Last night in the US Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20) [亀田和毅] fell to his second loss in a boxing ring to Mexican Rey Vargas (34-0, 22), with Vargas successfully defending WBC Super Bantamweight title as a result.
The two men, who had fought in the amateurs, had history coming in to the bout and that history had been on the mind of Kameda in the build up. The Japanese fighter had laid out his plan before the bell, he was going to try and goad the talented Vargas into a fight, and make Vargas give away his advantages.
Sadly for Kameda that game plan failed, badly, and in the ring Vargas did what Vargas does, and used his freakish frame to neutralise Kameda. Vargas was incredibly busy, throwing around 800 punches, and although his accuracy wasn't great, it kept Kameda at range. When the Japanese fighter did get up close, which was rather rare, Vargas snuffed out the problem with some ease, holding spoiling and forcing the referee to split the two men.
Although far, far less busy Kameda did have moments, landing some big right hands. Those shots did little other than catch the eye as his lack of power at Super Bantamweight proved to be another big issue for him.
After 12 rounds there was no doubting the winner, with Vargas comfortably in control for the most part, winning 117-110, with Kameda having been deducted a point late in the fight for punching on the break. It was a deduction that played no real part in the result and seemed to come from frustration in a bout he knew was already out of reach.
In recent times the Kyoei boxing gym has been overshadowed by rival Teiken, who have basically been the big success story of Japanese boxing for the last few years. Today however Kyoei claimed their 13th "world champion" as Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20) [亀田和毅]claimed the WBC "interim" Super Bantamweight title, with a clear decision win over Spanish based Dominican puncher Abigail "bebe" Medina (19-4-2, 10) at the Korakuen Hall.
The first started perfectly for Kameda, who dominated the early rounds with his speed, movement, and ring IQ. In fact through 4 rounds it was almost impossible to even try to make an argument that Medina deserved anything. The Japanese fighter moved too well, landing all the shots of note and really was good value for his 40-36 lead, a score that was publicly announced after the 4th round.
Medina then began to come alive, losing round 5 but looking more live and becoming more and more aggressive, particularly in round 6 and 7, both rounds in which he upped his work rate and forced Kameda on to the back foot. It was good work from Medina, but seemed like it was a case of needing a KO, and by round 8 Kameda had re-found his groove, boxing and moving brilliantly, landing flush combinations. Kameda's performance in round 8 saw him leading 78-74 after 8 rounds, and looking like the man who had began to sort things out.
Kameda again shone in round 9, as he once again found his distance and landed flashy combinations. He struggled to keep up his success however and Medina did enough get himself back into the fight in round 10, but by then he really did need a KO to win, he was too far behind with too little time to catch up to the Japanese fighters.
Knowing if he stayed on his feet the bout was in the bag Kameda knew what he had to do, and saw out the final 2 rounds to take the unanimous decision with scores of 117-111, twice, and 116-112.
With the win Kameda sets up a bout with WBC "regular" champion Rey Vargas, in what could be a very interesting match up. Sadly his lack of power did again rear it's head, and talk of a bout between Kameda and Naoya Inoue, which has been raised recently from Kameda's father Shiro Kameda, doesn't look as appealing with the knowledge Kameda's power really isn't there at world level, unlike Inoue's.
Boxing often sees “controversy” with the scoring of fights thought it must be said that sometimes a judge can have an off night. This past Sunday we dare say that the judges got it right as Englishman Jamie McDonnell (27-2-1, 12) did the double over Tomoki Kameda (31-2, 19) and retained his WBA Bantamweight crown.
The two men, who fought in a thriller earlier this year, were expected to be in another thriller here. Tomoki was favoured by the bookies and the view in many quarters was that he would have learned from his first loss. The hope was that linking up with esteemed trainer Ismael Salas would help Tomoki correct the issues that cost him in his previous bout.
The opening round was close. In fact to split them was almost impossible as both jabbed and moved well in a high paced and highly skilled opening round. To score it either way would have been acceptable, as would a 10-10 round, it really was one of those rounds where the two men fought as near mirror images of each other.
