DAZN has clearly taken over the SuperFly racket.
The global sports streaming service added an appetizer to a weekend which will feature the most anticipated fight on the 1st quarter schedule. Former lineal 115-pound king Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (49-5-1, 42 KOs) will return to the ring in a battle with countryman and former strawweight titlist Kwanthai Sithmorseng.
The all-Thai super flyweight clash will take place March 13 locally at a venue to be determined in Thailand, airing live March 12 on DAZN (9:30pm ET /6:30pm PT) in the United States. The DAZN telecast comes on the even of the long-awaited rematch between lineal and WBC super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3, 28KOs) and reigning WBA 115-pound titlist Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez, which airs live March 13 on DAZN from a U.S. venue to be determined.
Back-to-back shows on the weekend are not coincidental; Sor Rungvisai is the WBC mandatory contender and—with a win—will face the winner of the Estrada-Gonzalez rematch.
“It’s great to have Srisaket back in action so early in 2021,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, who co-promotes Sor Rungvisai along with WP Boxing. “The Thai star will face the winner of the Estrada-Chocolatito rematch in the fall, so it’s vital that he looks great in his homeland and sends a message to his rivals against a fellow former World champion on this massive weekend of Super-Flyweight action on DAZN.”
Sor Rungvisai (49-5-1, 42KOs) has fought twice since the pandemic, both fights taking place following the end of his lineal 115-pound championship reign. The all-action southpaw from Si Sa Ket, Thailand earned his stripes with a pair of wins over Gonzalez, an unbeaten pound-for-pound king heading into their March 2017 clash which Sor Rungvisai won by a disputed 12-round decision to claim the WBC title.
All doubt was removed in their rematch, where Sor Rungvisai flattened Gonzalez in the 4th round of their Sept. 2017 rematch, which aired live on HBO atop an aptly-named "Superfly" tripleheader. Sor Rungvisai topped the network's second "Superfly" show five months later, outlasting Estrada in their Feb. 2018 war to establish 115-pound championship lineage. Another successful title defense followed before dropping a competitive but clear decision to Estrada in their April 2019 rematch.
Sor Rungvisai has since returned with two wins at home, including a 10-round decision over countryman and former flyweight champ Amnat Ruenroeng in their Thai superfight last August at Workpoint Studio in Bang Phun, Thailand.
The same venue hosted Sor Rungvisai's far more lopsided knockout win over Philippines' Jomar Fajardo last October. Following the win, the now 34-year old former champ once again called for a third fight with either Estrada or Gonzalez. With a win, he will get his wish.
“I cannot wait to fight against the winner of Chocolatito and Estrada later this year to show the world that I am the top fighter in [the] Super Flyweight [division],” notes Sor Rungvisai. “I would like to thank WBC and Eddie Hearn for committing to make this happen next. I will show the world in this fight against Kwanthai Sithmorseng that I am more than ready to face either Chocolatito or Estrada for the third time. I know that Kwanthai is very experienced. He is a former world Champion and also the current Thailand’s champion in Super Flyweight. He cannot be taken lightly, but I will be impressive and I will win by KO.
“It is exciting to be fighting on the same day as Chocolatito vs Estrada as it will be a great set up for our next fight. Thank you Matchroom, DAZN, and WP Boxing for this great opportunity.”
Sithmorseng (50-7-1, 27KOs) comes in overmatched but well-credentialed.
The 38-year old Bangkok-based contender is a former strawweight titlist who has come up short in title bids at junior flyweight versus four-division champion and reigning WBO 115-pound titlist Kazuto Ioka (28-2, 16KOs) and former 108-pound king Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12KOs).
Still, the perceived B-side is appreciative of the opportunity, while hell-bent on destroying future plans.
“Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is the best fighter in Thailand, and he has done a great job for putting Thailand on the global boxing map by knocking out the legendary Roman Gonzalez,” notes Sithmorseng, who is coming off of a knockout win last December in Sara Buri, Thailand. "I have much respect for him, and I also realize that this is such a great opportunity for me to be back at the world stage.
“This can be a life changing opportunity for me. If I beat Rungvisai in this fight, I can get a chance to fight against the top guys in the division in world title fights. I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. I was a world champion once myself and I have long experience in the ring, so Rungvisai cannot intimidate me. I will train very hard to shock the world.”
Unbeaten 122-pound contender Chainoi “Rock Man” Worawut (13-0-1, 12KOs) faces former two-time WBO bantamweight titlist Pungluang Sor Singyu (54-9, 36KOs) in the evening's chief support.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox