Srisaket Sor Rungvisai outpoints game Amnat Ruenroeng over 10 rounds
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai was far from his best, but he overcame a sluggish start and a nasty cut over his right eye to outpoint countryman Amnat Ruenroeng in a 10-round battle of former titleholders.
The scores were 97-94, 96-93, and a puzzling 99-91, all for Sor Rungvisai, who scored his first victory in almost two years.
The bout took place at the Workpoint Studio in Bang Phun, Thailand.
The Ring had it 96-94 for Rungvisai, despite scoring three of the first four rounds for Ruenroeng, a former IBF 112-pound titlist.
Sor Rungvisai and Ruenroeng were initially tabbed to fight on April 4, but the bout was twice postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his most recent outing in April 2019, Sor Rungvisai dropped a unanimous decision, losing his WBC junior bantamweight title and The Ring world championship to Juan Francisco Estrada.
In the first two frames, Ruenroeng (20-4, 6 KOs) used his height and reach to his advantage as Sor Rungvisai got off to a shaky start. The 40-year-old veteran connected with a plethora of counter shots against his opponent who charged recklessly.
A bad clash of heads in the third opened up a nasty cut on Sor Rungvisai’s eyelid, which caused blood to stream down his face for most of the evening. Luckily for Sor Rungvisai, much of the blood flowed outside of the eye.
Sor Rungvisai finally got going in the fifth round and let his hands go against his aging adversary, overwhelming him with sustained pressure and volume.
Ruenroeng landed his fair share of counter shots, but he was being worn down.
By the sixth round, Sor Rungvisai continued to put punches together, forcing Ruenroeng to cover up and fight off his back foot.
Sor Rungvisai repeatedly backed up Ruenroeng in the seventh, firing lefts and rights to the head, and switching downstairs to the body.
Ruenroeng’s age was evident in the eighth round. Sor Rungvisai was beating him to the body, but to his credit, he never stopped firing punches.
It was all Sor Rungvisai in the ninth round as he poured it on a fading Ruenroeng.
In the 10th and final frame, Sor Rungvisai fired combinations on Ruenroeng, who maintained a tight guard to avoid taking excess damage, but he also wasn’t providing much offense to offset Rungvisai’s attack.
But it was Rungvisai who showed incredible tenacity to overcome the deficit on the scorecards and overpower a very game opponent down the stretch.
“I am satisfied with my performance,” said the 33-year-old Sor Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41 KOs). “Thank you to the fans from Thailand and also around the world.
“I would like to (bring) the WBC (junior bantamweight) title back to Thailand. I would like to say a few words to Estrada; we will meet (again).”
It was an easy night’s work for undefeated junior featherweight Chainoi Worawut in the chief support bout.
Worawut improved to 11-0-1 (10 KOs) with a second-round stoppage of Jomar Fajardo.
The 23-year-old Worawut, who is from Bangkok, knocked Fajardo down with a right cross just 30 seconds into the second round.
Fajardo (17-17, 9 KOs), of the Philippines, was able to get up, but when it was time to resume the action, the 28-year-old looked towards his corner. The referee then immediately stopped the fight.
Worawut called out unified 126-pound titleholder and The Ring No. 1 contender Rey Vargas (34-0, 22 KOs), 29, of Mexico.
“Remember my name,” Worawut said. “I will see you soon.”
Worawut, who has knocked out his last seven opponents, is already scheduled to fight again on September 5, when he will square off against 5-9 Joel Kwong.