Srisaket to take on Diaz in title defence
published : 10 Aug 2018 at 08:11
newspaper section: Sports
WBC super-flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai will defend his title against Mexican challenger Iran "MagnifiKO" Diaz on Oct 6.
The title bout will be a part of the ONE Championship event -- ONE: Kingdom of Heroes -- which will be held at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani.
Srisaket, who holds a professional record of 46-4-1 with 41 knockouts, is one of the most celebrated pugilists in Thailand's history. He is ranked No.5 on the best pound-for-pound boxers' list of Boxrec.com and No.7 on The Ring magazine's list.
The 31-year-old stunned Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, who was then considered the world's best pound-for-pound boxer, via a majority decision at New York's Madison Square Garden in March 2017.
Srisaket knocked out the Nicaraguan in the fourth round in a rematch at StubHub Center in California in September.
He then retained the title by beating Mexico's Juan Francisco Estrada with a majority decision at the Los Angeles Forum in February.
"I am excited to showcase my skills at home in Bangkok," said Srisaket. "As a world champion, this is a rare opportunity for me to be able to compete in front of my people. I thank ONE Championship for the honour, and I will do my best to retain my title.
"I am very deep in preparations right now for one of the most significant bouts of my career."
His opponent Diaz is one of the fastest rising talents in Mexican boxing. Born and raised in a country known for its passionate love for pugilism, Diaz holds a professional record of 14-2-3, with six knockouts to his name.
Diaz's most notable victories have come over dangerous former world champions Hernan "Tyson" Marquez and Luis Concepcion. Diaz is a winner of three of his last five contests, and is riding a wave of momentum heading into the Oct 6 bout.
"Coming into my opponent's home country, I know it's enemy territory, and I know the fans will be cheering loudly for him. But I believe in my skills, and I believe in my talent," said Diaz.
"I am coming to Bangkok to score a huge upset.
"I can't wait to feel his power and experience what everyone is talking about. I believe in my heart that this is my time to become a world champion."
Meanwhile Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, said: "World championship boxing has always been on the radar for ONE Championship ever since we introduced the ONE Super Series.
"In Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, we have the perfect athlete to introduce the sport of boxing to the largest martial arts organisation in the world. Srisaket embodies the fiery willpower of Thai martial arts and is a great representative of ONE Championship.
"This is going to be the biggest event in Thailand's history, and with thousands of fans expected to come out and cheer for their hero, I can't wait to witness greatness unfold in the ONE ring," he added.