NEW YORK — Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai stunned previously unbeaten Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, knocking down the Nicaraguan in the first round, bloodying his face with an unintentional head-butt in the third, then winning a majority decision for the WBC super flyweight championship Saturday night.
Even though Sor Rungvisai was docked a point in the sixth round for another head-butt – there were several in the brutal bout – he never backed off. He relentlessly attacked the cut over the right eye of Gonzalez, who clearly was hampered by the blood streaming down his face. The challenger carried the fight in the eyes’ of the judges through the latter rounds.
In only his second fight outside Asia, Sor Rungvisai improved to 42-4-1 with 38 knockouts. Gonzalez, considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, is 46-1.
One judge had the fight even at 113-113. The other two gave the Thai the nod 114-112 in the action-packed bout on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-Danny Jacobs middleweight unification bout.
A sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden vigorously booed the decision.
The AP had it 115-113 for Gonzalez, who has held some sort of world title since 2008.
Gonzalez went down from a hard right to the body in the opening round, but he then took charge — even after his face turned to a bloody mask in the middle rounds. However, Sor Rungvisai landed enough punches and moved well enough to keep in it.
And then, despite being outpunched decisively, with Gonzalez landing 441 to 284, the Thai got the surprise decision.
Earlier, Carlos Cuadras outpointed fellow Mexican David Carmona in a super flyweight fight.
Both from Mexico City, Cuadras and Carmona were coming off defeats. Neither was particularly sharp Saturday night, and the decision drew a lusty round of boos from the crowd.
Perhaps the unorthodox manner in which Cuadras fought, at times looking off-balance and awkward, didn’t win over the fans. Or maybe it was the way Carmona came on late in the 10-rounder.
Regardless, the judges went for Cuadras 97-93, 97-93 and 96-94.
Cuadras (36-1-1 with 27 KOs) lost a close unanimous decision to Gonzalez in a sensational September matchup for the WBC belt he’d held since 2014. He wasn’t nearly as impressive in his win at the Garden.
Carmona (20-4-5) was also coming off a loss, to WBO world champion Naoya Inoue of Japan.
Cleveland’s Ryan Martin improved to 18-0 with 11 knockouts when he totally outmatched Bryant Cruz before stopping him in the seventh round of their lightweight bout.
Story: Barry Wilner