"The Summer of Kameda" kicked off a few weeks ago with Koki, the eldest of the three boxing brothers, defending his WBA Bantamweight title against John Mark Apolinario of the Philippines. Just weeks later the youngster brother, Tomoki, claimed the WBO Bantamweight title defeating Paulus Ambunda for the belt.
Earlier today middle child Daiki Kameda (29-3, 18) joined his brothers by claiming the IBF Super Flyweight title, in the process not only becoming the third brother to currently hold a title but also just the third Japanese fighter to claim an IBF world title following Satoshi Shingaki and Katsunari Takayama.
Daiki, facing off against the dangerous and talented Mexican Rodrigo Guerrero (19-5-1, 12) was seen as a small betting favourite, though with many fans he was actually seen as the under-dog.
The fight, with a lot riding on it, started poorly with the first 3 or 4 rounds really having very little clean action. Daiki used his feet and was very negative trying to force Guerrero to create the fight whilst trying to pick him off with single straight right hands. On the whole this was effective for Daiki in the early rounds though certainly not exciting.
Whilst the fight certainly lacked action in the opening stages Daiki did show off some very impressive movement, the sort of movement that would frustrate anyone and the sort of movement that prevented Guerrero from really establishing his pressure. Guerrero brought the heat, but it was often ineffective.
Although Daiki did make a good start he was under heavy fire for the first time in round 5. It was in this round that he was forced to really fight back for the first time and unfortunately for him he was deducted a point for a low in the final minute of the round. It's fair to say that the point deduction could have been the only mark against through 5 rounds on the judges scorecards due to how ineffective Guerrero's pressure had been.
It wasn't until the sixth round that Guerrero really tried to force a body attack and tried to take away the movement of Daiki. By this point it was obvious that Japanese fighter was simply a step ahead of his flatter footed opponent. The body attack of Guerrero did bring him some success though a late flurry by Daiki may have stolen him the round on at least one of the judges scorecards.
If the sixth saw Guerrero having some success in terms of connects then the seventh saw him having success in terms of his pressure forcing Daiki to work. Fortunately for Daiki his work did enough to keep Guerrero from landing much of note himself, though it was appearing that Guerrero had planned to come on strong in the second half of the fight.
After having two solid rounds Guerrero's first really strong round was the eighth, a round in which his pressure really began to pay off as he hammered Daiki upstairs and downstairs. It was beginning to look like the waiting game of the Mexican was paying off as he cut the distance and effectively took away the movement of the Japanese fighter. This success bred more success and Guerrero would further put the hurting on Daiki in the following round as the bout appeared to swing in the direction of the Mexican.
With bout slowly turning against him Daiki most have known he was in need of something special. He managed to find that something special in round 10, the fight's clear highlight. Again Guerrero brought the pressure and for a good chunk of the round seemed the boss until Daiki let loose with a long, sustained assault that had Guerrero covering up and going backwards. For the first time in the bout Kameda seemed to realise that he had the ability to hurt Guerrero when he let his hands go in a combination, and although Guerrero did come back in to the round late the attack of Daiki certainly stole the round.
The eleventh round saw Daiki deducted a second point, though even with the deduction it appeared he did more than enough to earn at least a share of the round as Guerrero started to look like a fighter who had given his all and was resigned to defeat failing to do enough in the final round to really make a clear cut case for that either.
Although the deductions in rounds 5 and 11 made the scores cards interesting, it appears they had no real bearing on the bout with scores of 114-112, 116-110 and 117-109 being registered by the judges, all in favour of Daiki.
With a WBA, a WBO and IBF champion in the family it would seem like the Kameda's are the boxing family of the moment. With their names firmly stamped in the record books we may well get the trio wanting to set more records, such as becoming the first trio to defend titles on the same show, or something similar. For now however they will celebrate a successful and memorable summer.