Earlier this year many Western fans got their first chance to see Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19), the youngest of the trio of Kameda brothers, as he stopped Thailand's Pungluang Sor Singyu in the US. That was despite the fact Kameda had actually fought much of his career in Mexico where he scored several notable wins, including a decision over Stephane Jamoye. This weekend he returned to the US to seek his third defense of the WBO Bantamweight title. In the opposite corner to Kameda was experienced Mexican Alejandro Hernandez (28-11-2, 15), the mandatory challenger for Kameda and the WBO interim champion.
Sadly the impressive performance of Kameda against Pungluang wasn't replicated here, despite the fact he easily out pointed and dominated Hernandez who often looked like a man happier to survive than to take a risk in an attempt to win the fight.
In the opening round Kameda struck first and used his speed, both with his feet and hands, to back up Hernandez in what was a relatively easy round for the champion who was facing a man who looked timid and unsure of himself. Kameda's success from the opening round grew and grew through the first half as the champion proved he fight Hernandez's fight and win it as he began forcing Hernandez back at will, landing flurries and getting out of distance before Hernandez tried to retaliate. It seemed that the challenger was either in survival mode or biding his time in the hope that Kameda would wear himself out.
It wasn't until round 6 that Hernandez even seemed to look like he was interested in trying to win a round and despite trying to win it he was clearly out landed and out worked by the classy Kameda who looked like he was in cruise control racking up the rounds whilst taking little damage damage in return.
Hernandez tried again in round 7 as we had one of the bouts few debatable rounds. This was perhaps the first swing round though was followed one of Kameda's rounds as the Japanese boxer got on his toes and just boxed the socks off Hernandez who appeared frustrated in the later part of the round.
Strangely Kameda's domination came to an end in round 9 as Hernandez finally put his foot on the gas and won a round as he cut Kameda and worked away on the Japanese fighter who quickly looked bothered by the damage that was beginning to form around his left eye. It wasn't threatening the end of the fight but it was swelling shut and marking up notably from the success of the challenger who seemed to smell blood through the round.
Hernandez's short lived fight back came to an end the following round with Kameda winning rounds 10 and 11 in a similar fashion to the way he won the earlier rounds, simply out working a lazy looking Hernandez who let the momentum instantly slip away.
Hernandez claimed his second clear round in round 12 as he seemed to hurt Kameda and went on the offensive through the round. It left us wondering where this mentality had been in the earlier rounds when he had been happy to back off behind his guard rather than unload and come forward. It showed that Hernandez can fight but for large swathes of this bout he just chose not to in a very disappointing effort.
After 12 rounds it seemed we had a clear winner. Tomoki had won the bout in the first 7 or 8 rounds on our card. Strangely, though predictably now, the judges had things scored a bit differently to us as they turned in scores cards that gave us a split decision with all three cards reading 115-113, two to Kameda and one to Hernandez, to give the Japanese fighter a split decision win.
We're unsure what the judges were watching but it wasn't the fight in the ring we're afraid, that wasn't competitive, even if Tomoki didn't impress as he did against Punluang earlier this year.
From what we understand Tomoki will now be fighting against Britain's Jamie McDonnell in WBO/WBA unification bout in 2015, we'll hope for Kameda's sake that these judges aren't involved there.
World Title Results
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