Srisaket Sor Rungvisai notches fourth tune-up win of 2023, future unclear
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (54-6-1, 45 KOs) marked his fourth appearance in the squared circle this year at the Suan Lum Night Bazaar in Bangkok on Saturday. The 36-year-old southpaw faced off against veteran journeyman Sukpraserd Ponpitak (28-18, 20 KOs) in a scheduled six-round bout.
The fight commenced with the former Ring/WBC champion exerting significant pressure on Ponpitak, delivering powerful blows to both the body and head of his compatriot. In the second round, Ponpitak appeared to find his rhythm, landing a significant right hook that didn’t seem to faze Sor Rungvisai but certainly captured the crowd’s attention.
Sor Rungvisai persisted in pressuring Ponpitak, who began to find some success by maintaining distance and employing lateral movement to evade Sor Rungvisai’s dominant hand. Utilizing a swift jab, Ponpitak made the champion pivot.
The bout oscillated back and forth, resembling more of a sparring session for the former champion. Despite Ponpitak’s efforts, Sor Rungvisai appeared unfazed by his opponent’s power, seemingly focused on gaining rounds.
At the onset of the fifth round, it appeared that Ponpitak injured his shoulder. Although the Thai veteran attempted to rise from his stool, he was unable to continue, prompting the fight to be called off at the start of the 5th round. A member of Ponpitak’s team mentioned the Thai journeyman’s active year, which encompassed five fights, including matches in Dubai and Japan, and a 10-round encounter with Thai powerhouse and WBC-ranked No. 4 junior featherweight Thattana Luangphon (23-0-1). Ponpitak boasts an impressive resume, having shared the ring with notable names such as Yukinori Oguni, Billy Dib, Mark Magsayo and many others. The crafty journeyman consistently delivers an entertaining fight.
Sor Rungvisai, now ranked sixth in the Ring magazine ratings in the junior bantamweight division, seems to be approaching the twilight of his career. Since his dramatic loss to Jesse Rodriguez in 2022, the southpaw veteran has engaged in four tune-up fights in his home country of Thailand. While there’s been interest expressed by Eddie Hearn in arranging a match between Sor Rungvisai and Galal Yafai on December 16, Sor Rungvisai’s plans remain uncertain.
Additionally on the card, former WBC bantamweight title challenger Nawaphon Kaikanha (59-3-1, 48 KOs), made a comeback after his loss in a WBC bantamweight eliminator to Vincent Astrolabio (19-4, 14 KOs) two months ago at the same venue. On Saturday, he faced Kittipong Jareonroy (3-11-1, 1 KO) in a six-round bout, securing a knockdown in the fifth round and then coasting to a unanimous decision victory. Kaikanha is now ranked ninth in the junior featherweight division by the WBC.
The Bangkok event also featured a WBC Asia featherweight title match between Sathaporn Saart (11-1, 8 KOs) from Northeast Thailand. He clinched the victory with a stoppage victory in the sixth round against Indian boxer Dharmender (9-3, 5 KOs) in a highly entertaining and fast-paced bout.