By Jake Donovan
In a bout that guaranteed a second shot at Carlos Cuadras and a junior bantamweight title for the winner, it was Srisaket Sor Rungvisai who gets the return go. The former titlist became the mandatory challenger following a savage 4th round knockout of Jose Salgado in their title eliminator Thursday afternoon in Thailand.
A series of left hands left Salgado defenseless, with a final right hook from Sor Rungvisai producing the knockdown and prompting the referee to immediately halt the contest.
Sor Rungvisai (34-4-1, 31KOs) has now won seven straight - including six consecutive knockouts since losing the belt to Cuadras a year ago, almost to the day. Salgado (34-3-2, 27KOs) is now winless in his past two starts, having entered the bout on the heels of a technical draw versus Cuadras in their title fight last September.
For as often as Sor Rungvisai fights, he only has two official title fight wins to his name. The Thai southpaw won a 115 lb. belt more than two years ago, stopping Japan's Yota Sato in eight rounds. Eight wins followed, though only one official title defense - a 9th round stoppage of Hirofumi Mukai in Nov. '13 - with four more stay-busy knockout wins before falling short to Cuadras.
The end to his title reign was anti-climactic, fighting on competitive terms in his lone career bout outside of Asia. The bout was stopped after eight ronds due to an accidental clash of heads leaving Cuadras with a gusher of a cut and deemed unfit to continue.
Cuadras' first title defense ended in similar fashion, only it was Salgado who was cut and unable to continue with less than a minute to go in the 4th round of their clash last September.
Sor Rungvisai hasn't stopped fighting since then, racking up seven wins in the span of eight momths dating back to last September.
While Cuadras is the champ, plans for call for an aggressive push by Sor Rungvisai's backers to bring the fight to Asia. Negotiations are due to begin in the near future, although there stands a good chance of the bout heading to a purse bid.
The title eliminator between Sor Rungvisai and Salgado aired live on Channel 7 in Thailand, and also streamed live on
the network's website
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox