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
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