Last week was a strangely big one for boxing icons Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (50-0, 27). The two men were both in Japan, to attend Ultra Japan, and the two both seemed to hint that they were be having a rematch later this year.
At the time we knew the reason Pacquiao was in the country was to begin a new business arrangement with MTG Co., Ltd, and took part at an event to promote their products.
We didn't know why Mayweather was in Tokyo, though assumed it wasn't just for the music festival.
Today the unbeaten American held a press conference to announce exactly why he was in Japan, and what his future in the country was all about. "TMT Tokyo".
The "TMT" brand, "The Money Team", has been the brand that Mayweather has run in recent years and today he revealed he was expanding that bring in to Japan, though links with the Kameda brothers, promotional company Kyoei, Japanese management company Libera and the newly announced Mayweather Holdings.
TMT Tokyo will be looking to operate in a number of fields ranging from luxury cars, to boxing gyms, night clubs and Casinos.
When asked about the recent news that Mayweather would be having a rematch with Pacquiao the American seemed a little bit coy, and admitted that there wasn't yet a deal in place, though said “Maybe we can do the fight in Tokyo", suggesting that his future isn't to stay out of the ring. That would likely be a Kyoei-Mayweather promoted event, due to the need to Japanese promotional license. which Kyoei have. Such an event was compared to Muhammad Ali fighting in the country, and seems clear that there are big plans to between Kyoei, the Kameda's and Mayweather to increase the profile, and money involved, in Japanese boxing.
A return bout would also require Mayweather to peak to Showtime, which he stated he was going to do when he returned to the US.
Mayweather also revealed that he would be back in Japan in October for business reasons, though didn't give any more details on what businesses this return would be focused on.
(Image courtesy of Yoshiaki Miura)
Yesterday fight fans across Japan saw Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) [亀田 興毅] and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (91-5-2, 47) [พงษ์ศักดิ์เล็ก วันจงคำ] take part in an exhibition, which ended in round 2 when Koki stopped the Thai veteran. The bout was supposed to be Kameda's final contest though afterwards Kameda stated he would like to fight again, against 4-weight world champion Roman Gonzalez (46-2, 38) in a bout potentially at Super Flyweight.
The bout looked like a pretty interesting one on paper, and given the popularity of both men it would certainly draw in a lot of interest from fans, all over the glove, with many wanting to see Kameda fight a live opponent, a lot wanting to see Kameda get beaten and a lot wanting to see Gonzalez fight against someone who isn't going to potentially finish his career with some brutal knockout, like a third bout against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai could do.
The bout seemed like a good idea from Kameda and something that fans, sponsors and the such would like. Sadly however it has already been shot down, with Teiken representative Tsuyoshi Hamada stating there is no point in the bout and that Gonzalez was looking to reclaim a world title.
It's clear that Teiken would rather have Gonzalez in a big bout, though with the Super Flyweight title picture looking a bit tied up for now we can't help but feel Hamada's comments lack real merit. We understand Teiken not wanting to deal with Kameda, but there is point in the match up, with a bout potentially giving Gonzalez a good pay day in Japan for what would be seen as a relatively safe bout coming back from a string of wars with Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket, as well as back to back losses. Teiken and Gonzalez have got to fancy their man being too good for Kameda and given the potential financial pay off it seems silly for Teiken to rule out the bout so quickly.
It's unclear what either mans immediate plans are but we wouldn't be surprised to see Kameda back in the ring before the end of 2018, whilst Gonzalez is thought to be attempting one final charge at world level before the end of the year.
Earlier today fight fans in Japan were able to tune into Abema TV and see the rematch between Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) [亀田 興毅] and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (91-5-2, 47) [พงษ์ศักดิ์เล็ก วันจงคำ], who fought in a 6 round exhibition at Bantamweight.
The bout, which was advertised as being Koki Kameda's final bout, was fought in front of a packed Korakuen Hall and started quite comptitively. Wonjongkam, who looked old but still had glimpses of his ring craft, started fast and had some early success. It wasn't long however until Kameda's youth and speed began to shine and through the first round Kameda looked like he was getting more and more comfortable.
In round 2 the speed of Kameda told again as he landed a hard right hand and a solid straight left to send Wonjongkam down hard. The Thai tried to get to his feet but stumbled and the referee stopped the bout almost immediately before Kameda celebrated.
The two men would embrace, and there was a lot of respect between the two men after the bout.
Also after the bout Kameda told the crowd that this may not be his final bout after all, and that he would like to return for one more, a proper fully sanctioned bout.
Kameda not only stated he wanted to fight again, but that he would like to face off with 4-weight world champion Roman Gonzalez (46-2, 38). He offered to go down to Super Flyweight to face the Nicaraguan in what would be a really interesting fight, given that Gonzalez doesn't look like the fighter he once was, and despite Kameda beign older he is naturally bigger and has avoided the big wars Gonzalez has had in recent bouts.
As for Wonjongkam, his post fight comments suggested that even in his peak he would have struggled to have taken the shots that finished him off today, and compliments Kameda's speed and crispness.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This coming wekend fight fans with subscriptions to Abema TV will get the chance to see the rematch between Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) [亀田 興毅] and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (91-5-2, 47) [พงษ์ศักดิ์เล็ก วันจงคำ].
Today, ahead of their bout, Kameda took part in a public work out and spoke about his return to the ring.
Kameda seemed to suggest that he was looking to begin a new era in boxing and help raise the amount fighters in Japan can earn, even comparing himself to Sakamoto Ryoma, a famous and influential Japanese Samurai and political figure from the 1800's. It seems like Koki's ego, which has always been pretty large, is just as big as ever.
He spoke of wanting to face Wonjongkam, and it seems like the desire to face the former 2-time Flyweight champion has been something he's been wanting to do for a long time. The loss to Wonjongkam is one of only two on his record, and he seems to obvious have a burning desire to avenge the defeat.
As for the actual training session Kameda spent 2 round hitting the mitts with his training, looking sharp in great condition, before doing 4 rounds on the heavy bag. He looked in great shape, and despite being sharp looked very relaxed and calm, and it's clear that whilst he has taken this bout seriously he feels he will be the clear winner.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
This coming weekend fight fans in Japan will be able to see Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) [亀田 興毅] face off with Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (91-5-2, 47) [พงษ์ศักดิ์เล็ก วันจงคำ] in a special 8 round exhibition style bout at the Korakuen Hall.
Despite the bout not being an official on, and not counting on either man's record, it is being taken very seriously by the two men, and today Wonjoingkam took part in a public work out for the media.
At today's event he spoke confidentally, stating he would win and seemed very relaxed and calm.
It's been revealed that to prepare for this bout with Kameda the Thai has been sparring with Petch Sor Chitpattana (46-0, 31) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] and Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (50-3, 35) [ยอดมงคล ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] and has sparred 50 rounds with the two men. Although he admits he's not the fighter he once was, he claims to be 70-80% of what he was in his pomp.
At today's training session Wonjongkam didn't work too hard, but seemed very relaxed and hasn't gone over to Tokyo to just pick up a pay cheque. Instead he's got into really good condition and is just 1KG over the limit at the moment. Not only that but his team seemed to feel like he has got better movement than expected and they seemed like they wre expecting a victory this coming Saturday.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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