The second round saw Kameda really kick things off and for 2 minutes of the round he looked brilliant putting McDonnell under pressure and landing most notable shots, including a very solid left hook. Having “sealed” the round after just 2 minutes Tomoki seemed to ease off the gas late in the round round and backed up, cruising the final 40 seconds or so. Sadly the backing up, which was final in that particular situation, became the story of the fight.
In round 3 it was McDonnell setting the pace and tempo of the fight as he came forward with a determined and intelligent march. Not only was McDonnell coming forward but he was doing it behind a busy jab that seemed to prevent Kameda from getting into a rhythm. Kameda did have have some success with his counters but his shots were often falling short whilst Mcdonnell out worked him and seemingly bullied him around the ring. It was the start of McDonnell's domination of the bout.
McDonnell built on his success from round 3 and by the middle rounds it seemed that the fight had had it's identity sorted with McDonnell instilling his will on to the fight at the expense of Tomoki who was forced to fight on the back foot, where he wasn't particularly strong. By round 8 it seemed like Tomoki would need to make a drastic change in tactics if he was to claim the victory here. He had managed to make rounds 5, 6 and 7 close, by landing the better shots, but he didn't seem to do quite enough to over-come McDonnell's work rate.
In round 9 we finally saw Tomoki actually shining with some solid right hands that landed clean on McDonnell's head. They didn't ever hurt the Englishman but they were the sort of shots that he was going to need to build his confidence and have any chance of defeating Mcdonnell.
Sadly for Tomoki his success from round 9 wasn't built on like it needed to be and in round 10 McDonnell got back to being in charge with Tomoki moving too much and throwing far too little in a round that had looked like many of the earlier rounds. The same could also be said of round 11 where it seemed clear that Tomoki would need a KO but refused to go for it.
If Mcdonnell hadn't done enough in the first 11 rounds he essentially sealed the deal in round 12 with a knockdown of Tomoki, albeit a slip-come-knockdown, that secured a 10-8 round. Tomoki did fight hard in the dying stages of the round but it was clear that it was far too little to over-come the knockdown, or much of the previous 10 rounds.
At the final bell the judges all favoured McDonnel with cards ranging from 115-112 to 117-111. They were varied but all seemed to be in the “acceptable range” given the competitiveness of rounds 1, 5,6 and 7. Despite the close rounds we couldn't see any way to give it to Tomoki with the best he could have expected expect being a 114-113 defeat.
For Tomoki this is a second successive defeat and it's likely he'll need to seriously rethink his career. He looked small in comparison to McDonnell and may well need to consider a move down to Super Flyweight if he can lose 3lbs. If not he'll likely find himself as a either a perennial contender or, if his confidence is shot, a stepping stone for the emerging generation of Bantamweights, including the really exciting Shohei Omori.
McDonnell has hinted in the past of a move to Super Bantamweight and we expect he'll add the 4lbs and move up. That will leave the title vacant and we wouldn't be surprised to see a number of interesting fighters, including Omori and Ryo Matsumoto, all be linked to that title in early 2016.
Whilst the fight wasn't as good as the first one the big issue we have was the commentary on CBS which seemed to sway people into believing Kameda did better than he really did. We began this by saying the judges can have off days, we dare say the commentator had a bad today. We have a lot of respect and time for the commentator in question so we will put it down to a bad day at the office and would hope that everyone who has scored this in favour of Kameda will rewatch it with the sound off.
Oh how things can change in the space of just 18 months. In November 2013 all 3 Kameda brothers were world champions. Koki, Daiki and Tomoki. They were in the Guinness book of world records for their amazing achievement together. Since then however things have fallen apart and the trio now hold no titles, and the future for them doesn't look anywhere near as good as it once did.
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.
Earlier this year many Western fans got their first chance to see Tomoki Kameda (31-0, 19), the youngest of the trio of Kameda brothers, as he stopped Thailand's Pungluang Sor Singyu in the US. That was despite the fact Kameda had actually fought much of his career in Mexico where he scored several notable wins, including a decision over Stephane Jamoye. This weekend he returned to the US to seek his third defense of the WBO Bantamweight title. In the opposite corner to Kameda was experienced Mexican Alejandro Hernandez (28-11-2, 15), the mandatory challenger for Kameda and the WBO interim champion.
