Little Guys Come Up Huge

Never in my life time have so many little guys been talked about amongst the pound for pound best fighters in the world. Sure there’s been names like Junior Jones, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, Tim Austin. Perhaps Little hands of Stone and former US Olympian Michael Carbajal had the most notarized career of an American little man. These were few and far between. They were the A-side and the B-side were largely unknown to even the hardest of hard cores. This was before Youtube and Live streams, there wasn’t much love for the little men. Even guys like Carbajal and the Legendary undefeated run of Mexican Icon Ricardo Lopez were typically on undercards of larger PPV cards and rarely the big ticket of its own card.

 

Image result for Michael Carbajal

That made HBO’s card dubbed “Super Fly” so intriguing. It was perhaps top to bottom the best triple header of the year. It featured the American debut of “The Monster” who proved to be a monster, at least an offensive monster to say the very least. A fight that was wire thin and beyond competitive that even Michael buffer got wrong. That we should get a rematch of and a rematch of what I have so far as the fight of the year.

 

Super Flyweight may be the best and most competitive division in boxing today, and it was on full display on HBO this past weekend on a great stage in Carson, California at the Stub Hub Center. Which has been home to so many great fights, was home to another fly night of boxing. The night kicked off with an all-action slug fest between Carlos Cuadras and Juan Francisco Estrada. Cuadras who received a wire close decision over Rungvisai back in 2014 after a clash of heads, was hotly debated, was not so fortunate and did not get another hotly debated decision after Michael Buffer originally announced the decision 114-113 for him immediately admitted he got it wrong and reversed the decision in favor of Juan Francisco Estrada who is now the mandatory for the WBC Super Flyweight title.

Image result for Juan Francisco Estrada

American also got its first major television exposure to the Monster undefeated Japanese Naoya Inoue. Who lived up to his nickname. At least from an offensive standpoint, in absolutely destroying a game but overmatched Antonio Nieves. Inoue has been making a name for himself among boxing hardcores and improved his record to 14-0. He has already captured titles in two weight classes and at just 24 has a complete offensive skill set a thudding jab, well a thudding everything a showed off a body attack that would have made Rocky Balboa proud.

In the main event, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai removed all doubt and destroyed Chocolatito Gonzalez. It took Rungvisai less than 3 and a half rounds to defend his WBC 115lbs strap that he won from Chocolatito in controversial fashion (I had it a draw) back in January at the Mecca of Boxing. The thunderous hitting Thai consistently beat the legendary Nicaraguan to the punch time after time, and it becomes abundantly clear Chocloatito was no longer king of the little men.

As we move into the last quarter of 2017 and 2018 super flyweight may be the most entertaining division in the sport. The 115-pound division already has two all action pound for pound type strap holders in Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Naoya Inoue. An incredible mandatory fight that is being negotiated now between WBC champ Rungvisai and Estrada. How about a Super fly part II on HBO with that fight and an undercard of Inoue/Cuadras. Plus there is always the potential for a Rungvisai/Cuadras part II. and Lets not completely write off Choclatito. Gonzalez is 46-2, that means he is 46-0 against fighters not named Rungvisai. Perhaps Rungvisai is simply his Kenny Norton, and Chocolatio is going to bounce back. In addition just 3 pounds south there are  two more sensational fighters Filipino boxer Donnie Nietes who hasn’t lost in 13 years who isn’t as spectacular but would certainly present a stylistic challenge as well as another young sensational Japanese fighter in Daigo Higa who holds the WBC Flyweight title and has won all 13 of his fights by KO, he is scheduled to defend his strap next month in Japan, but maybe moved up to 115 in the near future as well.

Image result for Daigo Higa

Ultimately the goal should be to get Inoue and Rungvisai together and have them unify the WBO and WBC straps. First Rungvisai has to defend his title against a very game Estrada and that’s certainly no easy task, but should he do that it would set up perhaps the most anticipated Super Flyweight title fight in the history of the division. It would pit two iron fisted knockout artists in the primes of their careers and would be perhaps the most anticipated fight of 2018 and without a doubt an early pick for fight of the year and it’s not too often we get that hyped about 115 pounders whose names we can’t pronounce!
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