FORMER two-time WBC super-flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai remains on course for a shot at his old title later this year.

Headlining a Matchroom and Nakornloung co-promotion at the Workpoint Studio in Bang Phun, Thailand, the heavy-handed southpaw forced his Thai compatriot, Kwanthai Sithmorseng, to retire after three rounds of a scheduled 10-rounder.

The bout opened with both fighters meeting in centre ring and exchanging blows, and neither man demonstrated a particularly sound defence. Srisaket, 34, followed up stiff jabs with arcing hooks to the ribs and corkscrew uppercuts to the jaw. Straight shots penetrated Kwanthai’s guard, as the 38-year-old from Bangkok attempted to stem the flow of punches coming his way by covering up and working his opponent’s midsection.

Although Kwanthai managed to get through with a few right-hand counters, the hits had little effect on Srisaket, who continued to ease himself into the fight by smoothly knitting his strikes together. Planting his feet with every punch thrown, the seasoned Si Sa Ket native calmly went about his business and gradually began to increase the speed and intensity of his attacks.

Switching his assaults from head to body and back again, Srisaket’s thumping two-fisted salvoes generated audible thuds around the arena in round two. Kwanthai tried in vain to protect himself and deter his rival with prodding singles, but the digs lacked spite for the most part.

Raising the tempo further in the third frame, Srisaket backed Kwanthai up to the ropes and pounded him with hurtful hooks both upstairs and down. The ex-WBA strawweight titlist replied with the occasional counterpunch that struck Srisaket, yet the menacing favourite remained unmoved and chillingly expressionless.   

In the closing minute of the session, Kwanthai found himself trapped in the corner and on the receiving end of a sustained bombardment. A trio of stern left uppercuts caused the outgunned veteran to drop down to one knee, where he glanced over at his team with a despondent look on his face.

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
WP Boxing

Despite having to swallow some clean clouts in the final 30 seconds, Kwanthai made it to the bell. However, with his left eye beginning to swell shut, his corner wisely decided to pull him out ahead of the fourth round.      

“I prepared very well for this fight, but I didn’t want to rush it in the early rounds,” Srisaket said afterwards. “I wanted to get some rounds in, in order to be prepared for the big fight later this year.”

The contest that Srisaket is referring to is a clash with unified WBC and WBA super-flyweight king Juan Francisco Estrada. Having defeated Estrada in 2018 and lost to him in 2019, Srisaket looks likely to challenge his former foe in a rubber match next.

“I want the trilogy with Estrada,” the WBC No. 1 contender declared. “I want to fight him one more time.”

THE VERDICT Estrada-Srisaket III would be a welcome addition to the outstanding catalogue of super-flyweight fights in recent years.

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (114 3/4lbs), 50-5-1 (43), w rtd 3 Kwanthai Sithmorseng (115lbs), 50-8-1 (27); Chainoi Worawut (121 3/4lbs), 14-0-1 (12), w pts 10 Pungluang Sor Singyu (127lbs), 54-10 (36); Phongsaphon Panyakum (114 3/4lbs), 12-1 (6), w pts 10 Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (116 3/4lbs), 44-11 (20); Danai Ngiabphukhiaw (110lbs), 8-2 (4), w rsf 3 Saentanong Tor Sirachai (110lbs), 11-10 (6).