The fight between former two-time junior bantamweight world titlist Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Thai countryman and former flyweight world titlist Amnat Ruenroeng has been rescheduled again.
The 10-round bout will take place Aug. 1 at the Work Point Studios in Bang Phun, Thailand. The fight is contracted at 120 pounds, Bank Thainchai Pisitwuttinan of promoter WP Boxing told BoxingScene.com on Friday.
The fight has been postponed twice previously due to the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, Sor Rungvisai and Ruenroeng were due to meet on April 4. Then the fight was rescheduled for May 2 but delayed again. Now, with the coronavirus infections easing in the country, the fight is back on but, as previously scheduled, it will take place without spectators.
Sor Rungvisai, a Thailand national hero best known for his two high-profile victories in junior bantamweight world title fights against Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in 2017, has not fought since losing his 115-pound world title by competitive unanimous decision to Juan Francisco Estrada in an action-packed rematch in April 2019 on DAZN at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Sor Rungvisai (47-5-1, 41 KOs), 33, is hoping that a win over Ruenroeng will set him up for a third fight with Mexico’s 30-year-old Estrada (40-3, 27 KOs), whom he outpointed by majority decision to retain the title in their first meeting in February 2018, also at The Forum.
“This is a very important fight for (Sor Rungvisai) because not only does he need the win to proceed to the trilogy with Juan Francisco Estrada but he also wants to make a statement to the world that he is here among the top fighters of the division,” Pisitwuttinan said to BoxingScene.com.
“He is now the mandatory challenger for Estrada, so that is his target. After that, there would be more great fights possible for him at super flyweight, such as a trilogy with Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.
“Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is one of the top fighters in the world in super flyweight, and there are great opportunities waiting for him. But first, he knows that he needs to beat Amnat Ruenroeng impressively on Aug. 1, and that is where his focus is at.”
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who co-promotes Sor Rungvisai and Estrada and promoted Gonzalez’s last bout, is hoping to next match Estrada and four-division world champion Gonzalez in a rematch of their classic 2012 battle, when Gonzalez won by decision to retain his junior flyweight world title. Gonzalez-Estrada II would be a unification bout because Nicaraguan legend Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KOs), 33, won another world title on Feb. 29 when he demolished then-undefeated Kal Yafai in a ninth-round knockout victory.
With a win on Aug. 1, Sor Rungvisai would be in position to next face the winner of the proposed Estrada-Gonzalez fight.
Ruenroeng (20-3, 6 KOs), 40, won a flyweight world title in 2014 and made five successful defenses before losing the belt by fourth-round knockout to John Riel Casimero in a 2016 rematch of a previous Ruenroeng unanimous decision victory.
Ruenroeng has won two fights in a row and was also one of the professionals who competed in the 2016 Olympics.
“Given that the fight (was) postponed earlier, Amnat could have longer and better camp to prepare for the fight,” Pisitwuttinan said. “He has been having a full training camp for several months to prepare for this fight. He mentioned that he is even more prepared now than when he was preparing for some world title fights back when he was an IBF world champion. Amnat Ruenroeng is extremely skillful, so he will be very dangerous when he is 100 percent prepared.
“He also has a lot of experience fighting at the highest level. For example, he beat top fighters like Zou Shiming, Kazuto Ioka and McWilliams Arroyo and fought with current (bantamweight) world champion John Riel Casimero twice, going 1-1. He fought at the top level in Muay Thai before and also went to Olympics. Given his experience, I do not think he will be scared or even nervous fighting against Rungvisai.”
Pisitwuttinan said be believes the chance for Ruenroeng to ruin Sor Rungvisai’s plans -- as well as to put himself in position for a possible title opportunity -- will make him a dangerous foe.
“Amnat told us and the press that he wants to have another shot at the world title,” Pisitwuttinan said. “Winning against Rungvisai will open the door for future big world title fight for him. So, I believe he is very motivated for this fight. With the level of motivation, preparation, and skill of Amnat, I think this will be a dangerous fight for Rungvisai. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai definitely cannot take Amnat Ruenroeng lightly.
“This fight will also be interesting style-wise. Amnat is one of the most tactical and skillful boxers in Thai history. Rungvisai has one of the most powerful punches we have ever seen in Thailand. It will be a clash of two Thai legends who have opposite styles. I think it will be another classic fight for Thailand and Asia.”
Work Point also announced a show for July 25, which will also take place at its studios. The main event of that card is slated to be a regional bantamweight title bout between former flyweight world title challenger Nawaphon Kaikanha (48-1-1, 38 KOs) and Suradech Ruhasiri (6-2, 5 KOs).
Dan Rafael was ESPN.com's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.