Thai Star: The rise of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
2017 will be fondly remembered as the year boxer Srisaket Sor Rungvisai made his mark on the highly competitive elite ranks of world boxing. Born Wisaksil Wangek, in northeast Thailand the now 31 year old has cemented his place in Thailand’s boxing folklore. He went to America back in March in an attempt to dethrone the WBC super-flyweight champion of the world, a match-up which took place at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. That champion was the highly skilled Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez, a four division world title holder — and at the time a highly touted contender for the crown of boxing’s pound-for-pound king. Srisaket went into the bout as the underdog, a tag which did not faze Thailand’s would be hero as he grinded out a magnificent points victory — and in doing so was crowned the new WBC super-flyweight champion of the world. Soon afterwards a rematch was ordered by the powers that be, a bout which took place in California back in September.
This time around the Thai champion showed his prowess by knocking out his Nicaraguan challenger in the fourth round with a thunderous right hook to the jaw, a shot which sent his opponent crashing to the canvas to the point of no return. The man from Sisaket province topped off an incredible year by being winning the prestigious ‘Athlete of the Year’ award for 2017 from the Sports Authority of Thailand at a recent awards ceremony in Bangkok. To top of a magnificent year for the Nakornluang team Srisaket’s trainer Chokchai ‘Popchai’ Pisitwuttinan was awarded the ‘Coach of the Year’ accolade at the same awards ceremony. Srisaket will next defend his title against Mexico’s Juan Estrada on the 24th of February at the Forum in Inglewood, California.