It’s a busy weekend for boxing, but the biggest fight comes Friday night, when true Spuer Flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1; 40 KOs) once again defends his 115 lbs. titles against Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3; 26 KOs). These two first fought in February 2018 with Srisaket taking the majority decision win. Rungvisai vs. Estrada 2 takes place this Friday, April 26 and airs live on DAZN with a fight time of 7:30 p.m. ET.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
- Two year rise - It’s hard to come up with another boxer that has had as impressive a rise in the past two years. Two years ago, Srisaket was largely unknown. Then, he was tapped as the challenger to then pound for pound king Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez. Few expected him to win. But he did, in a close, somewhat controversial decision. To erase any doubts, the two rematched, and this time, the Thai fighter knocked him out violently in round 4. He’s 3-0 since and has risen to #8 on the Ring pound for pound list.
- Early losses - Srisaket holds 4 losses, but it’s a weird record if you dig in. He started his career a rather terrible 1-3-1. But starting in 2010, he’s been on an amazing 46-1 run. That 1 loss was in 2014 against the very talented Carlos Cuadras - no shame there. So yes, he’s the only pound for pound top 10 fighter with more than one loss to his name, but it’s probably not worth putting much weight on those early fights.
- Longevity?- This is his 53rd pro fight. That’s a lot of fights. But he’s also been a pro for just barely over a decade and is only 32 years old. Many fighters don’t reach these kinds of numbers in their career, or when they do, they are close to the end (Chocolatito himself had 46 fights when the wheels came off against Srisaket). I haven’t seen signs of him slowing in fights, but it’s worth asking the question.
- Challengers - Super Flyweight doesn’t carry a ton of name recognition fighters, but there are a lot of very interesting challengers still out there for Srisaket should he get past Estrada. Donnie Nietes, Khalid Yafai, and Kazuto Ioka are all top quality fights to consider. I’m interested to see how long he can stay at the top of this mountain.
- Back in the US - Aside from the two Chocolatito fights and the first Estrada fight, all of Srisaket’s fights since the Cuadras loss have been in his native Thailand against less impressive opposition. He’s back to the US and a true challenge here.
Juan Francisco Estrada
- Srisaket and Chocolatito - Since 2011, Estrada has lost to just two men: Srisaket and Chocolatito. Because of that, he’s been consistently in the top 3 of the division since it really started heating up a few years ago, and is currently only behind the champ.
- Leaving Mexico - Like Srisaket, Estrada has many fights in his native country, and many that aren’t worth mentioning. He made the move to fighting in the US in 2017, but unlike Srisaket, he’s never looked back. He’s 3-1 here in that time (the one being to the champ), which includes a big win over Carlos Cuadras.
- So close - Estrada was so very close to defeating Srisaket in their first fight. The scores were 117-111 (too wide a margin), 115-113, 114-114 giving the Thai fighter the majority decision win. A few minor changes, and Estrada walks away the champion there, which is exactly what he hopes to see happen this time.
- Flyweight King - In 2013, Estrada became king of the 112 lbs. Flyweight division, winning both the WBA and WBO titles. He never lost those, instead vacating them when he moved up in weight in 2016.
This is just a fantastic fight - the top two in the division again doing battle to determine who is truly the better man. It’s a very tough fight to pick as well; odds have Srisaket as the very minor favorite at -140 to +110 for Estrada. I will admit that I have underrated Srisaket throughout his run, and I may be doing so again, but I like the resiliency of Estrada to take a lot of late rounds and let him pull ahead for a close win.
Prediction: Juan Francisco Estrada, SD