CARSON, Ca.-No doubt who was the winner this time as Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai knocked out Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez to keep the WBC super flyweight title on Saturday before a shocked crowd including many Nicaraguan fans.
Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs) proved before a crowd of more than 7,000 fans at the StubHub Center that the world title he took from the Nicaraguan warrior six months ago was not a fluke. It was emphatically proven.
“In the first fight he won the first fight controversially,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions who promoted the event. “In the rematch he won convincingly.”
Back in March many felt the Thai fighter benefited from a clash of heads that opened up some ghastly cuts on Gonzalez and ended up winning by unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This time punches decided the issue.
From the opening round Sor Rungvisai looked calm and deadly. Though Gonzalez was a lot more eager this time around, the Thai fighter seemed confident he was the stronger fighter.
Both exchanged for three rounds with back and forth results. But in the fourth round Sor Rungvisai exchanged with Gonzalez and caught him in between punches with a perfect right hook and down went the Nicaraguan. Gonzalez beat the count but seemed dazed. He re-entered the engagement and during another exchange of punches another right hook connected with even more brutal impact. Down went Gonzalez for the last time at 1:18 of the fourth round as referee Tom Taylor stopped the fight. Gonzalez was on the ground for more than two minutes but was able to stand on his own feet.
“We were both trading punches,” said Gonzalez. “His were a lot harder…I was very hurt in the second knockdown.”
The WBC champion Sor Rungvisai felt he was going to return to his country with the title all along.
“I knew I was going to knock him out,” Sor Rungvisai said. “I’ll fight whoever.”
Naoya “Monster” Inoue (14-0, 12 KOs) stopped Antonio Nieves (17-2-2, 9 KOs) at the end of the sixth round to win by knockout and retain the WBO super flyweight title in his American debut.
It was American fans first opportunity to see what all the hoopla was about concerning Inoue. They saw the lightning fast hands and relentless pursuit by the champion who was constantly in gear for a knockout from the opening bell.
The end could have come sooner when the Japanese slugger hurt Nieves with a volley of blows, but the sound of the timekeeper’s wooden block confused Inoue and he pivoted and walked toward his corner with seconds to spare. That allowed the Cleveland fighter to escape.
For the next three rounds Nieves was in a defensive mode and rarely fired back on the fast-pursuing Inoue. The Japanese fighter seemed impatient for a firefight but never found one. But he did find a weak spot when he attacked the body of Nieves. Several blistering left hooks connected with Nieves taking a knee. He survived the round by racing away from any contact.
In the sixth round Inoue was in full contact mode but Nieves was in full retreat. The Japanese warrior put his hands up in the air and challenged Nieves to exchange. But the challenger remained in full retreat until the end of the round. His own corner wisely told referee Lou Moret to halt the fight. Inoue was the winner by knockout for the first time in the U.S. before hundreds of Japanese fans carrying flags and banners.
“He was a brave warrior but I was too strong for him,” said Inoue. “I’m very happy to fight in the United States. I want to return as soon as possible.”
Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) scored a critical knockdown in the 10th round with a follow up right cross that dropped Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs) and gave him the margin of victory by unanimous decision.
In a sensational fight that changed momentum every four rounds Estrada was called the winner. At first announcer Michael Buffer erroneously called Cuadras the winner. But all three judges had it 114-113 for Estrada. Many in media row scored it the exact same.
Brian Viloria (38-5, 23 KOs) won a slugfest by knockout in the fifth round over Miguel Cartagena (15-4-1, 6 KOs) that started with a bang and ended with a bang at 44 seconds of the fifth round in a light flyweight encounter. Big right hands in the fourth round by Viloria, a former two-division world champion, staggered Cartagena who never went down but was unsteady on his legs until the fight was stopped by referee Raul Caiz.
Kazakhstan’s Ruslan Madiyev (10-0, 4 KOs) pounded out a unanimous decision victory over Mexico’s Abdiel Ramirez (23-2-1, 21 KOs) after eight rounds in a lightweight clash. There were no knockdowns in the fight dominated by Madiyev’s overhand rights.
Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (11-0) dominated Mexico’s Anahi Torres (16-17-1) round after round with her speed and three-punch combinations. Both light flyweights were eager to hit the body but it was Estrada who connected and often. Midway through the fight Estrada was connecting with five-punch combos and Torres seemed unable to locate the fleet fighter. After eight one-sided rounds Estrada was the easy winner 80-72 on all three cards.
George Acosta (3-0) defeated Derick Bartlemay (0-6-1) by unanimous decision after four rounds of a lightweight match.
Nick Frese (6-0) defeated Nam Phan (3-3-1) by decision after four rounds in a welterweight match.
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