INGLEWOOD, Calif.-A breathless battle for the WBC super flyweight title saw the champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai retain the belt against Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada in blazing fashion on Saturday.
Though the largely partisan crowd of more than 7,800 fans were largely disappointed by the outcome, the fight itself was one for the books.
A small army of fans screamed loudly for Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 39 KOs) as he traded blows incessantly with former light flyweight champion Estrada (36-3, 25 KOs) at the legendary Forum. It was a constant exhibition of granite chins for all 12 rounds.
In back and forth action, the fight saw Sor Rungvisai march forward like a one-man Sherman tank and Estrada maneuver around the big left hand bombs coming his way. And when they landed blows the two super flyweight giants showed why many consider them to have the best chins in the business.
No knockdowns were scored.
A couple of times the lefty-right matchup resulted in each fighter going down when they tripped over each other’s legs, but referee Jack Reiss was on top of the action and seemed to correctly make the proper calls.
The champion from Thailand had one of his best rounds in the fourth when he connected with a left that sent Estrada backward. He seemed slightly perturbed. The 11th round saw Sor Rungvisai connect with the left continuously, but despite the hits, Estrada seemed unfazed.
With the win still seemingly in the balance in the 12th round, both Estrada and Sor Rungvisai didn’t bother with strategy and exchanged liberally with bombs and more bombs. The crowd went wild as each fighter stood his ground and pummeled the other.
At the end the two congratulated each other as the crowd roared. One judge saw it 114-114 and the others saw it 115-113 and 117-111 for Sor Rungvisai. Despite the loss by Estrada, he showed more than enough skills to keep him among the top super flyweights.
“The fight was so incredible. I would love to see a rematch,” said Tom Loeffler of 360 Promotions. “In fact I would like to see another super fly fight card.”
It was Mexico versus Puerto Rico and if you know boxing that usually means war. It was all that in the first six rounds but the Boricua flyweight McWilliams Arroyo (17-3, 14 KOs) was the sharper fighter through 10 rounds to win by majority decision over always popular former world champion Carlos Cuadras (36-3-1, 27 KOs).
Both showed great chins but Arroyo had the better stamina in the fast-paced flyweight battle for the vacant WBC International flyweight title.
“When the opportunity presented itself, I was ready for Cuadras and knew I’d be victorious,” said Arroyo.
IBF flyweight titlist Donnie Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KOs) stopped Argentina’s Juan Carlos Reveco (39-4, 19 KOs) in the seventh round to retain the world title again. After stunning Reveco with a right cross in the sixth, Nietes finished the job at 53 seconds of the seventh round with a four-punch combination to win by knockout.
“I want the biggest fights either at this weight or to move up,” said Nietes.
Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian (16-0, 11 KOs) captured the vacant WBA flyweight world title by unanimous decision over former world champion Brian Viloria (38-6, 22 KOs) by using his speed and an accidental clash of heads. Other than the bloody forehead of Viloria, neither fighter was hurt by the other. But the judges all saw it 118-109 for Dalakian.
“I was never able to fight the way I wanted,” said Viloria who has been fighting professionally since 2000.
Mexico’s Anahi Torres (17-17-1, 12 KOs) showed too much experience in beating the hard-charging Australian Louisa Lawton (7-1, 3 KOs) who was bent on scoring a knockout and paid the price in losing by unanimous decision after eight rounds in the light flyweight bout. Torres, who hails from Mexico City, was extremely accurate with her counter shots and out-boxed Lawton in winning the vacant WBC International title. It was a hard lesson for Lawton who was making her first appearance in the U.S.
A lightweight clash between local fighter Pedro Duran (16-0-3, 13 KOs) and Tijuana’s Enrique Tinoco (16-5-4, 12 KOs) ended in a majority draw after eight back and forth rounds. As their records show, both are accustomed to fighting close rounds. Each absorbed big shots but neither could hurt the other. One judge saw it 77-75 for Duran and two judges saw it 76-76 a draw. Duran fights out of Paramount, Calif.
Mario Ramos towered over Oscar Quezada then lowered the boom on the much smaller featherweight. After two quick knockdowns the fight was over at 2:19 of the first round. Left uppercuts sent Quezada to the floor twice before the fight was stopped by referee Rudy Barragan.
Photo credit: Al Applerose
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