Ahead of his ring return against Ekkawit Songnui later this evening, former super flyweight World champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai should set his sights on securing a trilogy fight against the winner of Estrada-Chocolatito 2.
Since losing his WBC title in a 2019 rematch with Juan Francisco Estrada, SSR has begun to fade from memory and further away from his former top spot in the sport. That continues when he takes on former minimumweight titlist Ekkawit Songnui, showing signs of reverting back to type by facing low-level opposition. Although, there has been a number of upsets in boxing recently, I fail to see this happening tonight in Thailand.
Rungvisai looked out of ideas against Estrada when they last fought in 2019, and that will be the performance that people remember. Body shots started to take their toll, and SSR slowed down, unable to land anything significant in a losing fight. Estrada grew with confidence as the fight went on, it showed how much the Mexican had developed, but for Rungvisai, it was the opposite. It looked like the decline of a once great fighter.
That feels harsh to say, because his KO of a modern great in Roman Gonzalez still sits fresh in my memory. Did Rungvisai simply age overnight or was it just an off performance? Is it a question of can or will he get back on top? After reaching the pinnacle of his division by capturing World honours, motivation issues may have crept up. At 34-years-old, Rungvisai needs the big fights now in the latter stage of his career. Will he be able to redeem himself against Estrada? Can Choclatito get his revenge? Or maybe Carlos Cuadras can offer Rungvisai the path to redemption. There are many possibilities and it would be a crying shame if we don’t see SSR in another high profile fight soon. However, of course this all depends on if he comes through unscathed against Ekkawit Songnui.
So, who is Songnui, and what can he do to potentially stop the former pound-for-pound star in his tracks? The 38-year-old once held a WBA ‘Regular’ title at 105lbs, but that was ten years ago. Since then, the former titlist has moved up in weight and been unsuccessful against Kazuto Ioka and Ryoichi Taguchi, before being fed to Filipino prospect Jayson Mama. In that fight with Mama, Songnui looked outclassed before an eye injury stopped him from participating any further, and Mama earned a TKO victory to progress his young career.
I see a similar situation to happen tonight, evidently the body of Songnui won’t hold up long against decent opposition, and if Rungvisai can rally himself, he should add another KO to his collection, most likely in the first half of the fight. I question the motivation of the former champion, but I believe there’s still some pages left to add to the colourful career of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
If successful, who would you like to see SSR face next? Let me know in the comments.
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