Srisaket Sor Rungvisai overcame a slow start and a cut to take a hard fought points win against Amnat Ruenroeng in Thailand on Saturday.
The fight took place at 122lbs, as the Thai duo eased back into action following the enforced lay-off due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Former two-time WBC Flyweight champion, Rungvisai (48-5-1, 41 KOs) tested former IBF holder Ruenroeng (20-4, 6 KOs) to the body early on as the two felt each other out and Ruenroeng landed a decent combination from body to head in the opener, as he began in good fashion.
Rungvisai, who has two wins over current WBA ‘Super’ Super-Flyweight champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and a victory over WBC titlist Juan Estrada, who he lost his belt to last April, dispensed with the studying in round two though, as he began with some solid shots.
Most of his opponent’s punches were landing on his arms and the action was slightly fractured as the pair acclimatised to their return to the ring.
The 33-year-old was visibly shaking the rust off, with Ruenroeng landing well on the counter and a massive clash of heads halfway through the third left Srisaket with a nasty gash under his left eyelid.
The doctor allowed him to continue and the cut sprung him into action, noticeably upping his work rate, however Ruenroeng was equal to him.
The cut was dripping into the eye of Srisaket and hampering his concentration, allowing his rival to counter to good effect, much to the delight of his team.
The 40-year-old had a good fourth round with solid shots finding the target, whilst Srisaket was struggling to solve the puzzle, with Ruenroeng’s tight defence proving hard to breach.
The second half got underway much in the same vein, with Rungvisai’s punches falling short to give his foe time to counter and then move out of trouble.
The end of the sixth proved much better for Rungvisai, who put together some decent punches to give himself some renewed confidence.
Srisaket was getting closer and closer to his older opponent, and the seventh saw him connect a lot more with heavy combinations to head and body.
Rungvisai had upped the gears impressively, and the eighth saw him punching through the target much more than before, and it was becoming a close quarters contest.
Ruenroeng’s output had slowed noticeably, and the ninth saw him taking a breather as Srisaket turned up the heat with a variety of punches, piercing the guard of his opponent with regularity.
The final round had both men digging deep, but again Rungvisai’s desire to force the action proved enough, in what was an intense battle.
Scores of 97-94, 96-93 and a too wide 99-91 made Rungvisai’s return a winning one.
His promoter, Eddie Hearn has hinted at him facing the winner of the mooted trilogy fight between ‘Chocolatito’ and Estrada.