The latest hit to the Kameda's came this past Saturday night when Tomoki Kameda (31-1, 19), the youngest of the Kameda brothers, suffered his first professional loss and failed to claim the WBA Bantamweight title, being narrowly out pointed by Englishman Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, 12) in a genuinely enthralling contest.
The fight started really well for Tomoki who seemed to claim the first round and, in round 3, scored a flash knockdown to secure a 10-8 round. At that point it seemed like the fight was Tomoki's to lose and that the Japanese fighter was set to become a 2-time world champion.
Rather than Tomoki losing it McDonnell made the adjustments needed and began to really let his hands go, finding a new gear and using his jab excellently to neutralise Tomoki's naturally quicker hand at range. On the inside both men were unleashing great flurries and the action was fantastic with a real see-saw feel to it though it did seem like McDonnell was getting the best of it more often than not.
By round 6 Tomoki's early lead had been eroded and it was clear that there wasn't going to be a lot in it if things continued to be as well fought as it was. Unfortunately for Tomoki he failed to really find another gear and instead he was being forced to fight McDonnell's fight more and more with McDonnell dictating the pace of the fight, as seen notably in round 7.
Tomoki fought back hard and seemed to clearly claim round 8 as he moved up a gear, securing one of the few clear rounds of the fight. Unfortunately for Tomoki it was his final “clear” round and an attempt to steal round 9 was too close to call, despite seemingly wobbling McDonnell late in the round.
It seemed like it was all to play for in the final 3 rounds and unfortunately for Tomoki it seemed like McDonnell was the hungry man taking the fight to the Japanese fighter and, in round 12, completely dominating a very lazy Tomoki. It seemed that Tomoki fought the final round as if he had it in the bag, though in reality it was too close to call. Stupidly for Tomoki the fact he gave the round away cost him with McDonnell taking the decision with scores of 114-113 on all 3 cards. It was one of the rare times that the judges all got the bout spot on, and it was the type of bout that showed just how good boxing can be, less than a week after the disappointing "Fight of the Century".
Tomoki's "strategy" for round 12 was one of the stupidest things we've seen a fighter do as a challenger, it didn't quite match Daiki Kameda's mental break down against Daisuke Naito but it was similarly foolish especially considering how close this bout had been. Sadly Tomoki showed a real lack of character at the end suggesting he had won all 12 rounds though it did show the lack of class that we are familiar with when it comes to the Kameda's.
For Tomoki it does leave him on the outside looking in when it comes to a big fight. He's still seemingly very popular with the Mexican fans but it's going to be a mystery what his next step is, especially considering he's locked out of a number of mouth watering bouts due to his ban from Japan. Strangely however we may have moved a step close to a really promising bout, with McDonnell now being an attractive opponent for WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, in what would be a bout between the two stand out fighters in the division. A bout between Tomoki and Yamanaka seemed really unlikely but McDonnell and Yamanaka is certainly a possibility, and a mouth watering one at that.
For fans who missed this one, you really should hunt it down, it was enthralling and the type of bout that every fight fan wishes to see. For those who saw it, we won't be saying anything new by suggesting that it was something a little bit special.