gone either way. Then it was announced that Srisaket had got the win, securing one of the biggest upsets of the year, and becoming a 2-time world champion.
Although size was clearly a factor, and the cut for Gonzalez, the reality is that the result essentially proves that Gonzalez's move to Super Flyweight wasn't the smartes. Srisaket is a huge Super Flyweight, but he was made to look even bigger due to the fact Gonzalez wasn't a natural at the weight, and that showed through out the fight. For Gonzalez the future is hard to call, a move to 112lbs, if his body can do that, would be best, a rematch would likely be damaging, and staying at 115lbs for a bout with Naoya Inoue has now lost it's shine, sadly. For Srisaket a bout with Inoue,a rematch with Cuadras or with Gonzalez are all going to be big money bouts, and great fights for fans.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.