Boxing: Fight Week Preview
By Gary Kittilsen
After a quiet week of prizefighting with no major televised cards on either side of the Atlantic as world championship-caliber boxing returns to not just the US but other areas of the globe as well.
The action kicks off Friday night in Pathum Thani, Thailand, as a national hero, and former WBC super-flyweight world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai returns to the ring. The now 24-year-old former champion has fought twice since losing his world title to Juan Francisco Estrada back in 2019, taking a UD over former flyweight champ Amnat Ruenroeng and stopping journeyman Jomar Fajardo over two-lopsided rounds.
Rungvisai will battle former minimumweight world titleholder Ekkawit Songnui. Songnui took home the WBA belt back in 2010 when he outpointed Wicha Phulaikhao. Singuni, who sports an impressive record of 50-7-1 (27), has dropped his two subsequent world title fights. He was stopped by Kaz Ioka in 2013 and was again stopped in a world title bid against Ryoichi Taguchi in 2015.
The action moves to the USA, two future hall of famers and two of the best little men of the era battle for not just the WBA and WBC super-flyweight title but for legacy as well. As the winner of this fight will likely be remembered as the best little man of his era. As WBC champ Juan Francisco Estrada battles WBA champ Ramon “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in a rematch of their epic 2012 showdown, in which Chocolatito took a highly competitive decision at the Sports Arena in Los Angelas, California.
Francisco has gone on to build a hall of fame caliber resume beating the likes of, Brian Villora, Giovani Segura, Carlos Cuadras twice as well as exacting revenge on Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Chocolatito has been in the pound-for-pound discussion for years. Having accumulated a 50-2 record. and capturing titles in four weight division, the world champ started off his career 46-0 before losing back-to-back fights to Sor Rungvisai. He has however bounced back capturing the WBA belt from Kal Yafai in February of 2020. A belt he has successfully defended once, against Israel Gonzalez back in October.
The card features two other world title fights as WBA junior-flyweight champ Hiroto Kyoguchi battles. Axel Aragon Vega. Kyoguchi won the belt back on New Year’s Eve 2018 when he stopped Hekkie Budler. He defended his title twice in 2019 but has been inactive due to the pandemic for the past 17-months.
Axel Aragon Vega is largely unknown and sports an unspectacular record of 14-3-1 but is coming off of a career-best win when he dominated Saul Juarez over 10 one-sided rounds back in August in Kissimmee, Florida. The third-world title match is a rematch of last year’s stunning upset as Jessica McCaskill puts all four major women’s welterweight belts on the line against the legendary Cecilia Braekhus. McCaskill dethroned the legendary “First Lady” and handed her the first loss of her career in August of 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The weekend’s action concludes on the other major US boxing card which takes place in Uncasville, Connecticut. As former two-time super-middleweight champ David Benaivadez returns to the ring to face off with the battle-tested Ronald Ellis.
The-31-year-old Ellis touts an 18-1-2 record and has strung together two excellent victories in a row. Outpointing Immanuel Aleem in December of 2019 and then stopped the elusive Matvey Korobov in four rounds in 2020. Benavidez at just 24-years-old is a two-time former world champ who has twice captured and relinquished the WBC super-middleweight crown without ever losing it in the ring.
Benavidez forfeited his belt when he missed weight for his fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo last August and had it stripped by the WBC in December of 2018 when he failed a drug test.
The co-feature features The IBF’s top-ranked lightweight Isaac Cruz (20-1-1, 15 KO) who battles undefeated Argentinean Jose Matias Romero. Romero, a late replacement steps for Jon Fernandez who hails from Spain, but due to last-minute Visa issues is unable to fight.
Cruz is coming off a career-best one-round destruction of Diego Magdaleno back on October,31 in San Antonio, Texas on the Davis-Santa Cruz card. Romero has compiled a very impressive 24-0 record but against largely unknown competition.