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Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez suffers first defeat with loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai


Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai embrace after their Championship fight for Gonzalez's WBC junior bantamweight title at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2017 in New York City. Credit: Photo by Al Bello / Getty Images

Regarded by many as one of the best, if not the best, pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Roman (Chocolatito) Gonzalez suffered the first defeat of his career after appearing to mount a strong comeback from a first-round knockdown and then being cut over his right eye by a head butt from Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Gonzalez delivered incredible power shots through the middle of the fight but wore down toward the end as Rungvisai came on strong to get a majority decision that was roundly booed yet earned the WBC super flyweight title.

One judge scored it a draw and Rungvisai got a 114-112 margin on the other two cards. The bout was on the undercard of the middleweight unification bout between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs last night at Madison Square Garden.

Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs) went down for only the second time in his career from a vicious right to the body, and Rungvisai (42-4-1, 38 KOs) of Thailand followed up with a strong second-round performance. The fight was temporarily halted in the third round when a butt by Rungvisai cut Gonzalez over his right eye.

The feel of his own blood trickling woke something in Gonzalez much the way Marvin Hagler once went wild after being cut by Thomas Hearns. Gonzalez rained power shots on Rungvisai the rest of the third round, staggered him in the fourth and landed more huge power punches in the fifth and sixth when Rungvisai finally had a point deducted for another head butt.

But amazingly, Rungvisai had the stamina to finish well in the late rounds when Gonzalez alternated bursts of power when he wasn’t wiping blood streaming down his face.

“I’m a little dinged up, but I thought I won the fight,” Gonzalez said. “I want an immediate rematch.”

Cuadras decisions Carmona

Earlier, Mexico’s Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1, 27 KOs) scored a 10-round unanimous decision over fellow Mexican David Carmona (20-4-5, 8 KOs). Two judges gave him a 97-93 advantage, and the other card was 96-94. Carmona was surprisingly effective in the middle rounds after being dominated early, so much so that the crowd booed the decision. Cuadras lost a hard-fought unanimous decision to Gonzalez last September and is angling for a rematch.

Rising lightweight contender Ryan Martin (18-0, 11 KOs) remained undefeated with a TKO at 45 seconds of the eighth round over game but overmatched Bryant Cruz (17-2, 8 KOs) of Port Chester. Cruz pressed a body attack, but the taller Martin fought with superbly efficient and accurate punches, and his power eventually took a toll.

Former WBO world middleweight champion Andy Lee (35-3-1, 24 KOs) of Ireland won an eight-round unanimous decision over KeAndrae Leatherwood (19-4-1, 12 KOs) by scores of 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74.


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