By Sean Jones, first uploaded onBoxin News 24.
HBO commentator Jim Lampley says Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will never come back from his 4th round knockout loss to WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai after losing to the knockout artist last Saturday night in a fight televised by HBO World Championship Boxing from the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
It was a vicious knockout for Gonzalez, who put down with a sledgehammer right hand from Rungvisai for the second and final knockdown of round 4. Before the 2 knockdowns, Gonzalez was getting pummeled by Rungvisai in the first 3 rounds of the fight. The impact from the blows that Rungvisai was landing was like listening to firecrackers going off inside the StubHub. Rungvisai has got amazing power for fighter so small. Rungvisai is like Gennady Golovkin with the way he punches above his weight. You could tell from the sound of Rungvisai’s punches landing that Gonzalez was not going to go the distance last Saturday night.
“No,” said Lampley when asked if Chocolatito will ever be able come back from the loss to Rungvisai. “You’ll never be able to hear Chocolatito’s name again without someone Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. That’s the cruelty of boxing.”
It’s more than judge the boxing fans mentioning Rungvisai’s name each time Chocolatito’s name is mentioned. Coming back from 2 beat downs like Gonzalez suffered against Rungvisai is going to be next to impossible for him to do. He looks like a shot fighter right now. Gonzalez is still young at 30, but he didn’t fight like a young guy last Saturday. He fought like he was tentative, and had lost his confidence.
The only way Gonzalez could come back from something like this is if he was mentally strong, and he was willing to swallow his pride and move down to 105, 108 or 112 to fight in one of those divisions. He doesn’t belong at 115. That division is now ruled by Rungvisai. He’s clearly the kind. Naoya Inoue is moving up in weight to bantamweight at 118. He’s not going to fight Rungvisai for whatever reason.
“You could tell from the first one that obviously he wasn’t the same guy, and that it was only a matter of time,” said Lampley about Gonzalez after his first knockdown in round 4 last Saturday night. “They both may be 30-years-old, but he’s not the same 30. So Rungvisai will probably take a fight against Estrada. That’s not saying that Estrada can deal with him any better than Chocolatito did. The question is how long can he stay away from [Naoya] Inoue, because Inoue is one of those spectacular talents,” said Lampley.
Lampley needs to flip his question around about him saying how long can Rungvisai stay away from Inoue. It’s Inoue that is talking about wanting to move out of the 115-lb. division, not Rungvisai. Before last Saturday’s Rungvisai-Gonzalez fight, Inoue wanted to fight Gonzalez if he won the fight. Now that Gonzalez has lot, you would think that Inoue would want to do the right thing and face Rungvisai to show that he can beat the guy that twice defeated Gonzalez. It doesn’t look like Inoue is going to take that fight. The question you must ask is why would Inoue want to move up to bantamweight without first fighting Rungvisai? Is it fear?
Rungvisai the newest star in boxing
Right now, Rungvisai appears to have taken Gonzalez’s place as the newest star in boxing from the 115-lb. division. That’s not a knock-on Inoue, but Rungvisai’s last 2 wins over Chocolatito were much bigger victories than Inoue’s recent wins over Antonio Nieves and Ricardo Rodriguez (16-3). Nieves was coming off a loss in his last fight before facing Inoue. Rungvisai is the new star, and HBO will likely be televising his fights after this. Inoue moving out of the 115-lb. weight class without fighting Rungvisai, it looks like bad to me. I don’t know how you can interpret that move on Inoue’s part without seeing it as a ducking move on his part. I’m sure HBO would love for Inoue to take the fight with Rungvisai, but they can’t force him to. If Inoue doesn’t fancy the idea of fighting Rungvisai, then he can’t be dragged into the ring with the Thailand fighter kicking and screaming. You can bet that if Rungvisai was offered the Inoue fight, he would take it in a heartbeat. I can’t see Rungvisai moving up in weight without fighting Inoue. That doesn’t seem like Rungvisai’s style.
Gonzalez isn’t fighting like someone that is the same age as Rungvisai right now. He’s fighting like a guy that is in his mid-30s, and that’s unwelcome news for him. The smaller fighters in boxing tend to have careers that don’t last long compared to the larger guys in the heavier weight classes.
“I was very confident before I got in the ring that I would win,” said Ringvisai to Fighthub. “I knew after the first fight that I would win again. Yes, I would like to fight in the U.S as much as possible. I’m starting to feel like this is my second home,” said Rungvisai.
HBO has another Golovkin-like star on their hands with Rungvisai. Like I said before, Rungvisai has huge power in both hands, and he goes to war to with everyone he faces. He’s very entertaining to watch, and I can’t see him losing to anyone for a long time. Rungvisai’s last defeat was to Carlos Cuadras, and that an 8 round technical decision defeat. Cuadras suffered a cut in the 8th round, causing the fight to go to the scorecards. Rungvisai was taking over the fight at the time. The cut was arguably something that saved Cuadras. He looked tired. If Cuadras and Rungvisai were to face each other today, I think Caudras would be knocked out.