When we talk about controversial fighters in this day and age we often think of those who are apt at bending the rules or those who have failed, or been linked to, performance enhancing drug use.
One man however who's name is very closely linked to controversy is Japan's Koki Kameda (32-1, 17) who again had a controversial contest, despite retaining his WBA Bantamweight title.
Fighting outside of his native Japan for just the third time in his career Koki traveled to Jeju in South Korea and battled the relatively unheard of Jung-Oh Son (20-5-2, 6), or Jeong-Oh Son.
Son, although an unknown, knew this was by far the biggest chance of career. He knew the world expected him to lose. He knew everyone, including ourselves, had effectively written him off.
What we didn't know however was that the Korean was a man with a point to prove, a man looking at his destiny and a man who was determined to make a statement. It's fair to also say that Koki didn't expect the Korean fighter to be seeking to make a point.
The fight started well for Koki who found a home for his left hand in the opening round and then built on his initial success with solid body work in the second round. By the end of the third round it seemed clear that Koki had the skills to counter Son at will and win rounds boxing off the back foot. Son, although behind after 3 rounds, was certainly the man making the fight and the man forcing the action even if his work wasn't incredibly effective.
Although down after 3 Son began to really grow in to the bout round after round and by the end of the fourth round he appeared to be neutralising Koki's work whilst having more success himself. It was obvious from this round that Koki wasn't going to do as he wished with Son and that Son had the ability to make things very difficult for Koki.
Things went from bad to worse for Koki as Son hurt him in a very clear fifth round that seemed to prove that Son hit a lot, lot harder than his record indicated. Koki saw out the round though it was clear that Son was able to rattle him, out work him and generally make him incredibly uncomfortable in the ring.
Taking the fifth round as a clear warning Koki managed to change tactics in a huge way for round 6 as he held, clinched and generally spoiled his way through the round. If nothing else the round allowed Koki a chance to clear his head, though it was obvious that the Japanese champion knew a war would be trouble for him.
Koki seemed to turn the bout more in his favour in round 7 thanks to some success with body shots that appeared to be taking the steam out of Son's sails. This body attack of Koki's continued through the eighth round as it began to look like Son had missed his opportunity to upset Koki.
Remarkably Son got his second wind in round 9 and made the action very hard to score as he handcuffed Koki with his assault, an assault that would send Koki down to his knees in round 10. This knockdown saw us going in to the championship rounds pretty much level and with both men knowing they were well in with a chance to claim the victory.
Unfortunately for Son his energy wasn't there for the final 2 rounds. His lack of 12 round experience, a distance he had only completed twice, seemed to just see him running out of steam.
As we got to the cards there was near no certainty. Koki, although taking some of the early rounds and the final round, had struggled through much of the fight and Son on the other hand had taken the middle rounds and landed the more memorable attacks. This had left everyone anticipating close scorecards and rightfully so, unfortunately however Son's hard work seemed to be for naught with Koki's arm being raised as he claimed a narrow split decision.
Using the WBA half point scoring Koki ultimately won with scores of 115-112 and 114.5-114 going against a card of 115.5-113 in favour of Son. The half point in favour of Koki was the difference between a loss and a draw for Son.
The result, which has been widely criticised, was perhaps not a "robbery" per se, but was certainly controversial, mostly due to the 115-112 card which was far, far too wide. No way did Kameda win the bout by claiming 8 of the 12 rounds, which the 115-112 card would indicate.
If there was a silver lining to the loss for Son it's that he knows he's made a statement and could well be able to get himself a bigger fight off the back of this. In fact a fight with Tomoki Kameda would now make a lot of sense. Had Son won however his reign would have been very short with the winner here being forced to fight Anselmo Moreno early next year. For Koki that's already looking like a loss. Moreno, for his lack of power, is an excellent boxer and will really embarrass Koki unless the Japanese fighter can find something very, very special between now and that fight.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.