As predicted, last Saturday's night of boxing delivered big time. Not only was there an early knockout but the pound-for-pound rankings took a tremendous shift in the process.
Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez took his first real "L" when he was dropped twice in the fourth round in his knockout loss. The opening round started with both fighters throwing heavy shots. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai began to work the body straight away with vicious combinations.
In round 4, González was knocked down hard from a left to the head. González beat the count getting up at 7, but on unsteady legs. Rungvisai then finished the badly hurt González with a right to the head that put him down flat on his back. Ironically, the two landed head shots at the precise same time, but Rungvisai took it unflinchingly.
Referee Tom Taylor didn't bother with a count, waving the fight off at 1:18 of the round. González was taken to the hospital after the fight for precaution. The bout advanced Thailand's Rungvisai to the top of the super flyweight division as the true WBC champion, silencing all doubters from their first encounter.
Watch exclusive highlights from Srisaket Sor Rungvisai's fourth-round KO victory over Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez on Sept. 9, 2017. Subscribe to the HBO Boxing YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Instagram: http://instagram.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBOboxing HBO Boxing Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing Official Site: http://www.hbo.com/boxing HBO Sports on HBO GO® http://itsh.bo/ij8oqS.
Chocolatito was widely considered by many as the number one pound-for-pound king before the first loss to Rungvisai. If he would have won this weekend, that confidence in his abilities might have been restored. But the knockout loss made it definitive that he is no longer a part of that elite group.
It is sad that in boxing, just two losses can damage your legacy. But in the high stakes world of pugilistic supremacy, everything counts and Chocolatito's performance severely damaged his standing in the rankings.
Crawford is the most recent boxer to hold all four major world titles in boxing (WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, as well as The Ring and lineal) since Jermain Taylor in 2005, and is one of only four boxers in history to do so after Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, and Cecilia Brækhus. Crawford is a two-weight world champion, having previously held the WBO, Ring, and lineal lightweight titles from 2014 to 2015.
Ward has held the unified WBA (Undisputed), IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles since 2016, and the Ring title since June 2017. Between 2009 and 2015 he held the unified WBA (Super), WBC, Ring, and lineal super middleweight titles. One of the most decorated world champions of the past decade, Ward has won a total of eight world titles. As an amateur, Ward won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 2004 Olympics.
Vasyl Lomachenko is arguably the best amateur boxer of all time having won consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. He has held the WBO super featherweight title since 2016, and previously the WBO featherweight title from 2014 to 2016. Unlike Crawford and Ward, Lomachenko is not undefeated with one loss early in his career.
Many also place Gennady "GGG" Golovkin in this grouping as the undefeated middleweight has been a KO king up until his fight against Danny Jacobs last March. When he faces Canelo Alvarez this week for middleweight supremacy, his legitimacy for one of the top three lots in the pound-for-pound rankings must be reexamined as it also must be for his opponent.
With Crawford moving up to welterweight soon and Keith Thurman returning early next year, boxing is hotter than ever and the new top dog can change with one blow. Just ask Chocolatito.