Boxing will take centre stage in ONE Championship as one of Thailand’s greatest pugilists will look to defend his world title.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai has a career boxing record of 46 wins, 4 defeats and 1 draw, and will make history in the first boxing bout – and first world championship boxing match – to take place at a ONE Championship event.
Srisaket will put his WBC Super Flyweight World Championship on the line against WBC Latino Super Flyweight Champion Iran “MagnifiKO” Diaz (14-2-3) in the main event of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 6 October.
Born Wisaksil Wangek, Srisaket has a tough start to life in Sisaket, Thailand. The Thai province suffers from poverty in its low-income communities. Srisaket’s father was a professional Muay Thai competitor, but struggled to support his family through his bouts alone.
It forced Srisaket to move to Bangkok at the tender age of 13 to search for work to help improve his family’s financial predicament.
He worked as a security guard, then as a trash collector, but still could not earn enough to make a real difference. At times, he could not afford fresh food and found meals by digging through the trash at a nearby apartment store.
“On some difficult days, I had to collect food from the trash to cook and eat in order to survive, because I did not have enough money,” he remembers.
Desperate to find another way to earn, he took up Muay Thai.
“As a young guy who didn’t have the right qualifications to earn decent office jobs, fighting professionally was the only way I could get some money,” he explains.
“It was also something I liked, and it was a fun challenge. I saw it as a way to help better my life and future.”
Srisaket struggled to make an impact in Muay Thai, but discovered professional boxing and believed he could switch disciplines and become a success competing under the Queensberry Rules.
But it was not a straightforward switch. He lost by TKO in his boxing debut, and then was knocked out in his second outing.
Despite a disastrous start to his boxing career, Srisaket persevered.
“I needed the money very badly, so I accepted the fight even though I didn’t have much time to prepare, and didn’t really know how to box. I just knew that boxing has similarities to Muay Thai,” he explains.
“There were only two paths to choose for me at that time. One was to become a boxer, and the other one was to keep on working as a trash collector. I chose the path to become a boxer, because there’s more hope, at least. There was some hope in this career.”
He turned professional and won his first bout via TKO then, after suffering a loss in February 2010, he signed up with Nakornloung Promotion (NKL), which has proved a prolific breeding ground for successful boxers in Thailand.
Srisaket then embarked on an incredible winning streak, winning 26 bouts in a row, and became the WBC Super Flyweight World Champion with a victory over Japan’s Yota Sato in May 2013.
Srisaket went on to lose his title to Mexico’s Carlos Cuadras via technical decision in May 2014, but he swiftly returned to winning ways and built another formidable winning streak, winning 15 consecutive bouts, all of them inside the distance.
It earned him a shot at world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, who he defeated via majority decision to reclaim the title. Then he cemented his position as the premier super flyweight in the world with a stunning fourth-round knockout of Gonzalez in a rematch.
“I never thought that I would come this far, or even get to be a World Champion,” he confesses.
“I only aspired to win a regional title, and maybe get on television. I wound up doing so much more.”
Now he heads into ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES in Bangkok riding a 19-bout win streak, ready to showcase his skills across the globe via ONE Championship.
“I am happy and honoured to take part in this historic ONE Championship event,” he says.
“I was at ONE Championship’s event in Bangkok earlier this year, and it blew my mind with its world-class production, entertainment, and fights. I would also like to thank everyone who made this possible.”