Sadly the impressive performance of Kameda against Pungluang wasn't replicated here, despite the fact he easily out pointed and dominated Hernandez who often looked like a man happier to survive than to take a risk in an attempt to win the fight.
In the opening round Kameda struck first and used his speed, both with his feet and hands, to back up Hernandez in what was a relatively easy round for the champion who was facing a man who looked timid and unsure of himself. Kameda's success from the opening round grew and grew through the first half as the champion proved he fight Hernandez's fight and win it as he began forcing Hernandez back at will, landing flurries and getting out of distance before Hernandez tried to retaliate. It seemed that the challenger was either in survival mode or biding his time in the hope that Kameda would wear himself out.
It wasn't until round 6 that Hernandez even seemed to look like he was interested in trying to win a round and despite trying to win it he was clearly out landed and out worked by the classy Kameda who looked like he was in cruise control racking up the rounds whilst taking little damage damage in return.
Hernandez tried again in round 7 as we had one of the bouts few debatable rounds. This was perhaps the first swing round though was followed one of Kameda's rounds as the Japanese boxer got on his toes and just boxed the socks off Hernandez who appeared frustrated in the later part of the round.
Strangely Kameda's domination came to an end in round 9 as Hernandez finally put his foot on the gas and won a round as he cut Kameda and worked away on the Japanese fighter who quickly looked bothered by the damage that was beginning to form around his left eye. It wasn't threatening the end of the fight but it was swelling shut and marking up notably from the success of the challenger who seemed to smell blood through the round.
Hernandez's short lived fight back came to an end the following round with Kameda winning rounds 10 and 11 in a similar fashion to the way he won the earlier rounds, simply out working a lazy looking Hernandez who let the momentum instantly slip away.
Hernandez claimed his second clear round in round 12 as he seemed to hurt Kameda and went on the offensive through the round. It left us wondering where this mentality had been in the earlier rounds when he had been happy to back off behind his guard rather than unload and come forward. It showed that Hernandez can fight but for large swathes of this bout he just chose not to in a very disappointing effort.
After 12 rounds it seemed we had a clear winner. Tomoki had won the bout in the first 7 or 8 rounds on our card. Strangely, though predictably now, the judges had things scored a bit differently to us as they turned in scores cards that gave us a split decision with all three cards reading 115-113, two to Kameda and one to Hernandez, to give the Japanese fighter a split decision win.
We're unsure what the judges were watching but it wasn't the fight in the ring we're afraid, that wasn't competitive, even if Tomoki didn't impress as he did against Punluang earlier this year.
From what we understand Tomoki will now be fighting against Britain's Jamie McDonnell in WBO/WBA unification bout in 2015, we'll hope for Kameda's sake that these judges aren't involved there.
It's not often that we get all Asian world title fights in the US but that's exactly what we had on Saturday night/Sunday morning as Japan's Tomoki Kameda (30-0, 19) successfully defended the WBO Bantamweight title against former champion Pungluang Sor Singyu (46-3, 21) of Thailand. The fight, a mandatory defence for Kameda, saw both men making their US debut and both doing things to impress the US audience though it was clear that it was Tomoki that left the lasting impression.
Kameda genuine impressed from the opening round, a round that saw him boxing and moving, picking his spots and making the most of his exceptional hand speed. It was his handspeed combined with his jab that kept Pungluang at bay for the round. A round that really was one sided, as shown by the punch stats, despite Pungluang never being in trouble.
The second round was another where Kameda's speed seemed to be what won him the round. It was clear her wasn't sitting on his shots but he was easily landing more notable shots and the high number of shots with Pungluang often walking into punches as if to suggest they effective punches, for Pungluang however his own offence was lacking.
The Thai managed to finally get some notable success in round 3 as he started to land numerous body shots on to the Japanese fighter who appeared to be slowing for much of the round, in fact in the first 90 seconds it was hard to see many shots of note from the champion, though he did fire back well late in the round. Despite the late rally by the champion it was a Pungluang round with little to no argument. Likewise the 4th was also a Pungluang round after he wobbled Tomoki in the opening seconds with a huge right that saw Tomoki forced on to the retreat.
