Just moments ago fight fans got a notable upset, as former world title challenger Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-5-2, 24) [亀海喜寛] suffered a clear defeat to little known American fighter Greg Vendetti (20-2-1, 12), who scored, by far, the best win of his career.
The bout was the first in almost a year for the 35 year old Kamegai and his age and ring rust looked clear from the off as he was made to look slower and clumsier than usual and also seemed to have a little bit of fragility, backing off more often than we had typically seen from him during his career.
After the first few rounds he had been clearly out landed, and had taken the better shots, but as has long been the case with Kamegai he continue to barrel forward and did have some notable success in round 4, though was unable to keep that up, with Vendetti taking the sting out of Kamegai's fight back in rounds 5 and 6. With the wind out of his sales Kamegai never really got another foot hold in the bout whilst Vendetti out worked him, and backed him a number of times.
After 10 rounds it was hard to see anything but a win for Vendetti, who had entered as a 39/11 under-dog, and thankfully all 3 judges actually got it right, scoring the bout 98-92, twice, and 97-93 in favour of the American.
It's unclear if Kamegai will return to the ring following this defeat, but his performance here suggested there was perhaps a lack of motivation, following the loss to Cotto, as well as general wear and tear from what has been a very tough and hard career. He didn't look like the crazy all action warrior we all love, but instead like a man who was feeling the effects of a very damaging career. As for Vendetti this win certainly puts him on the map, and gives him a huge win, though perhaps does flatter him just a touch given how shop worn Kamegai looked. Saying that however a win of this nature will open doors for Vendetti and help him fine whole new opportunities going forward.
(Image courtesy of Teiken)
In a few hours time we'll see former world title challenger Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24) [亀海喜寛] return to the ring, for what will be his first fight for the first time since he lost to Miguel Cotto last year. The always entertaining Kamegai will be up against little known American foe Greg Vendetti (19-2-1, 12).
The bout has been picked up by British bookmakers who are ticking bets on the "To Win" market.
The teak tough Japanese warrior is the clear betting favourite, with odds of 2/9 available on him to pick up the win. Given how well known Kamegai is, his natural size advantages and his more impressive resume there is little argument for him being the favourite, though those odds do seem short for a 35 year old, who is returning from injury and has been out of the ring for a year.
Vendetti, a 28 year old fighter riding a who is riding a 15 fight unbeaten run dating back more than 3 years, has been priced around 3/1 with most bookies, with the best odds available being 39/11.
The best odds on the draw are 22/1.
(Image courtesy of Teiken)
Later today fight fans will be able to see former world title challenger Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24) [亀海喜寛] fight for the first time since his 2017 loss to Miguel Cotto. The teak tough Japanese warrior will be up against American fighter Greg Vendetti (19-2-1, 12) in an interesting looking contest promoted by Golden Boy.
On Thursday evening the two men took part in their weigh in for the contest and both men came in under the limit for the bout, weighing in at around 153.25lbs.
Despite both men weighing around the same they looked very different, with Kamegai looking the taller, stronger and naturally bigger man at the weigh in. He also, clearly, holds the edge in experience with more fights and more notable ones, including the losses to Cotto as well as bouts with Jesus Soto Karass, Alfonso Gomez and Robert Guerrero.
Saying all that however Kamegai is a man who has been in wars and despite being incredibly tough does have some wear and tear. He's also coming back from an injury and at the age of of 35 is much older than the 28 year old Vendetti, who hasn't had the wars of Kamegai and does have the fresher legs.
For fans wanting to watch this card it will be aired on ESPN2 in the USA.
(Image courtesy of Teiken)
Last year we saw Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24) [亀海喜寛] challenge for the WBO Light Middleweight title, coming up short against Miguel Cotto. That bout was almost a year ago and since then we've not seen Kamegai in action, with a shoulder injury forcing the cancellation of a scheduled bout with Daquan Arnett, which was to take place in January.
Thankfully however Kamegai is all healed from that injury and we now know that he will return to the ring on August 17th in a bout set to take place at the Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio California, in what looks to be the show's chief support bout.
The popular, and insanely tough, Japanese warrior will be up against 28 year old American fighter Greg Vendetti (19-2-1, 12), who's relatively unknown but is riding a 14 fight winning streak coming in to this bout. Sadly his competition hasn't been amazing, so it's hard to know how good he actually is, but he could end up making for a fan friendly battle with Kamegai, who is rarely in a bad fight.
The 35 year old Kamegai, who hasn't fought in Japan since October 2015, is looking to build on his reputation as a TV friendly fighter, and from what we understand this bout will be televised as part of a Golden Boy card on ESPN in the US. Another loss for Kamegai will likely spell the end of his run in the US, but a win here could kick start one more charge towards a major fight, like his bout with Cotto.
The main event for the show will see Andrew Cancio (18-4-2, 14) battling against Dardan Zenunaj (14-4, 11) in what should also be a very fun contest
Earlier this month we reported that Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24) would be facing the the once beaten Daquan Arnett (16-1, 9) on January 27th. Sadly that bout was cancelled today, as Kamegai suffered a reported shoulder injury, reinjuring the shoulder he damaged in his 2017 bout against Miguel Cotto.
Although it's currently unclear how serious the injury is, it has caused the Arnett bout to be cancelled and could see Kamegai outof the ring for a further 2 to 3 months, meaning he could potentially return on the same card as stablemate Ryota Murata (13-1, 10) [村田 諒太] which is pencilled in for April.
Sadly the news is bad for fans of Kamegai, and whilst the show will still go on, and still promises a lot, it is still a loss and means fans miss out one of the sports most fan friendly fighters in the sport.
Despite the injuryt to Kamegai the card will still feature a Teiken fighter, with Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) defending his WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring magazine titles against once beaten Filipino Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17), in one of the shows two main event bouts.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
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