Srisaket edges Estrada to retain WBC crown

Source:AFP Published: 2018/2/25 21:43:40

Thai dynamo Srisaket Sor Rungvisai retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) title by beating challenger Juan Estrada on Saturday, holding on in the later rounds to come out with a close majority decision.

Srisaket compiled a big lead by winning almost all of the first seven rounds in the 12-round super flyweight title fight at the Los Angeles Forum.

But the hard-hitting 31-year-old couldn't get the knockout he was hoping for against the Mexican.

Srisaket, who improved to 45-4-1 with 40 knockouts, won by a score of 117-111 on one judge's card. Another judge had him winning 115-113 and Las Vegas judge Dave Moretti scored it a draw, 114-114.

Still, the victory was impressive enough to validate his status as a bona fide star in the super flyweight division, especially after beating former champ Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez twice in 2017.

The pair traded heavy punches in the middle of the ring on Saturday throughout the thrilling fight, especially at the end of the first and fifth rounds. Srisaket, a southpaw, threw 879 punches overall while the challenger threw 671.

The hard-punching Srisaket built up points by dominating the early rounds of a fight that showcased their contrasting but effective boxing styles.

Estrada served notice in the second round that he wasn't going to let Srisaket impose his will on him, by landing two solid punches near the end to win that round.

In the fourth, Srisaket landed a bomb on the nose of Estrada to send him staggering backwards toward the ropes.

Srisaket excelled through the middle rounds but something happened in the eighth that turned the momentum in Estrada's favour. Realizing he hadn't done enough in the early rounds to win without a knockout, Estrada went to work, dancing around the ring and counterpunching effectively.

This was the first fight of 2018 for the former garbage collector Srisaket after a spectacular 2017.

His two wins over Gonzalez gained him plenty of attention and respect, as his rags-to-riches story prompted comparisons to Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao.

Posted in: BOXING

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