As the long-awaited rematch between Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada approaches, Boxing Social’s Luke G. Williams is revisiting, fight-by-fight, the nine-bout series between Gonzalez, Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras, which has provided boxing fans with a 21st Century equivalent of the 1980s Four Kings series. Today he reexamines the shocking rematch between Gonzalez and Srisaket from 2017…
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai WKO4 Roman Gonzalez, September 9, 2017, California.
After Srisaket’s controversial points victory against Gonzalez in the duo’s first contest, most fans and media entered the StubHub Center anticipating another tight battle.
In the event, this showdown for the WBC super-flyweight title proved a one-sided sensation, with the Thai boxer blowing away his Nicaraguan rival.
Srisaket was the busier fighter from the opening bell, landing big lefts and rights to Chocolatito’s head and body. It was obvious Gonzalez was a little rattled when he complained about the Thai coming in with his head – prompting the champion to shrug his shoulders in a ‘not guilty’ manner.
Chocolatito tried to find his rhythm in round two, but failed to unload his combinations in the smooth way boxing fans had become so accustomed to seeing. Srisaket grunted intimidatingly as he unloaded his heavy, hurtful shots and although Gonzalez scored with a decent right late in the round, Srisaket was clearly outworking him.
In round three, Srisaket looked loose and confident, while Gonzalez was stiff and hesitant. Up close the Thai was bossing matters although Gonzalez did land a stiff right to the body mid round. The crowd responded as the Nicaraguan finally landed some combinations in the final minute of the round, but Srisaket responded with a big left of his own and ended the stanza with a further couple of heavy shots.
Then – in round four – it happened.
A big Srisaket right hook in the first minute dropped Gonzalez heavily. He was up at seven, but clearly unsteady on his feet. Oh so bravely, Chocolatito tried to fire back but a huge flurry from Srisaket, culminating in a massive right hook to the jaw, sent him down again, this time on his back and seemingly unconscious.
After one minute and 18 seconds of round four Srisaket had retained his title in the most devastating manner imaginable.
“I trained really hard for four months,” a jubilant Srisaket told HBO after the fight. “I want every Thai person to know what I came here for. I fought for Thailand, the pride of Thailand, the country of Thailand, this is what I fight for. For the first fight I only trained for two months, for this fight I trained for four months. I knew I was going to knock him out.”
Gonzalez, with consummate grace, later said: “I thought it would be an even match-up. No excuses, he’s a tremendous hard-hitting champion, it was hard to fight him. I worked hard, so no excuses, he beat me fair and square.”
The Nicaraguan icon also vowed he would return to the ring and become a world champion again.
With the memory of his prone form lying on the canvas fresh in our collective minds, few believed that ambition was possible. What fools we were!