Thailand is a lowkey boxing power. And it is not just because the country is home to one of the oldest and most recognizable martial arts and combat sports in the world – muay Thai.
This southeast Asian country has produced champions in both the professional and amateur levels. Names like Chartchai Chionoi, Eagle Kyowa, Khaosai Galaxy, Pone Kingpetch, Saensak Muangsurin, and Samart Payakaroon are now part of boxing annals. More recent major titleholders include Sirimongkol Singmanasak, Yodsanan 3-K Battery, Chatchai Singwangcha, and Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym.
Enumerated above are just the pros. Four Thai boxers have won gold medals at the Olympics, most recently being Somjit Jongjohor in 2008. A lot more have stepped on top of the podium in continental and regional competitions such as the Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games.
For now, we will focus on a more contemporary international champ. Here is a profile of Thai boxer Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and his achievements.
Sor Rungvisai, real name Wisaksil Wangek, is a two-time WBC super flyweight belt holder and has been The Ring, as well as lineal, super flyweight titleholder.
The journey to the top started out rocky, and no, it was no movie nor undefeated former world heavyweight champion. His initial two contests were losses to Japanese boxers in their home country. Coincidentally, he is 0-3 in bouts that took place in the Land of the Rising Sun.
It was not until his sixth fight he started gaining steam and until his eighth bout when he had more Ws than Ls.
His first crown in his pro career was the regional WBC-ABCO super flyweight title, which he won via fifth round stoppage against Erick Diaz Siregar in 2011, the competition held in Pathum Thani, Thailand. The first time he held a world championship was in 2013, after he defeated, at the Khonmuangsri Stadium in his home province of Sisaket, Satō Yōta of Japan via TKO on the eighth round.
Sor Rungvisai held onto the diadem until he was stopped by Mexican Carlos Cuadras a year later in the former’s first outing outside of Asia, which also ended a 26-fight winning streak. He retook the vacant WBC-ABCO super flyweight strap in his next bout before claiming the WBC Silver super flyweight title against José Salgado in 2015, a fourth-round TKO triumph.
Two years later, the Uthumphon Phisai native recaptured the WBC super flyweight top prize in a thrilling faceoff against Román González of Nicaragua in the former’s first fight in the United States. Considered to be an upset, the majority decision win by Rungvisai flustered González that the latter demanded an immediate rematch.
In the second fight, which was held almost six months later, Srisaket made sure there would not be any controversy, as he knocked out the former champion on the fourth round.
This victory was followed by a conquest of Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico in early 2018. Aside from successfully retaining the WBC belt, the Thai southpaw also became the inaugural The Ring junior bantamweight champion.
He had two defenses in Thailand before succumbing to Estrada via unanimous decision in April 2019. Sor Rungvisai failed to acquire the WBC super flyweight crown for a third time, losing to Jesse Rodríguez of the US in June 2022.
To date, the 35-year-old has had 57 pro fights in a career that has spanned 13 years. 43 of his 50 wins are via KO. He had 20 wins between his defeats to Cuadras and Estrada.
For sure, there is still more left in his tank. But for now, this is the profile of Thai boxer Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and his achievements.