Boxing News and Views’ Peter Wells is back this week with his official Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Estrada preview and prediction.
Apart from a stoppage of Jose Salgado and a points loss to Carlos Cuadras, the career of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai can be practically ignored up until the start of 2017.
The Thailand man had fought and beaten a host of debutants and fighters with losing records in his home country, and when he was picked out to fight the pound-for-pound number 1 fighter Roman Gonzalez, it was simply a formality.
But that infamous night in March went wrong for so many who had believed the unbeaten Gonzalez would take his already brilliant career to the next level as a mainstream star.
Those dreams were damaged by a majority decision in favour of the new WBC Super Flyweight champion. They were then utterly dismantled when Rungvisai ruined a confidence-lacking ‘Chocolatito’ in 4 rounds later that year.
The revenge mission was laid to rest, and promoters took the positives from promoting a new star in boxing’s most exciting division.
This card labelled ‘SuperFly 2’ will yet again lift the lighter weight classes into the light, highlighting where casual fight fans searching for blood and guts wars should be looking.
Rungvisai 44-4-1(40KO’s) will now put his own future on the line against a man who has been for years just one step behind Gonzalez. It is not the revenge mission he hoped for, but Juan Francisco Estrada now has his shot at taking over as the man in the Super Flyweight division.
Estrada 36-2(25KO’s) lacked the necessary experience when he lost on points to Gonzalez in 2012, but he has since brushed aside the likes of Brian Viloria, Milan Melindo, Giovani Segura, Hernan Marquez and last time out Cuadras.
His win over Cuadras was tight, but his countryman is an elite fighter himself, and the victory should hold him in great stead coming into a bout between two of the world’s best.
He may be the slightly shorter of the two, but Rungvisai is the naturally bigger. That was what separated him from the brilliance of Gonzalez, but one has to wonder if he can do the same to Estrada.
Gonzalez had been as low as Minimumweight, while Estrada has been more or less a career Flyweight, moving up in search of more belts in 2014.
He is also three years the junior of Roman, and four years younger than Rungvisai. These are all factors to suggest that this is the Thai’s biggest test – and not the man he has just beaten in back-to-back fights.
Rungvisai holds a ridiculously high energy, and as a proud Mexican it is a tempo and output that Estrada will find hard to resist going head-to-head with.
But if he wants to avoid the same fate as Gonzalez, then he must hold back and let his powerful fists do their damage from range, stepping out at angles and countering Rungvisai from there.
Estrada’s reach can counter Rungvisai’s speed, and with this he can take the fight from Rungvisai in a thrilling encounter.
It has excitement written all over it, and the Mexican seems to have the edge in most departments. But no matter what stage he was at in his career, besting Gonzalez twice is no mean feat, and takes a special talent to achieve it.
Rungvisai has power to burn, and that will be too much for Estrada down the stretch. He will not go down easily, but with such a frantic pace Rungvisai’s naturally heavier hands will force the brave Estrada down in the final three rounds of an early candidate for fight of the year.
With the final verdict still in the balance, Estrada will rise only to be floored again before he is stopped by the referee in the 11th.