A week ago it seemed almost certain the Britain's Jamie McDonnell (23-2-1, 10) was going to meet unbeaten American-Nicaraguan Randy Caballero (20-0, 12) in an IBF Bantamweight eliminator. It now seems that that bout has been cancelled after the two camps were unable to agree terms.
For McDonnell, who was questionably stripped of the IBF title belt last year, this is going to sting but it could get even worse. It seems that McDonnell, the IBF #3 ranked fighter, is set to be over-looked again by IBF.
The story doing the rounds at the moment suggest that the IBF will allow Caballero, who is ranked #4, to fight against Kohei Oba (35-2-1, 14), the #5 ranked fighter, with the winner of that bout becoming the mandatory challenger to the IBF champion. It's fair to say that if this happens McDonnell may well give up with the IBF all together considering the way he has been treat by them.
McDonnell's heartache however will be a gift to Oba.
Oba, who is arguably the 4th best Bantamweight in Japan, is a 2-time national champion though has fallen short in 2 attempts to claim the OPBF title. Saying that however we don't think much of either Caballero or current IBF champion Stuart Hall. There is nothing for Oba to fear in either guy and if he can bypass McDonnell then there is every chance Japan could have another IBF champion by the end of the year.
Of the current champions at Bantamweight the IBF champion is by far the weakest. The WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka would easy defeat Oba, the WBO champion Tomoki Kameda would be clearly favoured over Oba and WBA champion Anselmo Moreno would also be too much for Oba. A fight with the IBF champion then would be highly welcome for Oba if he does get the opportunity as we are now hearing.
Although this bout is being spoken about no date or venue has yet to be mentioned, though we're assuming that Golden Boy Promotions, the promoter of Caballero, will likely be behind the contest and it will end up in the US as a result.
(Picture of Kohei Oba courtesy of http://www.shinsei-gym.com)
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.
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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