De ja vu as WBA issue demand for Kohei Kono to defend belt against Koki Kameda; potentially bad news for Rex Tso
Earlier today the WBA issued a demand to the camps of WBA Super Flyweight champion Kohei Kono (30-8-1, 13) and #2 ranked challenger Koki Kameda (33-1, 18). The demand was that the fighters would have 30 days to negotiate an agreement to fight or else purse bids would be enforced on the two Japanese fighters.
This will, for many, seem like a case of de ja vu with the WBA make the same demands last year before the JBC effectively put the WBA in their place, at least temporarily.
The issue with the bout is that JBC have refused to license Kameda brothers domestically unless the Kameda follow the Japanese rules, which include signing up with a licensed gym. The JBC have refused to recognise the Kameda's as active fighters and have essentially used the idea that Koki is banned to prevent the fight last year.
What has changed in the last year is that Kameda, along with his brothers, has inked a deal with powerful American Al Haymon. Haymon will back Kameda financially and it could be a case that Haymon wins the purse and gets the bout over on US TV as part of his PBC series.
This news will be a damaging hit to Watanabe gym, the promoters of Kono, who were hoping to show case all 3 of their world champions, Kono, Takashi Uchiyama and Ryoichi Taguchi, in May in Tokyo. It is still possible for them to do that but they'd need Koki to get a Japanese license and agree to the fight in Tokyo or for the WBA to the Kono Vs Kameda bout to be delayed.
This will also be bad news for China's Rex Tso who was chasing a summer fight with Kono in Macau. Whilst we won't pretend Kameda is unbeatable it's unlikely that a Kameda Vs Tso bout will be easy to make with Tso's new co-promoter Bob Arum having personal issues with Al Haymon.
Whilst we're unsure how this will end but the story is likely to again lead to friction between the WBA and the JBC with the JBC already refusing to sanction "WBA interim" title fights and apparently unhappy about the "Super" champion status that was effectively forced on to Takashi Uchiyama. It may be that we essentially see the JBC waving good bye to the WBA sooner rather than later.
Clarification on the situation regarding Kohei Kono and Koki Kameda [posted last September]
The JBC and WBA at loggerheads [also posted last September]
Rex Tso secures 2 year deal with Top Rank
(Image courtesy of http://www.wbanews.com)
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