Johnny Wilds ESPN Boxing Insider Special to NYFIGHTS
Wisaksil Wangek aka Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 30 KOs) of Si Sa Ket, Thailand defends his WBC super flyweight title against former flyweight titlist Juan Francisco ‘El Gallo ’Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) of Hermosillo Sonora, Mexico in a scheduled 12-round bout.
Date: Saturday, Feb 24th
Location: LA Forum- Inglewood, CA.
TV: HBO Boxing After Dark 9:30PM EST/6:30 PM PST
Opening Odds:* Current Odds: as of Friday February 23rd.
SSR -120 SSR +120
Estrada EV Estrada -140
* Odds courtesy of WestGate, Las Vegas
Here's a look at what Superfly 2 is, where the money is going from Vegas bookmakers, along with opinions from boxing experts, boxers’ trainers and my prediction for the fight.
Superfly 2 is the encore to Superfly last September, where an amazing card was put together featuring some of boxing’s best at the super flyweight division. In the HBO opener, Juan Francisco Estrada won a very tough fought decision over Carlos Cuadras by scores of 114-113 across the board. Then, in the main event Rungvisai proved his questionable decision over certain future hall of famer, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez was no fluke last March and tucked Gonzalez into bed for the night at 1:18 of round 4. So now boxing purists will see Rungvisai take on Estrada for the WBC super flyweight belt.
At The Westgate, Las Vegas I spoke to Jeff Sherman Race and Sportsbook Manager, who posted the fight on Tuesday with Rungvisai -120 and Estrada Even. “There was a market move on Estrada and knowing little about the fight and not expecting much action, we went with Estrada -150 and Rungvisai +130,” said Sherman.
At William Hill US, senior trader Adam Pullen opened the fight with Rungvisai -125 and Estrada +105. “We had good action early on moving the fight to Estrada -135 and Rungvisai +115. We have a ratio of 3-1 tickets in favor of Estrada but two times the money on Rungvisai,” said Pullen.
• Evan Young (boxing sharp): “Srisaket Sor Rungvisai aka Wisaksil Wangek is coming off a sensational KO over all-time great Roman Gonzalez. Juan Francisco Estrada is a young man of 27, yet he is an established veteran world champion. Rungvisai has proven he can punch with 40 KO’s in 44 wins but many of those wins were against non-descript opponents. And I see the Gonzalez win as a bit of a mirage. You see, Gonzalez had tapped the well for so long with hard fights and notable struggles to make weight that one day the well had to dry up. The well was bone dry for the Rungvisai rematch. Estrada is a durable boxer puncher that is in his physical prime. He struggled a bit in his last bout with speedster Carlos Cuadras, but caught up to him late in the fight to score a knockdown and close win. But Cuadras is talented and also holds a points win over Rungvisai and a close loss to Gonzalez. Of note, an inexperienced Estrada gave a prime Roman Gonzalez a great challenge nearly 7 years ago in a decision loss. In this fight both guys punch well but I might give a slight edge to Rungvisai. Both have proven to be very durable and tough. But I lean Estrada’s way in the skill and speed department. And he’s a bit more defensively responsible. Anyone could “go” in a fight with such vicious warriors. But with their toughness considered I see this shaping up as a brutal battle of attrition. And with that, I’m going with Estrada to edge it in a thriller with his better ability being the difference.””
• Stephen “Breadman” Edwards (boxing trainer): “Estrada gets the decision but SSR will be robbed of the victory by the judges.”
• Marcos Figueroa (boxing sharp): “Rungvisai should be the bigger man in this matchup. I expect a clear UD win for him.”
• Luke Chapman (boxing sharp): “I’m pumped for this all attack fight, two offensive body punching machines who can both fight and come to do so! Love the way Rungvisai has disposed of former P4P number 1 Chocolatito in his two most recent outings but I still think Estrada has the better resume overall. I’ve got it a genuine pick’em fight so presented with the current odds available I have to lean to backing outsider Rungvisai here. Great value at +135 or better.”
• Colin Morrison (boxing sharp): “This should be an excellent contest. Two world class 115 lb fighters performing on a stage their talents deserve. I'm thinking there will be back and forth momentum swings, both men may hit the canvas, but ultimately I fancy Rungvisai to close out a fight to remember via late stoppage.”
• Abraham Gonzalez (boxing sharp): “Superfly 2 is going to be a great card which sees the main event being Sor Rungvisai vs Estrada. Estrada is going to use his legs early to get away from those big shots from Sor Rungvisai. Look for Sor Rungvisai to make early deposits of those body shots which will lead to the breakdown of Estrada later on in the fight. Sor Rungvisai by TKO in 9.”
• Eric Bradley (boxing trainer): “This will be compelling to watch due to the fact that Estrada throws the double left hook and right hand pretty efficient, which are the southpaw killers. The fact of the matter is Rungvisai does remind you of a poor man’s Pacquiao. He’s truly a heavy handed southpaw fighter with confidence from defeating Chocolatito twice and in spectacular fashion. I don’t see this going that route, Rungvisai wins this fight in a viscous offensive battle and simply dishes out punishment to Estrada that will leave him hanging his head after this fight. Rungvisai by decision.”
• Kyrone “Shut it Down” Davis (ranked middleweight): “Sor Rungvisai, he's the real deal.”
• Jamel “Semper FI” Herring (ranked lightweight): “Wangek is coming off two big wins against a man who was not too long ago rated P4P #1. I feel he has a lot of momentum and steam behind him to raise his profile, especially in the US if he can win against Estrada in impressive fashion. Estrada on the other hand has had some good wins on his resume since losing to Chocolatito back in 2012. I could be wrong but I feel at this point in his career he may give Wangek a challenge this weekend and has a good chance of winning the title but we’ll have to wait and see.”
• John Gatling (boxing sharp): “SSR has become a Soviet version of an old Pacquiao. He's not really reckless; more like a less creative, textbook Pac…the 2011 version with more power. JFE is a Filipino version of what became a new JMM. He'll gamble more now; abandoning textbook precision to compensate for diminished grit. His chin ain't what it was and he knows it. A damn good fight will turn into situational destruction, as SSR gradually beats the hell out of JFE. I think he'll stop him in about 9 or 10 rounds.”
Who will win?
The panel favors Rungvisai 7-3 to keep his WBC belt. This is a matchup of the power puncher in Rungvisai with an outstanding 89% KO average versus the boxer puncher Estrada who also has power evident by his 66% KO average. They share common opponents in Carlos Cuadras and Roman Gonzalez. Estrada escaped with a narrow win over Cuadras and Rungvisai losing an 8th technical decision when he head butted Cuadras in round eight when Cuadras couldn’t continue. Cuadras was up on all the scorecards at the time, including the 1 point deduction for the headbutt by scores of 78-73, 77-74 and 77-75. As mentioned, Rungvisai has beaten Gonzalez twice but Estrada lost to Gonzalez by UD in 2012.
I am not a believer in one fighter beating a common opponent while the other loses to that same fighter, to be a determining factor. Styles make fights, period! Both fighters have not lost since their respective losses to Cuadras and Gonzalez. I do see this being a very high action fight but I more often than not support the boxer over the puncher. Here is no different and I think if Estrada can dictate the pace of the fight, give angles and trade when needed, he can beat the champion.
Pick: Estrada via close decision.