For the first time in history we got the chance to see an All Japanese world title fight take place in the US on Friday night, and we got a treat in a brutal, high paced, all action FOTY contender. And an Upset of the Year contender.
The fight in question saw the criminally under-rated Kohei Kono (31-8-1, 13) shock countryman Koki Kameda (33-2, 18) and retain the WBA Super Flyweight title, whilst potentially setting a big Macau show down.
The bout saw two men, who had been jibing each other for months, go straight to action with both men having a shout to claim an action packed opening round. Despite the great back-and-forth it was clear the referee wasn't going to take any infractions and in round 2 took a point from Kameda for low blows, in a horror round that has also seen him dropped. Another deduction from the challenger was made in round 3 as well and although Kameda was more than holding his own the deductions were certainly not doing him any favours at all.
In the middle the challenger started to set himself. The southpaw bad-boy seemed to manage to hurt the champion, sadly however it was the referee who was beginning to get more attention than the fighters with much being made of Celestino Ruiz's bizarre decisions, which included another deduction in round 9.
Kameda had put a lot into the middle rounds and had failed to make the most of his natural boxing and speed to engage in a war. The decision had been a bad one and in the later rounds his pace began to slow and Kono began to have the fight swing back his way as his energy reserves and toughness took over.
The desire of the champion was simply be too much for the challenger who had fought the wrong fight and had in fact fought his opponents fight. The tactics of Kameda may have made for a great fight, and the terrible officiating of the referee may have been almost inept, but the fight had been thrilling and the wait for the cards was equally so. Thankfully however the judges got it right giving the win to Kono by scores of 113-111, 115-109 an 116-108.
Now there are rumours of Kono looking towards a fight with Rex Tso, however a rematch with Kameda, a unification bout with Naoya Inoue or a clash with interim champion David Sanchez would certainly make interestingly alternatives. For Kameda this hits his dream of becoming a 4-weight world champion, however the performance will likely see fans showing him some respect. Sadly for Kameda however this could well be the sort of result that damages the reputation of the “Kameda Klan” who have now lost 4 fights this year between them, a really worrying figure.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.