Exciting Japanese boxer Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19) has announced that he has vacated the WBO Bantamweight title ahead of his May 9th contest with WBA "regular" champion Jamie McDonnell (25-2-1, 12). The bout, originally announced as a unification bout, was a controversial one with the WBO who refused to acknowledge McDonnell's reign as a "world champion", instead regarding him as a secondary title holder. Due to the controversy the WBO had announced that they were requesting Tomoki to vacate the belt or risk being stripped and had even sent Tomoki a letter restating the issue, a letter made public.
Tomoki was quoted as saying that he was wanting to fight the "best fighters...regardless of titles" and it seemed clear that he regarded McDonnell as being among the best fighters in the division. It also seems clear that Tomoki will be seeking to win the WBA belt when he meets McDonnell and will be hoping to call himself a 2-time world champion.
Whilst the move was a relatively predictable one from the often classy Tomoki, it was also an interesting one that leaves the WBO in an interesting position. It seems clear that WBO #1 contender Ryo Akaho (26-1-2, 18) will be given a shot at the vacant title, though we could end up seeing him up against Pungluang Sor Singyu (49-3, 33), who is ranked #2. Pungluang is a former champion however he is best known for losing, on his US debut, to Tomoki less than a year ago. Saying that however the WBO may well give their rankings a random shake up to displace Pungluang, at least for now.
Following Tomoki's decision the WBO have wished him their best and it seems that neither party harbours ill will to the other regarding the situation and we'd not be shocked to see Tomoki fighting for a WBO belt again somewhere down the line.
WBO retsate their stance on the proposed Tomoki Kameda Vs Jamie McDonnell "unification" bout
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