In a battle of big punchers, WBC Super Flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez found his match in Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai who upset the odds by scoring a majority decision from the judges at ringside of 114-112 (twice) and 113-113 at Madison Square Garden.
The fight was never going to be an easy defence which got harder still for Gonzalez in the first as Srisaket put out his signal of intent, dropping Chocolatito with a hard body shot. Gonzalez made it to his feet by the count of eight and fought off the now marauding challenger to close the round with the look of concern from the champion’s corner.
The ensuing rounds brought with it back and forth action from both men, an accidental headbutt in the third opened a cut over the right eye of Gonzalez which hindered his vision, often dabbing his eye throughout the round in a bid to remove the blood.
Both men continued the non-stop assault in a show of power in the fourth round before another accidental headbutt from Srisaket Sor Rungvisai brought a warning from the referee.
Gonzalez undeterred continued to land heavy artillery on the challenger in the seventh before the third headbutt from Srisket brought with it a one-point deduction from referee Steve Willis, the effects from the clash of heads was etched on the face of Gonzalez who stood in the natural corner with blood flowing.
Gonzalez perhaps knowing he needed something big from the championship rounds started to land more repeatedly but Srisket showed a tremendous chin in his first outing in the United States as the crowd at the MSG stood in adulation, both men laying everything on the line in the final round which momentarily had Willis looking for a response from Srisket which came abruptly as he finished the round strong.
A chorus of boos rang out with the announcement of the winner with controversy the feeling of many around the boxing media as a new champion was crowned
“I’m a little dinged up,” Gonzalez said through a translator. “I thought I won the fight. I want an immediate rematch. I want to get my title back.”
“I want to thank the fans in Thailand for sending me encouragement and I was able to do it because of all of their encouragement,” an elated Sor Rungvisai said through a translator. “At this point, after winning this fight, I believe I can take on anyone, including a rematch with him. I have to admit he is a very good fighter and he would not give up.”