Saturday night marked the return of fan favorite and highly regarded fighter, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs). Gonzalez made his comeback against top 10 fighter and contender, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs).
The fight promised fans excitement and drama and it surely delivered.
Both fighters came out swinging after the opening bell and began to give fans a show. Midway into the opening round, a right hand just below the armpit of Gonzalez sent him to the canvas temporarily. Gonzalez had not seen the canvas in over 10 years.
Round 2 saw the action continue with Rungvisai pressing towards the pound-for-pound favorite. Gonzalez would return fire and land his fair share of blows, despite being cornered at times. The first of many accidental headbutts would come in the third round and leave a nice sized cut above Gonzalez’s right eyebrow.
After the cut opened, Gonzalez turned it up a notch and began to land punches often and with more authority than Rungvisai. Rungvisai, for whatever reason, fought much of the rounds with his hands low enough for Gonzalez to land at will.
Although the blood trickled profusely down the face of Chocolatito, it didn’t seem to phase the onslaught of punches from landing. Most rounds had the crowd cheering and praising the fighters for the action put on in the ring.
Going into the closing rounds, Gonzalez would switch to a more calculated boxing style but in the 12th, it was bombs away for Chocolatito. Gonzalez threw just about every combination known to boxing at his opponent, to the point where Rungvisai had to literally jog away from the Nicaraguan.
The fight was easily a Fight of the Year candidate and unfortunately, ended in a controversial decision. Rungvisai won a majority decision over Gonzalez to the surprise of many fans and even HBO commentators. Scores were 114-112, 114-112 and 113-113.
While I maintain that Gonzalez did enough to win the bout, credit does go to Rungvisai for surviving the fight. By the end of the night, Gonzalez had landed 441 punches to Rungvisai’s 284. The fight was certainly worth the watch and most definitely worth a rematch.
Header photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing