After earning the lineal flyweight championship in 2014, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KO) has reeled off four straight wins over Top 10 opponents. His next opponent is no different.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KO), also known as Wisaksil Wangek, is the No. 5 Super Flyweight in the world, per TBRB, and challenges Gonzalez for the 115-pound WBC title on March 18 in support of the Middleweight unification between Gennady Golovkin and Danny Jacobs.
Gonzalez has established himself as the pound-for-pound king of boxing for his undefeated ledger across four weight classes. He became the premier Minimumweight on the planet in 2008 by squashing Yutaka Niida; earned the WBA Light Flyweight belt over Manuel “Chango” Vargas three years later; and stopped Akira Yaegashi for the first time ever in 2014 with the undisputed Flyweight title on the line.
His las trip to the ring saw him lift the WBC crown from the undefeated Carlos Cuadras, surpassing his hero Alexis Arguello as the most decorated boxer in Nicaraguan fistic history. The Mexican left Chocolatito’s face swollen, but he could not keep up with the new champion’s two-fisted output. Gonzalez’s punch at 115 pounds did leave a little to be desired after racking up 38 KOs at Flyweight and below.
This weekend presents the Nicaraguan all new sorts of challenges. In addition to his opponent’s heavy hands, Gonzalez is now training out of Costa Rica after his longtime trainer Arnulfo Obando passed away four months ago. Obando had been in charge of his training since 2010. The duo won 22 fights together.
Srisaket has managed an impressive run over the last seven years too. The KO artist out of Thailand has picked up 40 wins during that stretch, only losing to the aforementioned Cuadras. He showed off his power, though, nearly folding Cuadras before losing his belt after an accidental head-butt. His last two bouts may have been over debutants but that is just par for the course in Thailand.
He did, however, earn another crack at the WBC strap with a TKO over former title challenger Jose Salgado. Sor Rungvisai also boasts a stoppage over Yota Sato, a Japanese champion who was on quite the run himself, stringing together a 20-fight win streak including a decision over titlist Kokei Kono.
The contest marks Chocolatito’s second performance at Madison Square Garden and fourth bout stateside. This weekend will actually be the Thai’s first time fighting in the United States. He has never won outside of Thailand, dropping forays into Mexico and thrice in Japan.
Fight fans still have a lot to look forward to between the two. Gonzalez never stops punching, maintaining optimum distance with his balance footwork and Srisaket is a stalking brute who never takes a step backward. Fighting backwards does not fly among his country’s Muay Thai-centric fanbase.
Where the standard American audience is prone to witnessing fencing matches, two international names willing to bang are sure to make new fans of them yet.