By Carlos Costa
Thailand vs Japan in world title boxing once again. The storied friendly boxing rivalry between the Thailand and Japan gets a new exciting chapter when hard-hitting world-rated Thai fighter Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (18-3-1, 17 KO’s) challenges tall speedster WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Yota Sato (26-2-1, 12 KO’s) of Japan this Friday (May 3) at Khonmuangsri Stadium in Si Sa Ket, Kingdom of Thailand.
The fight is a presentation of 24-year-old Thai promoter Thainchai Pisitwuttinan, the youngest man ever to promote a boxing world championship fight.
For the fast Yota Sato, 29, the fight will be his third world title defense and the first time that he fights outside of his native Japan.
Incidentally, Yota Sato captured the WBC world title in March of last year by outsmarting Srisaket’s best friend and stable mate, Surigyan Sor Rungvisai (25-5-1, 10 KO’s), who will fight in the undercard against unheralded Filipino veteran Edison Berwela (11-26-5, 2 KO’s).
Sato's defenses have been victories by points against Filipino Sylvester Lopez (20-4-2, 15 KO's) and fellow Japanese Ryo Akaho (19-1-2, 12 KO's)
The orthodox Yota Sato does not seem to have a devastating power punch. But he makes up with quick effective hands, a mortifying left jab and smart moves combined with a brilliant footwork.
The Yota Sato is handled by active Japanese promoter Keiichiro Kanehira, director of the influential Kyoei Promotions, and trained by experience man boxing Seiji Shinoda.
“Our fighter Yota Sato’s defense is way too thick. He is way ahead in defense and in good boxing skills. After three days in Thailand he feels great and motivation could not be better. Sato's third child was born yesterday. Yota Sato wants to go back home to meet his newborn baby with his world champion belt. He is happy. But also focused on the game. We will keep the belt you see in this photo,” said coach Seiji Shinoda of Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.
In contrast, the much shorter and less experienced challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, 26, who has never fought a warrior of the height, quality and experience of Yota Sato, will have no other choice but to be an effective aggressor. His best bet is to look for the inside fight and aim at a victory by knockout.
“Srisaket is in the best condition in his life and a victory Friday could change his life. He knows it. So he has trained hard at Nakornloung Boxing Gym in Nonthaburi under the eye of veteran Thai coach Chokchai Pisitwuttinan, a former fighter himself.
“Srisaket is in good shape and will go at Yota Sato to dethrone him. He wants to become the new world champion for his family and for Thailand,” commented Srisaket’s promoter Thainchai Pisitwuttinan of Bangkok.
The Yota Sato-Srisaket Sor Rungvisa for the WBC Super Flyweight World Title will be in the afternoon hours in Thailand (a new for Yota Sato who is used to fight in the evenings) and is scheduled to be broadcast LIVE in Thailand and Japan.