This past Tuesday was a major day in boxing, though it's also one that has left a sour taste in the mouths of many.
The main card of the day was promoted by the Kameda brothers and it's this show that has left many in Japan questioning the IBF, the JBC, boxing in general and the Kameda brothers. Unfortunately for those in the west the situation seems more understandable than for those in the east.
The problem arose the minute that Daiki Kameda (29-4, 18) retained his IBF Super Flyweight title despite losing to Liborio Solis (16-3-1, 7). The fight was first advertised as an IBF/WBA unification contest, unfortunately when Solis failed to make weight the WBA stripped Solis who was unable to wins the titles. The IBF made the controversial decision to recognise Daiki as their champion win or lose.
When Daiki lost a split decision the WBA title was left vacant but Daiki retained his IBF title. For some this was understandable, Solis hadn't just failed to make weight but was a long way over the limit. Had this fight been in the US it'd have been understandable for Daiki to have pulled out but instead he went ahead with the bout and now seems to be on the backlash of that. It's a shame that the result has seen fans turn on Daiki who put on a brave effort against a much bigger man in the ring.
With the Japanese fans calling the IBF unnecessary it's fair to say that they forgot about the first televised fight which saw Katsunari Takayama (26-6-0-1, 10) defend the IBF Minimumweight title with a very impressive decision over Filipino challenger Vergilio Silvano (17-3-1, 10). This was Takayama's first fight in Japan since 2009 and we can't help but think that this is the guy that deserves to be allowed his IBF in Japan.
Strangely having just said it appears that Takayama will be chasing the WBC title in Japan or the WBO next time out. A fight between Takayama and either Xiong Zhao Zhong or Merlito Sabillo would be great action fights and it'd be a shame if the Japanese public don't admire this warrior of theirs.
In the one other title fight on the Kameda show we saw Tomoki Kameda (29-0, 18) successfully defend his WBO Bantamweight title with a clear decision over Immanuel Naidjala (17-1-1, 11). On paper this was a good result but the actual performance left us wondering whether or not Tomoki is a “championship” level fighter. He's clearly talented but he seemed to switch off late in the bout and possibly needs to mature a bit more to totally understand the importance of the championship rounds.
Interestingly the loss for Daiki, whilst terrible news now, may be a blessing in disguise for the Kameda's. Daiki, retaining his IBF title, has got a fight with Zolani Tete all but mandated for 2014, Tomoki will have the chance to avenge the Solis fight and Koki, if he chooses, could drop to Super Flyweight and fight for the now vacant WBA title. If those bouts happen in 2014 we think the Kameda family may well see the fans turning even further against them, but unfortunately those bouts do all make sense.
As well as the Kameda show there was also an 8 fight show put on by Hanagata at the Korakuen Hall. This show was headlined by an OPBF female Mninimumweight title fight. Unfortunately however the title remained vacant as Saemi Hanagata (8-4-2, 43) and Yuko Kuroki (9-4-1, 5) fought to a split decision draw.
Aside from the main event the rest of the card was somewhat lacking as we had 7 fights between novices. These contests included 2 bouts that went 6 rounds and saw Takahiro Shibata (5-2-1, 1) out pointing Tetsuya Koyama (5-5, 2) and Kazuki Matsuyama (7-5, 3) taking a decision over Ryo Shirakawa (5-6-2, 2).
The remaining 5 contests were all scheduled for 4 rounds. These saw the distance being reached in 2 bouts as Hiroyuki Yago (1-0) out pointed Shunta Terai (0-2) and Ryusei Yabe (2-0, 1) defeated Ryosuke Koizumi (2-2) also on points. Despite those two being the only contests that went the distance there was another decision as Norris Yano (2-0) took a third round technical decision over Hajime Sasaki (0-1).
In the two other bouts Andy Hiraoka (1-0, 1) took a 4th round stoppage over fellow debutant Katsuhiko Kudo (0-1) and Takuro Sato (2-3, 1) stopped Kazunori Kakishima (3-2) in the second round.
The best thing about this card however was an exhibition contest that saw Hozumi Hasegawa sharing the ring with the retiring Shoji Kimura. Kimura, a former world title challenger who lost in bouts to Chris John and Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, retires with an official record of 24-5-2 (9).
We try and give you the latest results on all the fights from Asia.