Srisaket feels Prayut's power

Champion wins praise from prime minister

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attempts to emulate Srisaket Sor Rungvisai's knockout blow during their meeting at Government House yesterday. PR

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai knocked out Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez to retain his WBC super-flyweight title at the weekend but he was almost floored by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday.

The 30-year-old boxer and his handlers paid a courtesy call on the premier at Government House yesterday after his fourth-round knockout win over Nicaragua's Gonzalez in a rematch in Carson, California on Saturday.

Srisaket knocked out Gonzalez with a thunderous right hook and Gen Prayut tried to emulate the action.

"His punch almost broke my jaw," Srisaket told reporters afterwards.

"His punch was quite hard and I feel a bit hurt."

Gonzalez reportedly suffered a broken jaw in Saturday's fight.

The boxer, known in Thailand as Srisaket Nakornloung Promotion, said the prime minister told him to stay healthy and keep the belt as long as possible.

Srisaket proposed to his long-time girlfriend Patchareewan Kanha at Suvarnabhumi airport after arriving home on Tuesday.

"The prime minister said Nong Kay [Patchareewan] is pretty. He also asked me about the wedding date,'' Srisaket said.

"I wanted to invite him to my wedding party but did not have the guts to do so."

The prime minister gave him a bag as a wedding present.

During the meeting, Gen Prayut praised Srisaket for his determination and patience in Saturday's bout.

"This title is for all Thais. We all are proud of you," Prayut told Srisaket.

"I watched the fight on TV. I saw you fight with determination, patience and brain. You won without any doubt."

In their first meeting, at New York's Madison Square Garden in March, Srisaket dethroned then-unbeaten Gonzalez with a major decision following a bloody slugfest.

Several US-based media outlets, as well as Gonzalez, believed the Nicaraguan won.

After that victory, Srisaket visited Gen Prayut and told him that he wanted to become a police officer.

Srisaket has been appointed a police lance corporal at a police station in his hometown in Si Sa Ket's Uthumphon Phisai district.

Srisaket is a political science student at Chalermkanchana University in Si Sa Ket and Gen Prayut yesterday told him to study hard to get a bachelor's degree.

With a bachelor's degree, he could become a commissioned police officer.

Srisaket (44-4-1, 40KOs) is expected to next face Mexico's Juan Francisco Estrada or Japanese Naoya Inoue, the WBO champion in the same weight class.

Srisaket said he was not afraid of anyone but preferred a clash with Inoue.

"My team said the Japanese has more weaknesses than the Mexican," the champion said.

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