Tomoki Kameda battles Jamie McDonnell but who will finish the night as the WBA Bantamweight champion*
Although it's not the strongest division in the sport it's fair to say that the Bantamweight division is warming up quickly and we're set for a very exciting couple of years at 118lbs. At the moment the divisional #1, by some margin, is Shinsuke Yamanaka, and behind him is a handful of fellow Japanese fighters such as Ryosuke Iwasa, Ryo Akaho, Ryo Matsumoto, Tomoki Kameda and Shohei Omori. It's possible that by the end of 2015 Japan could have 5 world champions in the division.
The next bout of note in the division features the aforementioned Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19) who has vacated the WBO title ahead of his upcoming bout, but the bout still promises a lot as he takes on WBA “regular” champion Jamie McDonnell (25-2-1, 12) of the UK.
When the bout was first mooted it was set to be a WBO/WBA unification contest however the WBO made a worthwhile stand and made it clear they weren't going to be recognising the WBA's secondary titles. As a result they have stripped Kameda for participating in the contest and left the WBA regular title as the only one up for grabs. That however doesn't change the fact that this is a brilliant match up and something that is really mouth watering. In fact it's a genuine highlight for a month, that is full of highlights.
For those who are unaware Tomoki is the youngest of the controversial Kameda boxing brothers and appears to be the most talented by far. He's a pure boxer who can really do almost everything in the ring. He's light on feet, throws blistering combinations, counters beautifully and can switch from head to body with no issues. The one flaw in his game, if we can call it a flaw, is that does lack fight ending power but he does hit hard enough to hurt foes, as seen with his devastating body shot against Pungluang Sor Singyu back in 2014.
Like his brothers Tomoki is currently banned from fighting in Japan. However that hasn't been much of an issue for the charismatic youngster who is fluent in Spanish and has been signed by powerful American “advisor” Al Haymon who seems to like the Japanese youngster and has so backed him with this being his 3rd US bout in a row. Given his ability and style we suspect he'll continue to be fighting in the US for the foreseeable future and he could well be the Japanese star that goes on to really make it big in the US.
McDonnell on the other hand is volume puncher who has a sensational engine and seems to get stronger as the fight goes on. He does however have a lot of question marks about his shot selection, overall ability and general attitude inside the ring. At his best he's a handful and wins over the likes of Stephane Jamoye, Stuart Hall and Julio Ceja all look excellent on paper. At his worst however he struggles with the likes of Abigail Medina and Javier Nicolas Chacon, who both asked real questions of McDonnell's “world class” ability.
Whilst the 29 year old McDonnell does make us question him a lot, we do suspect that he's had an issue “getting up” for fights. He's has been matched awfully at times and it's little wonder if he's lacking motivation considering some of the hilarious mismatches he's been involved in. That motivation may well have shown in performances where he has just “gone through the motions”. If however there is more to it than just a lack of motivation it may well turn out that McDonnell is on the back end of his career and his famed gas tank is now running empty.
When the two get in the ring we're expecting to see a bout that pits McDonnell's basic but busy pressure against against the smart boxing and moving of Kameda who will move in and out with bursts of sharp and accurate flurries. The between the two style wise is huge however the biggest difference is actually likely to be the footwork with McDonnell often having questionable footwork whilst Tomoki is like a cat on his feet. That will work massively for the Japanese fighter who will be able to control range, lure McDonnell in and counter with ease against his wild foe.
To McDonnell's credit we don't see him being too hurt by Tomoki however we do see him being thoroughly out boxed and out smarted en route a wide decision victory for Tomoki.
This might not be a unification but it is a damned good bout!
(Image courtesy of www.premierboxingchampions.com)
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