HBO results: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai knocks out Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai knocked out Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in the fourth round Saturday night, erasing any memory of their controversial match last March, and perhaps ending the era of a revolutionary fighter whose acclaim brought forth this night billed “SuperFly.”
After already scoring a knockdown in the fourth, Sor Rungvisai, 44-4-1 (40), threw a right hook from his southpaw stance that connected flush on Gonzalez’s chin, slowly folding him to the canvas and sprawled out, while referee Tom Taylor waved the fight off.
A large majority of the 7,418 at the StubHub Center were cheering for the Nicaraguan and fell deftly silent, once realizing their hero was beaten in the worst way.
Gonzalez. 46-2 (38), didn’t look right once the first bell sounded. Maybe the 30-year-old was tentative, considering he was knocked down in the opening round in their first fight, but his creative combinations didn’t start being effective until the second. That said, Sor Rungvisai wasn’t dismayed by them whatsoever. There were even remnants of their first fight in which both clashed heads accidentally and, while none of impacts gashed Gonzalez this time around, his frustration couldn’t be hidden. He was likely more frustrated by the time he started landing solid shots on his Thai opponent, neither of which kept the pressure off, nor overshadowed the shots he was receiving.
Not even after the 15 minutes or so when Gonzalez was evaluated before leaving the ring or after Sor Rungvisai was interviewed by HBO, the saddening shock still loomed. For much longer than that, Sor Rungvisai and his team celebrated by themselves in an empty ring as everyone dragged their feet out of the arena, holding up the WBC super flyweight title he unequivocally defended.
Naoya “The Monster” Inoue forced a stoppage of Antonio Nieves in the co-feature, successfully defending his WBO super flyweight title a sixth time.
“I’m very happy with my performance,” said the Japanese phenom after the win. “(Nieves) was a brave warrior but, tonight, I was too good for him.”
Inoue, 14-0 (12), proved his tremendous power was no myth or hearsay in his United States debut. Particularly his left hook to the body was a thudding blow that resonated through the outdoor arena and, in the fight’s sixth minute, it had Nieves reeling badly.
Nieves 17-2-2 (9), landed a few rights, once reining in his composure in the fourth, but they paled in comparison to Inoue’s power and another body blow forced the challenger to a knee in the fifth. In the fateful sixth, Inoue started toying with Nieves and mocking him to come forward and fight. It was no surprise after that round that Nieves’ corner informed referee Dr. Lou Moret that they were done.
In the opening bout of the HBO tripleheader, Juan Francisco Estrada edged Carlos Cuadras with three unanimous scores of 114-113 but that wasn’t was thought to be the case, when the scores were first announced.
Veteran ring announcer Michael Buffer originally announced Cuadras as the winner of the bout and, in the middle of “El Prinicipe’s” celebration, announced he had made an error: Estrada was favored in those scores.
“I’m glad they got the scores correct and I didn’t get robbed,” said Estrada afterward, while Cuadras sang to a much different tune: “I can’t believe this happened again. I won the fight.”
Estrada, 36-2 (25), got off to a slow start, thanks to the busy body in front of him. Cuadras, 36-2-1 (27), was fighting his type of fight in he first half, one in which he was able to move freely around the ring and pump his jab often without much retaliation.
“He surprised me, fast hands, but, once I figured him out, I was landing at will. I felt I won the last six or seven rounds,” said Estrada.
The Mexican from Hermosillo, Sonora, slowly started to turn the tide in the fifth round, once he started timing Cuadras with his left hand. Often times throwing a hooking uppercut with that hand, the shots touched Cuadras’ body but more effectively found his chin. Middle rounds were close with plenty of fine exchanges that brought the crowd to its feet but just by the body language from Cuadras revealed Estrada landed the more important shots. In he 10th, a right hand dropped Cuadras to the mat for a knockdown, rendering his foot movement inert, making him easier to hit until the end.
The scores told the story of a close fight, which it was, but Buffer’s confusion added uneccessary drama. With this being a WBC super flyweight title eliminator, Estrada now becomes the mandatory opponent for Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Brian Viloria earned a fifth round stoppage win over Miguel Cartagena. Viloria, 38-5 (23), was stunned in the first round but was relentless in his attack to force a stoppage with Cartagena, 15-4-1 (6), on his feet.
Lightweight Ruslan Madiev methodically beat down Abdiel Ramirez for eight rounds to earn a unanimous decision win (80-72, 79-73 twice). Trained by Abel Sanchez in Big Bear, California, Madiev, 10-0 (4), didn’t mind standing in the pocket and trading with Ramirez, 23-2-1 (21).
Female junior flyweight prospect Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada outclassed Anahi Torres for eight rounds to win a shutout unanimous decision (by unanimous scores of 80-72). Fighting out of East Los Angeles, California, Estrada, 11-0 (2), was able to quickly put together combinations that Torres, 16-17-1 (2), couldn’t keep up with.
Junior welterweight George Acosta easily outboxed Derick Bartlemay to receive a shutout unanimous decision victory. Acosta, 3-0, a lightweight out of Whittier, California, put on a performance that earned him a score of 40-36 on all three judges’ scorecards and Bartlemay, 0-6-2, just couldn’t get out of the way of Acosta’s right hands for the entirety of the 12 minutes.
In the opening bout, by lead promoter K2 Promotions, Nick Frese earned a unanimous decision over Nam Phan with scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37 after four rounds of welterweight action. Frese, 6-0 (5), had to work for the win to remain undefeated, as Phan, 3-3-1 (2), willingly brought a pressing pace but couldn’t match the amount of punches he absorbed.