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Who’s the man? Srisaket Sor Rungvisai predicts Juan Francisco Estrada-Roman Gonzalez 2 outcome

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Photo by Ed Mulholland/ Matchroom Boxing USA
08
Mar

This Friday, former two-time WBC junior bantamweight titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai will stay busy against countryman Kwanthai Sithmorseng before tuning in to watch old rivals Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez clash in their eagerly anticipated rematch on Saturday.

Sor Rungvisai, who is rated No. 1 by The Ring at 115 pounds, has fought both men twice.

In March 2017, the Thai power-puncher stunned then-pound-for-pound king Gonzalez by majority decision to regain the WBC junior bantamweight title. He repeated that triumph, six months later, sensationally knocking out the Nicaraguan legend in four rounds.

Sor Rungvisai added the vacant Ring Magazine 115-pound championship, when he held off Estrada to win a majority decision in February 2018. In the rematch, staged 14 months later, a combination of Estrada getting off to a faster start and Sor Rungvisai curiously electing to fight in an orthodox stance instead of his natural southpaw position aided Estrada in exacting revenge via unanimous decision.



Although the 34-year-old is eager to face the winner, he recognizes the value in both fighters meeting again.

“The rematch will be a great fight for sure,” Sor Rungvisai told The Ring through Janatha Laksanasompong. “It’s a unification [fight] between [Ring Magazine and] WBC world champion [Estrada] and WBA world champion [Gonzalez], which is great. I believe this fight is going to be more competitive than their first fight.

“The winner has to fight me next. It will be a good chance for me to be unified world champion. I cannot wait to fight either Chocolatito or Estrada, later this year, to show the world that I am the top fighter at junior bantamweight.”

When Sor Rungvisai assesses the fight, he feels Estrada’s conditioning will be sternly tested and that the Mexican has to use his small advantages to the best of his ability.

“Estrada has to be very fit,” Sor Rungvisai explained. “Against Chocolatito, it’s a tough fight. I’m sure it will be 12 rounds of non-stop action. Whoever prepares best will be the winner of this fight.

“I think Estrada is faster than Chocolatito, and he has good counterpunches and long-range punches. He should fight from distance against Chocolatito.”

Sor Rungvisai (right in both shots) mixes it with Gonzalez (top) and Estrada.

Sor Rungvisai feels there are two things that Gonzalez must do to be victorious.

“He has to be fit and keep his tank always full,” said the former titleholder. “I’m sure this fight will be a long road trip for them. I believe it will end with a decision. If Chocolatito can maintain his energy efficiently and be aggressive, he can give Estrada a problem.

“Secondly, he has to stay close to Estrada as much as possible and try to throw multiple punches and combinations. I think this should not be any problem for Chocolatito because he’s good at it.”

Sor Rungvisai believes Estrada has to be weary of a few things.

“Chocolatito does very well at cutting off the ring and has dangerous body punches,” he explained. “Like I said earlier, Estrada has to try to keep the distance and move fast.”

Sor Rungvisai says Gonzalez has to be very aware of Estrada’s sharp-shooting skills.

“Estrada’s counterpunch is no joke,” he said. “It’s very sharp and accurate.”

Sor Rungvisai broke down each fighter in 10 key categories:

JAB
Estrada: Estrada has the best jab and the speed of his jab is very fast. His jabs can do damage.

DEFENSE
Gonzalez: I actually think Chocolatito has good defense even though he fights [coming] forward. He always keeps his hand up and blocks punches.

HANDSPEED
Gonzalez: It’s a close one. It looks like Estrada has good handspeed because he seems to look faster than Chocolatito. But I still believe Chocolatito has better handspeed, especially when he is throwing the combinations.

FOOTWORK
Estrada: With his style and lots of amateur experience, Estrada has better footwork. Side-to-side and rolling movements that are used as a defense to avoid punches.

SMARTEST
Gonzalez: [This] is close. I think they are both very smart boxers. But if I have to choose one, it will be Chocolatito. I feel like Chocolatito is calmer in the ring; he sticks with the game plan. Conversely, Estrada seems to look hot-headed when he gets hit and he usually tries to hit back immediately.

STRONGEST
Gonzalez: I think Chocolatito is both mentally and physically stronger than Estrada.

POWER
Gonzalez: In the first fight between me and Chocolatito, he landed the body shot with real power. It hurt me a lot.

CHIN
Estrada: I think Estrada has a solid chin. He took my punches very well.

SKILLS
Estrada: I think Estrada because he came from amateur boxing. He has good technique and skills.

OVERALL
It’s hard to say who is better. Both are extremely good in different aspects, so I think it depends on who can make the opponent fight [his fight]. Sorry, I cannot pick who is better.

Sor Rungvisai goes back and forth and believes the fight will be won by the slimmest of margins.

“It will be a very close fight,” he said. “They both are legendary, pound for pound, top boxers. I think the one who is most prepared with the best condition will win this fight.

“I really don’t know who to pick, and I am not confident on who will win. But given that it is a requirement to pick one name out of the two, I will pick Chocolatito to win by decision.”

Estrada-Gonzalez 2, plus world championship undercard action, will be broadcast live by DAZN in the U.S. and in the U.K.

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright

 

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