The Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City, Panama played host to a bantamweight showdown between two of the division’s finest fighters Saturday night as local favourite and former champion Anselmo Moreno took on the visiting Thai, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai. “Chemito” did not disappoint his hometown fans, winning a fairly easy unanimous decision. Panama’s greatest boxing export and the namesake of the arena, Roberto Duran, was on hand to witness his countryman’s sublime form as Moreno outboxed and outsmarted the bull-rushing Sor Rungvisai over 12 rounds.
The contest began with Moreno establishing his jab and utilizing his superior reach advantage. Sor Rungvisai came at the Panamanian with gusto but with no apparent plan on how to get inside. The second round was a whirlwind of action with two knockdowns for Moreno, though referee Jay Nady would only credit one of them. The first occurred when Sor Rungvisai was hit with a borderline low blow and turned his back to Moreno. With Nady wanting no part of such theatrics, Moreno jumped at the chance to land a clean shot which put the Thai bulldog down.
The second knockdown of the round was a somewhat bizarre one. Moreno landed a clean, crisp jab to the face of Sor Rungvisai who went down as if hurt by the blow. There was a head clash prior to the jab and Nady ruled that this was in fact the cause of Sor Rungvisai’s hitting the canvas.
Suriyan appeared to suffer no ill effects from the two knockdowns and had arguably his best round of the fight in the third. He found his way inside and worked the body but his success was to be short-lived as the next five rounds were a master class of boxing from Moreno. His jab was magnificent in its accuracy and variety as he peppered the face of Sor Rungvisai almost at will. The Thai dynamo still came forward though and Moreno used some nimble footwork to counter the rushing attempts of his attacker. He often stepped to the side of Sor Rungvisai, countered nicely and even used his straight left to control distance in an unorthodox, yet highly effective manner.
The bout was slipping away from Sor Rungvisai as the Panamanian won round after round and despite having little success to this point with his unwavering head-first attack, the Thai warrior doubled his efforts and it paid off in round ten. He managed to finally break past Moreno’s jab and plant his head on Moreno’s chest as he flailed away. But “Chemito” never looked to be in any trouble and one could be forgiven for thinking Moreno was taking the round off.
Moreno went right back to outboxing his adversary in the final two rounds and despite Sor Rungvisai’s attempts to land a big shot in the last round, “Chemito” finished the victor thanks to his superior boxing skills and footwork. The scores were 117-110, 117-110 and 116-111, all for Moreno.
With the win Anselmo Moreno has earned himself a rematch with Japan’s WBC bantamweight champion, Shinsuke Yamanaka. Many thought Moreno was robbed of the title when he lost a controversial split decision last September in Tokyo and a rematch is perhaps the most anticipated bout the bantamweight division has to offer.
— Daniel Attias