It was a super-close, ultra-competitive, gory spectacle between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and pound-for-pound #1 Roman Gonzalez, but in the end Saturday night, probably the wrong guy won, as Rungvisai took Gonzalez’s undefeated record by decision.
The scorecards going to Rungvisai tarnished what was an extraordinarily awesome battle, one of the bloodiest fights you’ll ever see.
It began with Rungvisai scoring a right hand body shot knockdown, only the second knockdown of Gonzalez’s career. By the 3rd round Gonzalez was bleeding badly along his right eye, thanks to a head butt. The early rounds suggested Gonzalez, at age 30 and not the powerhouse puncher at 115 pounds he was in lower divisions, might just have met his match against a hard-hitting lefty.
But Gonzalez has been the king for a reason. And he suddenly ratcheted up the volume to 11, throwing endless combinations. And all those head butts ended up costing Rungvisai a point in the 7th.
Just when it seemed Gonzalez had it under control, though, Rungvisai — whose single punches were harder — got it back together. The two traded rounds to the finale, with the 10th a true swing round. But Rungvisai seemed to give away the 12th with holding and moving. HBO’s Harold Lederman scored it 114-112, as did this writer.
The judges had it 113-113 (viable) and 114-112 twice for Rungvisai, suggesting all the blood that enshrouded Gonzalez’s face swayed them.
It’s the kind of fight that leaves you amazed, disappointed and confused all at once. It probably deserves a rematch, after Gonzalez’s competitor in his most recent, close, amazing battle — Carlos Cuadras — had a subpar showing against David Carmona on the pay-per-view undercard.