Rungvisai wins in a thriller over Estrada

By Michael De Vera

INGLEWOOD, California — Rising star Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (45-4-1, 40 KOs) was pushed to the limit on his way to victory over spirited challenger Juan Francisco Estrada (36-3, 25 KOs) in the main event of “Superfly 2” card Saturday night at The Forum here.

Rungvisai, who will turn 32 years old on March 17, withstood the determination of Estrada to retain the WBC superflyweight title for the second time by majority decision over 12 rounds of action.

Judge Cathy Leonard had it close 115-113, contrasting a wide margin verdict of Steve Morrow 117-111 both for Rungvisai. The third judge Dave Moretti had it even 114-114.

Compubox stats provided basis in the close and deadlock tallies of Leonard and Moretti.

Rungvisai connected 194 of 879 punches and 186 of those were power punches.

Estrada connected five punches less than Rungvisai’s with a total of 189 of 671 punches. In power blows, the Thai was better than Estrada’s 147 power shots.

Rungvisai will return to Bangkok, Thailand with $250,000 paycheck, his biggest purse. While Estrada got $100,000.

“Estrada was a very good strong fighter and it was a tough fight,” Sor Rungvisai said after the fight.

Gonzalez refused to accept the decision.

“The people are the judge and you can hear them say that I won,” Estrada said. “And I thought I won the whole time out.”

Rungvisai started strong while Gonzalez controlled most parts of the second half.

“If the judges saw it that way, then that’s the way it is, but I thought I won the majority of the rounds,” said Gonzalez, top ranked in the division.

Both fighters gave everything in the final round to the delight of the fans. Rungvisai was busier when he landed 28 of 112 power punches in the round compare to Estrada’s 26 of 75.

Rungvisai captured the title from then-No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Roman Gonzalez also by majority but better decision in March last year.

Two judges had identical 114-112 tallies in their scorecards both for Rungvisai to dislodge Gonzalez. The third judge had it a useless 113-113 draw.

Gonzalez was down in round one while Rungvisai lost one point in round six for head butting.

In the rematch in September, Rungvisai proved his win was not a fluke after he floored Gonzalez twice to knock him out in the fourth round.