By Jim Dower, first uploaded on Boxing News 24.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1 39 KOs))and Roman Gonzalez (46-1 38 KOs) both weighed in successfully for their rematch this Saturday night in the SuperFly card on HBO Championship Boxing at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The televised portion of the SuperFly card on HBO has a start time at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.
(Photo/Tom Hogan, K2 Promotions)
Rungvisai weighed in at 115 lbs. right on the super flyweight limit. Gonzalez, 30, weighed slightly less at 114.8 lbs. Gonzalez wants to avenge his loss earlier this year to Rungvisai on March 18. Gonzalez lost a 12 round majority decision, but he thinks he should have won. The judges had the final say so unfortunately.
Rungvisai, 30, will be defending his World Boxing Council super flyweight title. He’s been very confident ever since the rematch has been made. Looking at the body language of the two fighters, Rungvisai seems like he’s got an edge on Gonzalez. Ever since his win over Gonzalez last April, Rungvisai has been on top of the world. Rungivisai has been very friendly with Gonzalez, but the Nicaraguan fighter still seems upset about his loss. It’s obviously been a hard pill for “Chocolatito” to swallow, as he’s always had things his way in his fights during his career. He moved up a little too far in weight for his limited body size to dominate.
It was clear in Gonzalez’s first fight at super flyweight against Carlos Cuadras that he doesn’t have the size to be a dominant force in this division. Gonzalez won a very close 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111. However, Gonzalez took a terrible beating from Cuadras despite getting the victory. Gonzalez was not used to taking that much punishment in his fights, but it wasn’t surprising. Cuadras looked like a lightweight after rehydrating. He looked considerably heavier than Gonzalez. It was the same thing for Gonzalez against Rungvisai. He was outsized when the stepped foot inside the ring for the fight against the Thailand fighter.
As expected, Rungvisai and Gonzalez were both in top shape. Like in the previous fight, Rungvisai looked like the bigger guy. Gonzalez does not quite look like a true super flyweight in size. If he loses this fight too, he might need to come to terms in realizing finally that he just doesn’t belong in the 115 lb. division. The guys are too big for Gonzalez after they rehydrate. Gonzalez weighs in at the same as his opponents in the super flyweight division, but when he gets inside the ring, it’s clear that he doesn’t have the same size as the fighters in this division. A loss for Gonzalez on Saturday would be a good attention getter to make him realize that this is not a good division for him. Gonzalez has captured world titles in 4 divisions during his career. He dominated each division until moving up to super flyweight.
In the co-feature, WBO super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (13-0, 11 KOs) weighed in at 115 lbs. for his title defense against Antonio Nieves (17-1-2, 9 KOs). For his part, Nieves weighed in at 113.8 lbs. This is not a good match-up. You can say that Inoue vs. Nieves should be the third fight from the main event rather than the co-feature due to the poor quality of the opponent for Inoue. It wouldn’t make sense though for contenders Carlos Cuadras and Juan Francisco Estrada to be the co-feature bout, considering that neither of them are world champions any longer. However, their fight promises to be a much better match than the Inoue vs. Nieves fight.
Roman Gonzalez is interested in facing Inoue in a unification match if he wins back his WBC 115 lb. title. Inoue, 24, might be the best fighter in the super flyweight division today. We’ll find out for sure once he gets inside the ring with the winner of the Gonzalez vs. Rungvisai fight in the near future. Inoue can do it all – box, punch, move and defend. Gonzalez will need a good game plan for him to get past Inoue if the two of them ever face each other. Nieves, 30, is not an ideal opponent for Inoue to be fighting, as he was beaten in his last fight by Nikolai Potapov by a 10 round split decision on March 10 of this year. It’s unclear why Inoue decided to defend his title against a fighter that was just beaten in Nieves, 30, rather than one of the other contenders that has been winning lately. That’s the strange thing about boxing. You can champions picking out guys that are coming off of defeats or guys that have been struggling in their recent fights. It boils down to champions and their promoters not wanting to take chances with their careers by facing the best.
Former WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1-1, 27 KOs) weighed in at 114.6 lbs., and his opponent former WBA/WBO flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (35-2, 25 KOs) weighed in at 114.8 lbs. Cuadras-Estrada are fighting in a WBC 115 lb. title eliminator. The winner of the fight will be the WBC mandatory challenger to the winner of the Gonzalez vs. Rungvisai fight. Cuadras vs. Estrada is the opening fight on the HBO card.
Estrada, 27, vacated his flyweight titles in 2016 and moved up to super flyweight seeking bigger and better things for his career. He’s since won twice at super flyweight in beating Raymond Tabugon and Anuar Salas. This is a good weight class for Estrada, as he’s fought well since moving up in weight last year. Estrada hasn’t lost a fight in 5 years since losing to Roman Gonzalez by a close 12 round unanimous decision on November 17, 2012. That was a long time ago.
Estrada wanted a rematch with Gonzalez, but he opted not to give him one. If Estrada can beat Cuadras and Gonzalez defeat Rungvisai, then there’s a chance that we could see Estrada face Gonzalez in a rematch. However, if Gonzalez faces Inoue, then Estrada still may not get the rematch, especially if Gonzalez gets beaten. Estrada has won his last 9 fights since his loss to Gonzalez.
Earlier in Estrada’s career, he was beaten by Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. by an 8 round unanimous decision on May 14, 2011. Estrada would later come back and defeat Sanchez Jr. by a 10th round knockout in their rematch on December 17, 2011. Estrada is the favorite to defeat the 29-year-old Cuadras, who looked really bad in winning a controversial 10 round unanimous decision over David Carmona in his last fight on March 18 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Cuadras and Estrada both have something in common in that both guys have lost to Roman Gonzalez in the past, and both want to avenge their defeats against him.