From Trash Collector To Belt Collector

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai entered HBO’s “Superfly 2” card as the “A-side” of a marquee, HBO-televised main event, the second time he has appeared in such an event. Sor Rungvisai has entered the pound for pound conversation and is a household name in boxing households in the US, something that would have been unthinkable just 12 months ago. Sor Rungvisai came from extreme poverty in Sisaket Province, Thailand, before moving to Bangkok to escape that poverty when he was only 13. He had to walk more than 60 miles by foot to apply for a job as a trash collector at a department store in order to feed himself. The now pound for pounder had to eat of the leftovers he collected from the garbage just to survive.

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A single fight changed everything for the boxer, last March on a mega PPV card, boxing’s best little guy was supposed to be spotlighted, on that particular night, Sor Rungvisai could barely even be considered the “B-side” rather an irrelevant blip on the radar and another name on Chocolatito Gonzalez march to history. He was so irrelevant even the hardest of hardcore fight fans literally didn’t know if his name was Wisaksil Wangek or Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, he was jokingly called “Kit-Kat” by many pundits as no one knew or could pronounce his name. Most spectators expected him to come up empty-handed in his challenge for the WBC super flyweight title. Instead, he put on the Performance of The Year in the Fight of The Year and left the ring as the new world champ shocking the boxing world in the Upset of The Year on his way to becoming Fighter of The Year for 2017. A title he would later cement as well as his pound for pound status in the rematch, which took place in September 2017 and headlined the first “SuperFly” card, a fight everyone thought Chocolatito was going to exact revenge and probably in awesome knockout fashion. Instead, Sor Rungvisai annihilated Gonzalez, knocking him out with a monstrous southpaw right hook to end a brutal beatdown in four easy rounds. The HBO crew declared Chocolatito Gonzalez will never be the same!

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Now Sor Rungvisai, who boasts 40 knockouts in 45 wins, is the main attraction and the talk of the boxing town. This past weekend on “SuperFly 2,” the now Thai legend headlined the card featuring two critical bouts in the 115-pound weight class. Put on another fight of the year type performance in edging former world champ and highly regarded Juan Carlos Estrada. Solidifying the former trash collector as one of the absolute top fighters in the world. He owns a spot on P4P lists and has become a staple of HBO Boxing. As the “SuperFly III” card is being finalized by HBO for the fall. This change of fortune is more than remarkable; like Manny Pacquiao’s rise, it is remarkably fascinating.

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Rungvisai is truly a unique fighter. At the age of 31, an age must 115 pounders are exiting their primes and falling into obscurity, Rungvisai is just entering his prime, getting better with each fight it appears entering the levels of boxings elite for the first time.Very rarely do you see an elite fighter with no interest in jabbing?  Rungvisai is also not a brainless brawler either he was able to stake his territory in the middle of the ring and outboxed Estrada at times. Forcing Estrada to come forward. He has also established himself among the ranks of Canelo and Spence as the elite body punchers in the sport today. His commitment to the body is awesome. His all-action style and willingness to swallow countershots to the face as he goes after the midsection is evidence of his belief in his power, he’s willing to pay the price.

It has truly been an amazing run for Sor Rungvisai. Years ago, laboring through his days as a garbage collector, he would daydream, saying  “I was hoping I’d become an OK boxer, maybe winning a regional belt … ,” He is now a world champion in the hottest division in the sport and has risen to almost mythic status in his country.
Having been told by the prime minister the “WBC belt does not belong only to me. It belongs to the whole nation of Thailand and all Thai people,” Something that the fighter holds on dearly and motivates him “They all need me to train hard and fight well to keep the belt for Thailand.” he added. Winning the belt took him to the WBC convention late last year in Azerbaijan, where he was in awe while meeting the legends of the sport like Evander Holyfield, Vitali Klitschko, and Prince Naseem Hamed. To which boxings new humble warrior responded “I did not think I was as good as those other champions. I was just happy to meet my heroes and take photographs with some of them,”

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Rungvisai who has saved his purse money to purchase his dream home and build a dream life with his dream woman, his new fiancee who he publically thanked for staying with him “when I was poor” He explained “When I was a trash collector, I didn’t really have anywhere to live, so looking back from then to now, this is a big achievement”.

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