Srisaket Sor Rungvisai made his mark as one of the best boxers on the planet in sensational style.
For starters, he won the WBC Super Flyweight World Title by defeating the consensus pound-for-pound best boxer in the world in one of 2017’s best bouts.
He followed that up with one of the knockouts of the year to defend his belt, and then a victory in another toe-to-toe showdown to capture the lineal and The Ring Super Flyweight Titles.
The Thai superstar will defend his WBC belt for the second time on Saturday, 8 October, in Bangkok, Thailand’s Impact Arena against Iran “MagnifiKO” Diaz.
Ahead of his main event match-up in the biggest blockbuster event in ONE Championship history, ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES, see how Srisaket won his way into the record books.
Srisaket VS Chocolatito I
This was the bout that made Srisaket a two-time WBC Super Flyweight World Champion – in stunning circumstances last March.
Though he had won 41 of his last 42 bouts, he was up against the man who was considered by much of the boxing world to be the top practitioner of the sweet science on the planet – Román “Chocolatito” González.
The power-punching Nicaraguan was a four-division World Champion with a perfect 46-0 record at the time, and a huge favorite in New York City’s famous Madison Square Garden.
However, he was on the canvas for only the second time in his career in the first round after feeling the force of Srisaket’s right hand.
That lit a fire underneath the champion, who came out of his corner for the second round determined to get back in the contest. He started throwing hard blows, but Srisaket stood his ground and battled back.
From then on, both athletes took turns to wade through offense and land their own devastating shots – that would have finished many other boxers – or stand toe-to-toe, chins down, and let rip with thunderous strikes.
“Chocolatito” landed with force, as well as significantly greater frequency and accuracy, but the Thai’s power made up for that deficit as they tussled for 12 relentless rounds while the crowd rose to its feet in appreciation.
After 36 minutes of action, the judges turned in scorecards in favor of Srisaket by the narrowest of margins – a 113-113, 114-112, 114-112 majority decision. This rivalry was not over.
Srisaket VS Chocolatito II
Their first contest was close and could have gone either way, leading to a rematch a few months later in September of 2017.
If there was any doubt about the result of the first bout, there was absolutely none when they met again at the StubHub Center, in Carson, California.
This time, Srisaket’s power was too much for González, who was overwhelmed and knocked out inside four rounds.
Just like the first time, the Thai athlete started strong, but on this occasion, there was no rally from “Chocolatito.” Srisaket would not be moved by his punches – standing firm and unloading with his explosive hands.
González went down first off a right hook. He beat the referee’s count, but looked to be on shaky legs. It was the beginning of the end. He had no more answer for Srisaket, who floored him again at the 1:18 mark.
This time, the referee did not even count, and waved off the bout immediately. Boxing had a new global superstar.
Srisaket VS Estrada
Srisaket’s legend grew when he faced Juan Francisco Estrada in his next bout, which took place in February at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
The Mexican was a former flyweight world champion, and his top-class credentials were on display as he used his counter striking to combat the champion’s usual forceful offense.
However, Srisaket adapted to his opponent and succeeded in skilfully picking his shots to deal damage – though he sacrificed none of his power to do so.
The contest ended with one of the most remarkable 12th rounds of 2018, as both men met in the middle of the ring and threw bombs until the final bell.
When the action was over, the officials scored another close contest 114-114, 115-113, and 117-111 to give Srisaket a hard-earned majority decision, as well as the lineal and The Ring super flyweight titles.
Estrada has since teamed up with Diaz to support him in his training camp for 6 October. If “MagnifiKO” can take anything from his compatriot and deliver this kind of performance, Srisaket will be in for a huge challenge, and fans could see one of the best bouts of the year.