The small wobble for Kameda in round 4 seemed to waken him up and in round 5 he he got back to doing what he did so well early on, picking his spots and fighting at range, using his speed and making sure Pungluang couldn't have much in terms of sustained success. The action was slower though it was controlled, completely, by Tomoki who used the final minute to secure the round with numerous flashy combinations that were eye catching but likely not that effective.
In round 6 we had round that saw both men having some notable success. For Pungluang it was the body shots, which he had seemed committed to through out the bout, for Tomoki it was the flash combinations that all came from his sharp jab. It was clear that when Tomoki wanted to look sensational he did but it also seemed like Pungluang was having success with his grinding body shots that were likely to pay dividends later in the fight.
Surprisingly in round 7 we saw the tables turn as Tomoki held his feet and the two went to work up close. It was great back and forth early in the round with both men landing their own eye catching combination, this time however Tomoki's was effective cutting Pungluang around the eye. According to the Showtime commentary this was the first time Pungluang had been cut in 49 fights, we admit we find that hard to believe but he did look bothered by the blood in the seconds that followed. The cut was just the first of two major issues for Pungluang and the second was even more serious as Tomoki, now being cheered on by the fans, went to the body of Pungluang and connected with a perfect body shot that sent the Thai down in agony.
From the second Pungluang went down it was clear this fight was over, he was not getting up. Thankfully the referee realised that quickly and waved the bout off as Tomoki scored one of the best body shot KO's anyone will see this year.
Currently unable to fight in Japan we'd be shocked if Tomoki doesn't return to the US for his next defence, likely against interim champion Alejandro Hernandez. Hopefully that will help him spread the Kameda name stateside and open up opportunities for both Koki and Daiki to fight on either US shows, like the one Tomoki fought on, or on shows in places like Macau and Singapore under the Top Rank banner. For now however the future will be put on the back burner because this win is a moment to savour for the infamous Kameda family.
(Image courtesy of OneSongchai, the promoted of Pungluang)
The youngest of the 3 Kameda brothers, Tomoki Kameda (29-0, 18) successfully made the first defense of his WBO Bantamweight title earlier today as he over-came a second successive Namibian opponent.
Last timeout Tomoki defeated the then champion Paulus Ambunda, this time it was the turn of "The Prince" Immanuel Naidjala (17-1-1, 11) to suffer defeat at the hands of Tomoki.
Despite the challenger showing a good jab in the first round it was Tomoki got off to the better start as he came forward, forced Naidjala back and looked from the off to be a stronger, faster and better fighter. The power of Tomoki, which is often under-rated, showed up in round 2 as he seemed to rock Naidjala and at that point it seemed to be a case of just how long would the challenger last.
The domination of Tomoki became more and more evident in rounds 4 and 5 as he began landing left hands to the body at will, walking through Naidjala's shots and generally doing as he pleased. It looked almost certain that Naidjala wasn't going to see out the distance due to the quality of body shots he was forced to take.
With the fight "in the bag" in terms of the scorecards after 8 rounds, Tomoki seemed to realise that Naidjala was genuinely a "teak tough African" and not the sort of fighter who was going to be stopped with out a real war. The rounds had been clearly Tomoki's up to this point but, other than a the moment in round 2 he had never really hurt the challenger. With that in mind the champion seemed to hit cruise control.
In the final 4 rounds Naidjala began to come on strong. This was partly due to Tomoki himself slowing down and partly due to the urgency that must have struck Naidjala. This saw Naidjala, who really needed a knockout to win, taking a share of rounds 9, 10, 11 and 12. It was however far too little far too late and some of the judges didn't even feel he deserved more than 1 of those rounds.
For Tomoki this is the first defense out of the way though at times, especially late in the fight, he looked a little out of sorts. It was probably the fact he switched off after taking a clear lead though it still a worry of sorts that he'd do that against an unbeaten challenger. The fact he couldn't, or at least didn't, turn up the heat in the championship rounds was a disappointment, though we do think he was cruising due to his early and mid-round domination.
The domination of Tomoki was reflected on the score-cards with Tomoki winning by scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111. Of those cards we'd agree with 117-111 which was exactly what we had.
