By Aragon Garcia: Coming off of his impressive win over WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai last Friday night, Juan Francisco Estrada plans on making his first defense of his newly won WBC title in in Mexico City in July or August against an opponent still to be determined.
Estrada (39-3, 26 KOs) out-boxed the monster of the 115 lb division in beating the 32-year-old Rungvisai (47-5-1, 41 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
The only reasons the fight was as close as it was is because Estrada hurt both of his hands late in the fight, and he wanted to make it exciting fight, so he stopped moving in the championship rounds and battled Rungivisai in a toe-to-toe affair, which obviously favored the more powerful Thailand fighter. Estrada didn’t have the power to make Rungivisai late in the fight in fighting his style of brawling, but it didn’t matter. Estrada was so far ahead in the fight that he could afford to fight that way.
“It was a tremendous exhibition that gave the ‘Gallo’ to boxing, not just the fans of Mexico,” said Estrada’s manager Fernando Beltrán to ESPN Deportes. “We are extremely happy for his achievement and perhaps we can make the first defense in the month of July or August in Mexico City. First he rests, recovers hands and then he tells us.”
This probably not what Rungivai wants to hear. He wanted a rematch with Estrada. Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn said he likes the idea of having Estrada fight in Los Angeles again or in Mexico. Either place is fine with him. But he would like to see a trilogy fight between the two fighters.
One thing that could be a problem for Estrada getting back into the ring in July or August is the condition of his hands. They were both injured from his fight with Rungvisai. For Estrada, 29, to return so soon to the ring, it will require his hands be at 100%, because he’ll need to start training camp almost immediately for him to be back in the ring in the summer.
It’s been two years since Estrada last fought in Mexico in 2017 when he beat Anuar Salas by a fifth round knockout in March 2017. Since that fight, Estrada’s last five fights have been in California against Carlos Cuadras, Felipe Orucuta, Rungvisai [x 2] ad Victor Mendez. Estrada has been building a huge fan base in a hurry in California. It’s a shame that he’s going to be going to back to Mexico for his next fight. He’s on way to stardom in the U.S right now.
Estrada said after the Rungvisai fight that he wants to have unification match next, but it’ll likely be too soon for him to get any of the other champions to face him in the summer.
Although Rungvisai said he wanted the trilogy fight with Estrada, it looks like his handlers will have him fight someone else, likely in his home country of Thailand. Rungvisai could face the likes of Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Donnie Neietes, Francisco Rodriguez or Andrew Moloney. Rungvisai has already beaten Chocolatito twice. A third fight would be of much interest for boxing fans to see. There’s also champions that Rungvisai could challenge in Jerwin Ancajas or Khalid Yafai. Rungvisai needs guys that will stand in front of him for him to do well.
Estrada used movement against him, and he looked lost and incapable of making the adjustments to deal with his mobility and counter punching ability. If not for Estrada giving Rungivsai a handicap in the last four rounds by standing and trading with him, he would have been embarrassed likely shut out. Estrada was on his way to winning the fight 11 rounds to 1 if he boxed him the entire night. Rungvisai is going to have to start fighting a lot more aggressively than he’s shown in his last two fights against Estrada and Iran Diaz. Rungvisai looked flat and reluctant to put out effort until the 8th round last Friday. Rungvisai can’t keep doing that if he doesn’t career to tank badly.