By Francisco Salazar
CARSON - Wow.
'SuperFly' was something else. It lived up to and exceeded expectations boxing scribes and fans had, especially if you did not expect the main event to conclude the way it did.
The fighter known as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (also known as Wisaksil Wangek) scored an emphatic one-punch knockout victory over Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez before a stunned crowd of 7,418 at the Stubhub Center in Carson.
Here are some of my thoughts from the entire card ..
- Credit to Sor Rungvisai. The Thai fighter earned a meager wage as a trash collector year ago. Now he is a national hero in Thailand and he may be the best fighter at 115 pounds, considering he does have two victories over Gonzalez, albeit many believe Gonzalez did enough to defeat Sor Rungvisai in the first fight. Seriously, someone could make a movie of Sor Rungvisai's life, especially from his humble beginnings.
Sor Rungvisai is now mandated to face Juan Francisco Estrada. Sign me up for that fight.
- While Sor Rungvisai receives praise for his accomplishments, It was difficult to watch Gonzalez on the brutal end of the knockout to Sor Rungvisai. Maybe boxing fans were used to watching dominance over the years that watching Gonzalez lie on the canvas was too much.
Except for the diehard boxing fans who would stream his fights, it was too bad Gonzalez's career was showcased after 40 pro fights on HBO.
I first saw Gonzalez fight in April of 2012, when he knocked out Ramon Garcia Hirales inside an expo hall at the Fairplex in Pomona, a suburb east of downtown Los Angeles. It was a Top Rank card and it seemed most of those there that night were of Nicaraguan descent.
Gonzalez may have been on the downside of his career when he faced Carlos Cuadras last September. Gonzalez may not have had the same punch resistance and was not dominating fighters the he was at 108 and 112 pounds.
There were some on social media who critiqued Gonzalez. Why? The man won world title belts in four different weight classes. Gonzalez will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canstota once he hangs his gloves for good. He never ducked a challenge and always gave fight fans his all. Something like that should be celebrated, not criticized.
- What a U.S. debut for Naoya Inoue. The 'Monster' broke down Antonio Nieves before the fight was stopped after the sixth round.
Inoue has a bright future in the sport and could be two or three fights away from fighting the elite fighters at 115 pounds.
Fight fans would love to see Inoue fight again in the United States. Promoter Akihiro Honda was at ringside and, based on the crowd response, will negotiate with Tom Loeffler and HBO's Peter Nelson to bring Inoue back to the United States.
Props to Nieves' trainer Joe Delguyd. He saw Nieves was getting hurt and decided to save his fighter from further punishment. That is in no way make Nieves any less or a fighter. That is a trainer that is looking out for his fighter's well-being so he could fight another day. I wish more trainers would do that.
- What an impressive outing by Juan Francisco Estrada. He was down on the scorecards before making an adjustment during the middle rounds, knocking Carlos Cuadras down, before walking away with a unanimous decision victory.
Estrada is now mandated to face Sor Rungvisai. I'll say it once and I'll say it again: Sign me up for that fight. I'll also be a little greedy. Hope that fight lands at Stubhub Center in Carson or at The Forum in Inglewood.
- It was great to see Brian Viloria get the win over a game Miguel Cartagena on the 'SuperFly' undercard. I get a kick when Viloria walks to the ring to the theme of 'Hawaii 5-0.' It is impressive how Viloria has continued on with his career, considering he made his pro debut after representing the United States at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
- Props to Tom Loeffler, who was able to put that card together on Saturday. Loeffler dealt with at least six promoters, as each fighter on the HBO telecast was represented by a different promoter. To negotiate with different promoters, and managers for that matter, Loeffler has a way to get the job done.
I am sure Loeffler will receive feedback to look into promoting another 'SuperFly' card. He will have the blessing of Peter Nelson, who was at ringside Saturday night.
- It was great to see many fight fans from Southern California and those who traveled from across the country and the world to watch the 'Fight Card of the Year.' Boxing fans are the best. Give them a great fight card and they will travel. Saturday night was no exception.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing