Srisaket Sor Rungvisai: ‘Fans call me “Rat King” because my favourite meal is grilled bandicoot rat’


Paul Wheeler talks to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the man who dethroned a pound-for-pound king

When and why you started boxing:
I started training in Muay Thai when I was around 13 years old because one of my neighbours wanted to fight me. When I was 22, I moved to Bangkok to work as a security guard and trash collector. That was where I met a boxing matchmaker who booked me to fight in Japan against Akira Yaegashi, who went on to become a three-division world champion. Before that fight, I’d never competed in boxing, so of course
I lost. That was the beginning of my boxing career.

Favourite all-time fighter:
Veeraphol Sahaprom is my all-time favourite Thai fighter. He’s a hero in my country. The foreign fighter that I like the most is Manny Pacquiao. He’s a global superstar and he’s a southpaw like me.

Best fight you’ve seen:
Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao did well in attack and Mayweather did well in defence.

Personal career highlight:
My two victories over Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, who was the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world when we first fought. Those wins changed my life.

Toughest opponent:
Carlos Cuadras. He was always running away from me, so it was tough to catch him.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
The best attribute that any boxer can have is discipline. It’s essential.

Training tip:
When throwing a punch, make sure to rotate your shoulders and body, as this will increase your punching power.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
Fans call me ‘Rat King’ because my favourite meal is grilled bandicoot rat. My favourite restaurant is Tee-Noi, where they serve Thai barbecue. It’s next to my gym, so I usually go there after training.

Best friends in boxing:
Phongsaphon Panyakum. He’s a rising young star who fights in the super-flyweight division like me. We’re fighting on the same card on March 13. You have to watch this guy. He’s going to be my successor.

Last film/TV show you saw:
The movie, Mulan.

Have you ever been starstruck:
When I met Sarach Yooyen. He’s a footballer who plays for Thailand.

Last time you cried:
When I lost to Juan Francisco Estrada in our rematch. I was so disappointed because I could’ve performed better. I can’t wait to fight him again in the future.

Best advice received:
‘Fight for our family.’ My wife always says this to me when I feel down. It encourages me so much.

Worst rumour about yourself:
That I skip training sessions and I lack determination and discipline. These rumours aren’t true. My goal is to become a three-time world champion, and I believe I can do it.

Something not many people know about you:
I’m very down to earth and I’ve never forgotten where I came from.



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