Srisaket KOs Gonzalez to retain title

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Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua receives a ten count after being down for the first time against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Srisaket Sor Rungvisai knocked out Roman Gonzalez in the fourth round Saturday with a devastating right hook to retain his WBC super flyweight world title in his second straight win over the former champ.

Thailand’s Srisaket knocked ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez down twice in the final round, finishing the challenger off with a right hook with 1:45 to go in the fourth.

Gonzalez, of Nicaragua, stayed on the canvas for a couple of minutes. After rising slowly he had to be helped to his corner stool.

The first knockdown came 42 seconds earlier when southpaw Srisaket landed a similar short right hook to the side of the head. Gonzalez was able to get up at the count of seven and continue – but looked out of sorts.

The 30-year-old Srisaket went to work quickly in the first round, easily landing combinations and body shots – the fruits of months of intense training in the gym for the most important fight of his career.

“I trained really hard for four months because I wanted everyone to know what I came here for,” said Srisaket of the brutal beatdown. “I have shown that I am the best 115 pound fighter in the world.”

The Thai dynamo silenced critics who had claimed his majority decision win in the first fight six months ago in New York was a fluke and the result of accidental head butts.

Both fighters came out swinging from the opening bell in Saturday’s 115-pound rematch at the outdoor StubHub Center stadium, as it became apparent in the early rounds that Srisaket was in charge and the fight likely would not go the distance.

“For the first fight I only trained two months. This fight I knew I was going to knock him out,” Srisaket said. “I am not scared of anyone.”

Srisaket (44-4-1, 40 KOs) said he wanted to make his country proud.

“I fought for Thailand, for the pride of Thailand,” he said.

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