Whilst some fighters are best known for their achievements, their titles, their wins and what they do in the ring, others are better known for their performances, win or lose. Today we look at one of those fighters who made great value TV despite losing most of their biggest fighters. He was a man who made fans tune in knowing they were going to get something exciting, and knew that he would give his all. No matter what.
That man is Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-5-2, 24), who gave us some of the most exciting fights of the last decade. Whilst he lost a number of his most notable bouts he did score plenty of good, and often over-looked wins as well. Here we take a look at the 5 most significant wins for... Yoshihiro Kamegai.
As is always the case in this series we look at the bouts in chronological order and try to explain why the bout was significant. This doesn't mean they are their best wins, or their most impressive, but the ones of most significance.
Yosukezan Onodera (April 12th 2010)
In the Spring of 2010 Kamegai got his first title bout, taking on Japanese Light Welterweight champion Yosukezan Onodera. At the time Onodera was 20-1-1, he had defended the belt twice and had held it for just over a year, since ending the lengthy reign of Norio Kimura. Although no beater Onodera was regarded very well on the Japanese domestic scene but was dropped multiple times by Kamegai, who stopped him in 9 rounds to become the Japanese national champion.
Jose Alfaro (October 10th 2010)
Just over 6 months after his title win Kamegai took on former world champion Jose Alfaro. Alfaro had been a short lived WBA Lightweight champion, losing the title in Japan to Yusuke Kobori, and had mixed with the likes of Erik Morales before facing Kamegai. For Kamagai this was his first bout with a former world champion and his first bout outside of Korakuen Hall, with this fight being held at the Kokugikan. Kamegai stopped Alfaro in 6 rounds to take a huge step forward in his career.
Hector Munoz (October 1st 2011)
In 2011 US fans got their first chance to see the rampaging Japanese fighter as he took on Hector Munoz in his US debut, at the MGM Grand. Munoz, sporting a 19-6-1 record, was the perfect foil for Kamegai to take out on the under-card of Toshiaki Nishioka's bout with Rafael Marquez. Kamegai would stop Munoz in the 6th round on a card that featured a number of notable fighters. This was the first of many fights Kamegai had Stateside, and getting a win on his first bout there was really important to leaving an impression.
Tim Hunt (December 7th 2013)
It's hard to believe that during his career Kamegai only won two titles. He didn't pick up any WBA or WBC minor titles, just two fairly noteworthy titles. The first of those, as already mentioned, was the Japanese Light Welterweight title. The second was the OPBF Welterweight title which he won in late 2013 when he stopped Australian Tim Hunt at Korakuen Hall. This was one of Kamegai's final bouts in Japan, in fact he only fought at home twice more. His reign was a short one, he only defended the belt once, but it was still a major achievement for the exciting warrior from the Teiken gym.
Jesus Soto Karass II (September 10 2016)
We feel Kamegai may have saved his most significant win until last, with his second bout against Jesus Soto Karass. The two men had fought to a thrilling draw in April 2016 and then rematched just 5 months later, with Kamegai breaking down "JSK" in 8 rounds. The Mexican veteran had been dropped prior to retiring in his corner in what was a brilliant fight at the Forum in Inglewood. This would also prove to be Kamegai's final professional win, ending his career after losses in 2017 and 2018. This is the win we suspect many fans will remember Kamegai for, and it really is a special fight. If you've not seen it you need to watch it. A truly amazing war.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces