Srisaket shows ability to adapt
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai pitched a near-shut-out in successfully defending his WBC super-flyweight crown against Mexican challenger Iran Diaz at Bangkok’s Muang Thong Thani arena last Saturday, garnering 120, 119 and 119 points on the three judges’ scorecards.
It was a solid win to be sure. But for Wiggins’ World, at least, of his last four performances in title bouts, this was probably the Thai’s least slam-bang showing — through no fault of his own.
Rather, you can chalk it up to the style of Srisaket’s foe. It just didn’t bring out the best in the champ.
In his two wins over Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and his previous title defence against Juan Francisco Estrada, we were able to see vintage Srisaket because those fighters basically stayed in punching range. Diaz was another story.
For starters, the Mexican had a “length” advantage — in both height and reach — over the Thai fighter that he used wisely.
He frustrated Srisaket, to a degree, with his in-and-out manoeuvring and occasional lateral movement.
Diaz would enter the engagement zone to deliver chopping left-right combinations or straight rights. And then just as fast, exit it by quickly backpedalling.
As a result, many of Srisaket’s blows during their exchanges were of the glancing, rather than the flush variety that caught his foe on the retreat. But they were scoring shots nonetheless.
And there WERE a lot of them. However, we did not see the Thai fighter boring in and pounding his foe’s midsection with his usual large number of thumping body shots this fight.
Nor did we see as many headsnapping punches as normal either.
On this night, it was the quantity, rather than the quality, of Srisaket’s punches that earned him the decision.
Rather than pursue and stay on top of Diaz as he backpedalled, Srisaket was content to keep moving forward and wait for the next exchange.
And then, by continually using his patented right-left combos and lead lefts, he was able to pile up points that are usually given to the aggressor — especially if he’s the champ.
But he wasn’t able to seriously damage the slick-moving Mexican.
To Srisaket’s credit, he was able to avoid taking the kind of punishment he absorbed in his last three fights — the price he must pay for employing his overwhelming, wearyour-foe-down style.
That was the upside of Srisaket not being able to fight his normal fight.
Yes, give Diaz credit for pretty much defusing the Thai fighter’s explosiveness. But that is not enough to take a title away from the champ.
Usually, the challenger has to decisively defeat a champion to earn a points win.
Diaz was understandably upset by the scoring afterwards. He had indeed fought his fight well.
But while all the rounds were competitive, Diaz did not do enough to win them. His punching style — especially how he employed his height and reach advantage — was indeed impressive, but he did not flash enough of it.
Srisaket was, as they say, the “busier” fighter throughout. And on this night, that was enough.
While the action was furious at times and there plenty of great exchanges, neither fighter was able to really “rock” the other (easy for Wiggins’ World to say, of course, because it wasn’t on the receiving end of those blows).
If nothing else, Srisaket showed that he has the ability to adapt.
He did not get flustered. Rather, the Thai fighter stayed the course and did what he had to do to win another title defence.
The “Wow!” factor of his previous championship fights be damned.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, left, in action against Iran Diaz at Muang Thong Thani.
WIGGINS’ WORLD By Dave ave Wigg gins