Srisaket Sor Rungvisai doesn’t want to hear any talk of a trilogy among junior bantamweights unless he is directly involved.
The former 115-pound champion from Si Sa Ket, Thailand has long served as the mandatory challenger for WBC and lineal junior bantamweight king Juan Francisco Estrada (42-3, 28KOs). In lieu of enforcing such status, Sor Rungvisai stepped aside to allow Estrada to enter a long-awaited rematch in the form of a WBC/WBA title unification clash with Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (50-3, 41KOs) which took place this past Saturday in Dallas, Texas.
Estrada prevailed by split decision to avenge a Nov. 2012 defeat to Gonzalez, whom many viewers felt once again deserved the nod in their Fight of the Year-level sequel. The scoring controversy was enough to create demand for a third fight, a scenario which the 34-year-old southpaw refuses to support.
“Rungvisai vs Estrada 3 next,” Sor Rungvisai insisted in the aftermath of Estrada’s win. “Then, I will do [a third fight with] Chocolatito right after. “Chocolatito is a legend. He deserves the opportunity.
“But I have been waiting patiently as mandatory challenger for over a year. I did everything I had to do to be here.”
Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43KOs) claimed the WBC junior bantamweight belt with a 12-round decision over Gonzalez, an unbeaten champ and pound-for-pound king at the time of their March 2017 firestorm at Madison Square Garden. As was the case this past weekend, the bout was both an instant classic and one where the final scores were heavily disputed.
Their rematch six months later was far more conclusive, with Sor Rungvisai dishing out a one-sided beatdown en route to a stunning 4th round knockout at the famed StubHub Center (now Dignity Health Sports Park) in Carson, California. Just five months later came true championship lineage following a majority decision win over Estrada in Feb. 2018 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Their April 2019 rematch would also take place at The Forum, with Estrada managing a 12-round unanimous decision.
Sor Rungvisai has since added three more wins—including a 3rd round knockout of countryman Kwanthai Sithmorseng on the eve of Estrada-Gonzalez II—while having made his way to the number-one contender slot in the WBC junior bantamweight rankings.
An agreement was reached last December which called for Sor Rungvisai to get an immediate title fight no matter the outcome of Estrada-Gonzalez II. All he is asking for now is the same courtesy he granted to both of his divisional peers during his own stay atop the division.
“I did three mandatories against Juan Estrada and Chocolatito Gonzalez in two years when I was the champ,” notes Sor Rungvisai. “Estrada has been the champ for two years, and he did zero mandatories.
“I have been waiting for a long time. I did everything I had to do. They got the unification they wanted. Now it is my time.”
The WBC is expected to rule on the situation in the coming days. Gonzalez has called for an immediate rubber match with Estrada, though it will take an official appeal in order for the WBC Board of Governors to formally review and put to a vote.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox