Story: Jeff Sorby
WBC super flyweight world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 KOs) dealt former multiple world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) a terrible defeat in knocking him out in the 4th round on Saturday night in the main event of the “SuperFly” Card on HBO Championship Boxing at the Stub Hub Center in Carson. California.
Rungvisai was hitting Gonzalez at will with huge power shots in rounds 1-3. In the 4th, Rungvisai knocked Gonzalez down hard with a big shot to the head. Gonzalez got back up but was quickly knocked down a second time.
This time there would be no getting back up for “Chocolatito,” as the referee Tom Taylor stopped the fight at 1:18. Gonzalez was not going to be able to get back up to continue fighting even if he wanted to. He was hurt, lying on his back and staring up at the ceiling.
There was nothing competitive about the fight. Rungvisai was unloading on Gonzalez in the first 3 rounds, and making a lot of noise each time he would land. The impact of Rungvisai’s shots to the head of Gonzalez was brutal. Rungvisai was hitting Gonzalez with shots that you would expect from a lightweight, not a super flyweight. But in looking at how big Rungvisai was after he rehydrated, he looked like a lightweight
For his part, Gonzalez still looked like a guy that belongs in the flyweight division. He was too small to be inside the ring with Rungvisai, and it was the same situation in the first fight. The fact that Gonzalez was able to hang with Rungvisai and lose a 12 round decision last March in fight No.1 between them is a testament to the huge talent of Gonzalez. But it was a size mismatch.
The victory for Rungvisai, 30, closes the show for the 2-fights between him and Gonzalez once and for all, I hope. Rungvisai needs to move on to face guys that are more his size at super flyweight like WBO super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue. Juan Francisco Estrada is now Rungvisai’s mandatory challenger after he beat Carlos Cuadras tonight. He’s an option for Rungvisai as well. I think the fans would like to see a unification fight between Rungvisai and Inoue. I’m not sure if Inoue’s management is interested in a fight against Rungvisai. It would have been better or Inoue if Gonzalez had beaten Rungvisai, as he’s a bigger name than Rungvisai. Gonzalez vs. Inoue would play out well in Tokyo, Japan. I don’t think Inoue-Rungvisai is nearly as big.
Gonzalez’s next move with his boxing career will be interesting to see. I don’t know what he’s going to do. If he stays at 115, he’ll likely get bludgeoned by the bigger fighters in this weight class no matter who he faces. If Gonzalez moves back down to the flyweight division, he could do well, as long as his punch resistance is still there. You never know. Gonzalez took a career’s worth of hard shots in his last 3 fights against Rungvisai and Cuadras. It was not a smart move on Gonzalez’s part to move up to super flyweight. Hopefully, it’s not too late for him to realize that mistake and move back down to 112.
Former WBA/WBO flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) overcame a slow start to come on in the second half of the contest to defeat former WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California.
The win for Estrada, 27, makes him the No.1 WBC mandatory challenger to WBC 115 lb. champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. As good as Rungvisai looked tonight, Estrada might be better off moving back down to 112 and picking up where he left off in beating all comers.
The 3 judges scored the fight 114-113, 114-113 and 114-113, all for Estrada. It was definitely a close fight. Cuadras looked very good in the first quarter of the fight. He was too big, too strong and too active for Estrada during those rounds. If Cuadras had continued to fight at that level, he would have won the fight with ease. However, Cuadras started to tire in round 5, and Estrada was able to come on and take over the fight.
After the fight, the ringside announcer goofed up and announced that Cuadras had won the fight. The boxing crowd at the Stub Hub Center hated the decision, and they booed loudly. Cuadras was jubilant at thing he won the fight. He went to all around the ring, waving to the boxing fans in the crowd.
It was pretty funny when the ringside announcer corrected his mistake and said that Estrada was the winner. Poor Cuadras looked like he lost his best friend. He looked miserable. I don’t know how Cuadras could think he won the fight, as he was knocked down in round 10 by a hard-right hand from Estrada and dominated in the entire second half of the fight.
Cuadras did fight remarkably well in rounds 1 through 4. But starting in the 5th, you could see that Cuadras was tired, and unable to fight Estrada off. Estrada was attacking Cuadras constantly in the last 9 rounds.
Estrada didn’t always get the better of the action though. I thought Cuadras fought well enough to win rounds 9 and 12. It was pretty close as far as the rounds won by both fighters. The main difference in the fight was the knockdown. That really saved Estrada from losing the fight is he didn’t get the knockdown in round 10m he surely would have come up empty.
Estrada will need to make a lot of improvements in his game if he wants to beat Rungvisai, because right now he looks too small and weak to do the job.
WBO super flyweight world champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue (14-0, 12 KOs) easily took care of Antonio “Carita” Nieves (17-2-2, 9 KOs) in beating him by a 6th round retirement stoppage on Saturday night on the “SuperFly” card at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California.
Nieves’ corner let the referee know after round 6 that he wouldn’t be coming out for the 7th. Inoue knocked Nieves down in round 5 with a shot to the midsection. Nieves took a knee and beat the count. Inoue continued to try and go after Nieves to knock him out, but he did a good job of moving to keep out of range.
Inoue was stocking Nieves throughout the ring in rounds 1-5, landing hard body shots, hooks, right hands and jabs. Nieves couldn’t stand his ground
In round 6, Inoue hit Nieves with some tremendous shots, but somehow he was able to make it through the round. It was surprising though, because Nieves was taking a really bad beating and offering next to nothing back. Inoue was visibly upset with Nieves’ reluctance to stand and fight him.
Twice during the round, Inoue stopped and stood in the center of the ring, motioning for Nieves to come to him and fight. Inoue held his arms out in frustration. Nieves just looked at Inoue, and continued to move around the ring to try and survive. Near the end of the round, Nieves clinched Inoue. This didn’t go to well with Inoue, who made a face and wriggled out of the clinch with an annoyed look on his face. Inoue made it clear that he doesn’t like clinching.
At the end of the round, Nieves’ corner let the referee Lou Moret know that they wanted the fight to be stopped. The official time of the stoppage was at 3:00 of round 6.
The only negative that I saw in Inoue’s game was his defense. He gets hit. Nieves was able to hit him a number of times with his shots, but he didn’t have the power to hurt him. If Inoue faces someone with power and size like Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, I think he’d have some major problems.
Inoue needs to fight better opposition than Nieves. This was a poor fight for the boxing fans to watch. Nieves didn’t have the talent, power or the defensive skills to hang with Inoue in this fight. It was hard to watch the fight due to how one-sided it was. Inoue needs to push his promoters to face WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai next. That’s a good match-up. Rungvisai has the punching power to give Inoue big problems. I’m not sure if Inoue’s management will want to make that fight.