Fallen Laem to fight on despite loss
Thai says ref stopped title fight 'too early'
Former world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vowed to continue fighting after losing to WBC super-flyweight title holder Jesse Rodriguez in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday night.
Fighting before a home crowd, Rodriguez stopped the 35-year-old Thai in the eighth round in his first defence of the crown.
Srisaket, whose real name is Wisaksil Wangek and nickname is Laem, claimed he was ducking his punches when the referee stopped the contest.
"The referee stopped the fight too early," said the two-time former WBC super-flyweight champion who dropped to 50-6-1 (43KOs).
"Rodriguez was spurred on by the home fans and that's normal. I will keep on fighting and working hard."
His promoter Surachart Pisitwuttinan said Srisaket is still under contract with Matchroom Boxing.
He said a Matchroom official told him that the company will continue arranging fights for Srisaket in the US.
The unbeaten 22-year-old from Texas dominated Srisaket from start to finish at the Tech Port Arena.
Rodriguez, who is the youngest among current world champions, improved to 16-0 with 11 knockouts following a one-sided victory.
Rodriguez landed heavier punches throughout the bout, and knocked the 35-year-old challenger to the canvas with a crisp left hook in the seventh round.
Srisaket claimed afterwards it was a slip.
The end came in the eighth as Rodriguez let fly with a flurry of combinations that left Srisaket struggling to defend himself before the referee stepped in to halt the punishment.
The victory confirmed Rodriguez as one of the most exciting talents in boxing.
"What more can I say. I told everybody I was a special fighter and I proved that tonight," Rodriguez said.
"We came out here tonight and put on a show.
"In the third round I felt his power wasn't the same," said Rodriguez.
"That's when I decided to take over."
It was the first title defence for Rodriguez, who won the crown with a unanimous decision victory over veteran Carlos Cuadras of Mexico in February.
Srisaket had been due to face Cuadras in that bout but had to pull out with a kidney problem.
He was subsequently replaced by Rodriguez, who jumped two divisions to claim the vacant WBC super-flyweight title by beating Cuadras.
He was trying to become the WBC super-flyweight champion for a third time against Rodriguez.