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Sor Rungvisai removes all doubt, knocks Gonzalez cold


By John J. Raspanti

In the blink of an eye things can change in boxing.


Last March, Roman Gonzalez entered the ring against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai as one of the best fighters in the world. Forty-five minutes later he exited it with his first career loss. Many thought he won the fight, Gonzalez included. He demanded a rematch which went down last night at The StubHub Center in Carson,CA.


In the first round it was apparent that both fighters had changed. Defending WBC super flyweight champion Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 KOs) ozed confidence. Gonzalez, a former four-division titleholder, looked hesitant and unsure. Doubt was written all over his face.


Boxing can be cruelest game. Doubt is a no-no. A fighter has to believe he will win. Gonzalez wasn’t that man any more. Mentally he had checked out. Sor Rungvisai took advantage. He pounded Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) with powerful hooks to the body and head. Gonzalez tried to fight back. He landed a few blows, but Sor Rungvisai ignored them. He was crisp and effective. His punches were harder and straighter.


Gonzalez attempted to pick up the pace. He’s loaded with moxie and pride. In his prime he was never manhandled and outworked. That prime was apparently a few years ago. Round four would be the final nail in the coffin. Sor Rungvisai bounced hard punches off the chin of Gonzalez. The former champion fired back, but less than minute into the stanza, Sor Rungvisai connected with a right hand that floored Gonzalez.


He beat the count but was still hurt. Sor Rungvisai moved after him like an assassin stalking his prey. He let fly with hooks. Another right hand landed on the button. Gonzalez fell as if shot. He rolled over on his back and didn’t move. The referee took one look at the former champion and waved off the match.

The time was 1:18 of round four.


“I trained very hard for four months,” said Sor Rungvisai. ”I fought for Thailand. I knew I would knock him out.”


Gonzalez was whisked from the ring and taken to the hospital for observation. His great career could be over. He had looked ragged in his last two bouts, but this was stunning and definitive.


Sometimes all it takes is one loss.   




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