WBC Bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka may well know that Ryosuke Iwasa is his #1 contender but it appears that the Bantamweight star has other plans on his mind for 2014. That's not to say he would "duck" or "avoid" Iwasa but that bigger fights are on his mind than rematching a man he stopped back in 2011.
The 2 fights that Yamanaka appears to want for next year are both contests that should have the world of boxing salivating with excitement.
One of them is at Bantamweight with Yamanaka saying that he wants to be the #1 fighter at Bantamweight. Whilst some do view Yamanaka as the top dog at Bantamweight he does have a credible challenger in Panamanian Anselmo Moreno. Moreno, the WBA "super" champion, is a man known to Japanese fans due to Koki Kameda's clear duck of him. Koki, rather than fight Moreno, vacated the WBA "regular" Bantamweight title and decided to drop to Super Flyweight with everyone knowing why he made the move. For Yamanaka however the challenge of Moreno seems to be something he would love.
Although we'd love to see Iwasa/Yamanaka II we've got to admit that Moreno/Yamanaka is a bigger fight, potentially the biggest in the Bantamweight division right now. It'd be a WBA/WBC unification bout and it'd leave us with a clear #1 something that believe we should wish for in every division.
Whilst the Moreno bout looks like the logical one for the sake of the Bantamweight division it's not the only fight Yamanaka has said he'd like and in terms of money it's the less significant of the 2 bouts.
The other bout Yamanaka has said that he'd like is one that would see him traveling to the US to face highly rated Mexico Leo Santa Cruz. This bout would see Yamanaka not only needing to travel but also move up a weight as he'd likely be challenging for Santa Cruz's WBC Super Bantamweight title however in terms of money this is the bout that makes sense.
Santa Cruz has looked, at times, like one of the most exciting young fighters on the planet. At other times though he has looked limited and predictable, as he did recently against Cesar Seda. Seda, like Yamanaka, is a south paw and the stance did seem to give Santa Cruz some difficulties. Sure the styles between Yamanaka and Seda are different but from the struggles the Mexican had with Seda there is no doubt that Yamanaka could well shock Cruz and the US boxing scene.
Interestingly when it comes to Yamanaka and Santa Cruz the men do have a shared opponent, Alberto Guevara. Santa Cruz took a clear decision over Guevara though did struggle early on with Guevara's movement, Yamanaka however broke down Guevara and eventually stopped him, again after struggling early. This could perhaps help Yamanaka mentally if the fight is made.
We, like every fan out there, would love these bouts to be made, though if they aren't we wouldn't be disappointed if Yamanaka faced Iwasa, Tomoki Kameda, Liborio Solis, Hugo Ruiz, Pungluang Sor Singyu or Felipe Orucuta. So stacked is the Bantamweight division that Yamanaka does have a number of options if the biggest fights out there cannot be made.
There are few families in world boxing that are as controversial as the Kameda brother's. Sadly the trio don't tend to help themselves that often and instead they seem to just make things worse.
The latest faux pas by the Kameda's has seen Koki Kameda give up his WBA "regular" Bantamweight title rather than face WBA "super" champion Anselmo Moreno. A move that is being met be derision by pretty much everyone in boxing and will go down as one of the clearest "ducks" in recent boxing history. In fact, you may well need to go back to Riddick Bowe tossing a belt into a bin to find a more clear example of ducking than this.
The Kameda-Moreno bout was set to go to purse bids on December 10th. Instead Koki has vacated the title and asked the WBA to rank him at Super Flyweight. A move we called way back in September (Koki Kameda v Anselmo Moreno-Not yet, if ever).
What changed between September and now is the state of the WBA Super Flyweight title. Back then it was held by Liborio Solis. Of course this past week saw Solis being stripped of the title due to a failure to make the 115lb limit prior to his bout with Koki's brother Daiki. With Daiki failing to win that contest the title has remained vacant. You can bet your bottom dollar that Koki is eying up that belt as we speak.
Whilst the avoidance of Moreno is a clear duck, and the puns such as "Coward Kameda" and "Quacky Kameda" are floating around the net, Koki himself will point to history. If he can claim a world title at 115lbs he would become the first ever Japanese fighter to be a 4-weight world champion. And yes, we know that would really rub salt in the wounds of those who dislike Koki.
Sadly we can't help but say "told you saw", as we predicted this several times over the past few months, most recently after Daiki's fight with Solis. Saying that, we do think it'd be hilarious if the WBA told Koki to earn a ranking at 115lbs rather than just be granted one. It'd be nice to see one of the organisations finally sticking up to the Kameda's, though it would be rather unlikely.
WBA Bantamweight title holder Koki Kameda, who was recently granted permission to fight in an "interim bout" before facing Anselmo Moreno, has finally released details of his upcoming schedule.
Kameda is now expected to return to the ring on November 19th on the South Korean province of Jeju. Kameda, defending his title on foreign soil for the first time will be facing South Korean Jung-Oh Son, himself a former 2-weight South Korean national champion.
If Koki, as expected, get's past Son then he's likely to face Anselmo Moreno in April 2014 with Panama a likely venue.
The past few days has seen news breaking that WBA "super" champion at Bantamweight, Anselmo Moreno, has given the green light to WBA "regular" Bantamweight champion Koki Kameda to have an "interim fight" before the two clash either later this year or very early next year.
Moreno's advisor Sampson Lewkowicz has said the Panamanian has no objections to an interim fight if the two men will fight in their mandatory bout in the coming months. Interestingly however for this to happen it would mean Koki would fight twice in a matter of around 4 months (and 3 times in the space of 6 months, if we include the bout in July with John Mark Apolinario).
Whilst we truly believe the Panamanian has agreed to this in good faith, having passed on an opportunity to fight rising Mexican Leo Santa Cruz on November 2nd we're not truly confident that Koki has made this agreement in equal faith.
The fans calling for Koki to fight a genuine top Bantamweight has been an ongoing thing for a while, yet he has shown no inclination of fighting compatriot Shinsuke Yamanaka. We wouldn't imagine he'd be happy to face Moreno.
The cynics in us think that his "interim bout" won't even be at 118lbs. Koki has said, on record, that he could make 115lbs and wants to be a 5 weight world champion. It wouldn't be a big surprise if he has seen a weak link at Super Flyweight for him to attack to claim a fourth divisional world title. Maybe we're being harsh but could we be more likely to see Koki Kameda v Liborio Solis in 2014 than Koki Kameda v Anselmo Moreno?
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