Sorry to say this but Adalaide Byrd, who turned in the 119-109, turned in yet another questionable card just weeks after her very odd score in the Carlos Molina/Ishe Smith fight in the US. She has also had a poor scores in the Carl Froch/Mikkel Kessler II fight and the Donnie Nietes/Moises Fuentes bouts also this year. She's starting to get a reputation for bad scorecards and if I was a fighter, fighting on away turf I'd certainly question her suitability for any fight right now.
Saying that however the right man won and that's really all that matters in the sport.
Courtesy of boxrec.com
Not many days can be called "historic" in the world of boxing but today truly was.
Not only did the day start with Koki Eto's victory in Thailand over Kompayak Porpramook, the first world title victory for a Japanese born fighter in Thailand but it finished with Tomoki Kameda (28-0, 17) claiming his place in the history books as well.
Tomoki, the youngest of the 3 boxing Kameda brothers was looking to not only become a world champion but was looking to become Japan's first ever WBO champion.
Stood in Tomoki's way however was Namibian Paulus Ambunda (20-1, 10), who like Tomoki, boasted an unbeaten record upon entering the contest.
In the past 2 Japanese fighters had attempted to claim WBO belts, Toshiaki Nishioka, who was stopped by Nonito Donaire in his attempt, and Yuzo Kiyota, who was out pointed by Robert Stieglitz in his. In both of those bouts however the Japanese fighter was seen as a clear under-dog, this time however the Japanese fighter was generally viewed as the favourite, despite being the challenger.
Although Tomoki entered as the favourite it was Ambunda who made a good start claiming the opening round with his pressure whilst Tomoki did little. It appeared that the Japanese fighter was seeing what the champion had to offer and countered occasionally on to the tough Namibian.
Tomoki appeared to begin warming to the bout in the second round as he began to land counters at Ambunda though against the round could easily have gone to the defending champion who was forcing the bout with his pressure. Although boxing on the back foot however Tomoki was beginning to have more and more success using his excellent footwork and superior hand speed to take rounds 3 and 4.
The fifth round was arguably the bouts closest round with Ambunda having success with his right hand to the midsection whilst Tomoki had success of his own with fast combinations and a sneaky left hook that appeared to tag Ambunda time and time again. Whichever way this round was scored mattered little as Tomoki was about to start a charge.
From round 6 onwards Tomoki, still fighting on the back foot, went up a gear and started to landing more and more combinations countering much of Ambunda's work. He began to not only time the Namibian but to actually make Ambunda look 1 dimensional as he walked in time and time again with Tomoki spinning off and landing a flurry before getting back on his toes.
Rounds 6-10 were all Kameda's with very little argument about any of them as the challenger really took over the bout. Ambunda, who had fought with a game plan based around pressure was never able to throw, or land, enough to cause Tomoki any problems at all. Although fighting off the back foot Tomoki was landing more shots than Ambunda and also landing the better shots as the Namibian was made to look incredibly ordinary.
Round 11 was probably the most damning round of the fight as Tomoki took it up another gear and really out landed the champion by a wide margin. Ambunda's guard, at times, was made to look completely futile and did little more than tie up his own hands as Tomoki worked around it and through it with complete ease as he thoroughly dominated the round.
Round 12, like round 5, was a close one, though this was much less to do with what Ambunda was doing and more to do with what Tomoki wasn't doing. The Japanese fighter, feeling in total control did very little as he looked to cruise through to the final bell and take home a well earned decision.
Interestingly, despite the fact being on neutral ground in the Philippines it was clear who the fans were backing and in the early stages every show Tomoki threw got cheered to the rafters. By the end however the decision had been sealed and the crowd, who were still on Tomoki's side, had subsided to only cheering the worth whilst stuff as opposed to almost anything.
Not only did this victory see Tomoki becoming the first WBO world champion in Japanese boxing history but it also saw him becoming one of a trio of Japanese title holders at Bantamweight. Thsi victory saw him joining brother Koki Kameda, the WBA "regular" champion, and Shinsuke Yamanaka, the WBC champion making this the first time in history that Japanese fighters have held 3 of the "big 4" organisation's titles in one weight.
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.