Kameda Drops Apolinario Twice In Wide Points Win

By Jake Donovan

Koki Kameda easily turned back the challenge of John Mark Apolinario for the 7th successful defense of his bantamweight belt Tuesday evening in Tokyo, Japan. 

Scores were 119-107, 118-108 and 117-109 in a bout that finally produced a definitive and indisputable outcome for both fighters, something that hasn’t been the norm for either in recent fights.

What wasn’t produced was any form of entertaining action. 

The bout – which aired live on TBS Tokyo – was slow and awkward, with most of the fighting left to Kameda. The defending titlist had no fear of incoming at any point in the fight. Apolinario’s meager knockout-to-win ratio already suggested as much; his effort – or lack thereof – confirmed the lack of power, or even desire.

Frequent clinching forced referee Gustavo Padilla to be as much of a part of the action as the two combatants, never a good sign for a prizefight. Still, the fight was not without its bright spots. Given carta blanche to fight as he pleased, Kameda delivered a vicious body attack to further strike fear in the heart of an already seemingly stage-struck Apolinario. 

Action picked up late in the fight. On the occasions that Apolinario decided to let his hands go, he wound up paying a heavy price. Knockdowns suffered in rounds 10 and 12 sealed his fate, though sandwiched in between was a brave stand late in the 11th as he was able to exploit Kameda’s leaky defense. 

The last-ditch effort by Apolinario was an isolated moment, as Kameda was made to look like a world beater for much of the night – a sight vaguely seen since moving up to bantamweight three years ago. Frustrations of going tooth and nail with previous title challengers Hugo Ruiz and Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym were taken out on his feather-fisted challenger, producing his first knockdowns since Dec. ’11 when he thrice dropped Mario Macias en route to a 4th round knockout.

The bout was also Kameda’s last knockout, with Tuesday’s affair marking his fourth straight fight to go the full 12-round distance. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but at least produced a final verdict that leaves no room for detractors to claim suspect scoring to have taken place.

With the win, Kameda advances to 31-1 (17KO). A former junior flyweight titlist and World lineal flyweight champ, the 26-year old has now won nine straight. The lone loss of his career came at the hands of Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, dropping a majority decision to the legendary Thai boxer to end his brief flyweight championship reign.

Apolinario falls to 17-3-3 (4KO), having come up short in each of his past three title challenges. A pair of draw verdicts against Roberto ‘La Araña’ Vasquez came with an interim title at stake, and also with the purpose of providing Kameda with a mandatory challenger.

Tuesday’s uninspiring effort should leave the Filipino challenger way on the outside looking in when future title fights are discussed.

Meanwhile, the Kameda family is entrenched in the title picture for the next few weeks, with potential for history to be made. 

Youngest brother Tomoki Kameda – the lone remaining unbeaten fighter of the trio – embarks on his first title challenge, as he faces unbeaten Paulus Ambunda on August 1 in the Philippines. A separate version of the bantamweight title than the one Koki possesses is on the line. A win by Tomoki will mark the first time in boxing history when three brothers held major alphabet titles.

A win by Tomoki will be needed in order for the Kameda brothers to take their history making moments into unchartered territory. Daiki Kameda is in preparation for an attempt at a second super flyweight title reign when he faces fellow former champ Rodrigo Guerrero in their Sept. 7th vacant title fight. 

Wins by Tomoki and Daiki will present boxing with a once-in-a-lifetime occasion of three brothers simultaneously serving as world champs. Even in an era of more belts than ever available for the taking, the feat is still near-unthinkable.

All of that remains wishful thinking for the moment. For nearly a year, so too was the concept of Koki Kameda enduring a title challenge sans a disputable outcome. One item at a time crossed off the list. 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Tags: Koki Kameda image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by trazom_j on 07-24-2013

It was fixed game. Apolinario completion 12 rounds mass boxing. Deplorably, Etsuko Tada lose her champion belt at the same ring. It was very strange decision. Too lucky Anabel Ortiz became new champion. She contracted with Kameda and was really…

Comment by SceneSpectator! on 07-23-2013

In the very first place, how the hell Apolinario ends up in 3 consecutive title fights while many others could deserves better than him?! :boxing:

Comment by giacomino on 07-23-2013

Perfect "title" defense for Kameda: no way Apolinario had the punch to hurt him, and no way Apolinario was ever going to get a decision vs Kameda in Tokyo

Comment by nycsmooth on 07-23-2013

there's a lotta good boxers @ Kameda's wt out there but doubt he'll take the elite on either @ home , or never on the road, the guy won't leave Japan...

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Crawford To Face PBC Fighter Next? Then Pacquiao in 2017? Roach: Pacquiao is Too Big, Lomachenko is Not That Good Javier Fortuna vs. Omar Douglas Camp Notes Pacquiao vs. Lomachenko is The Fight Arum Wants To Make Most Terry Flanagan vs. Orlando Cruz on November 26, Motorpoint Roach: Golden Boy Protecting Their 'Cash Cow' From Golovkin John Molina Wants to Dethrone 140 Kingpin Terence Crawford Schaefer Explains Ringstar Business Model, PBC Relationship Roach Still Wants Pacquiao vs. Canelo: I Love That Fight! Parker's Promoter Still Pushing To Keep Ruiz Fight in Auckland Manny Pacquiao: I Need a Convincing Win To Prove I'm Still Here Scott Quigg Makes Featherweight Debut on Anthony Joshua Card Pacquiao vs. Vargas Lands on BoxNation Katie Taylor Inks Promotional With Eddie Hearn, Pro Debut Set Oscar De La Hoya: 2016 is Maybe The Worst Year For Boxing Roach: I Don't Think Andre Ward is The Fighter He Used To Be Video: Freddie Roach Talks Golovkin, Kovalev vs. Ward, More Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Have Retirement Pact in Place Video: Justin Fortune Discusses The Heavyweight Division Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: Sure, Why Not Video: Bob Arum Talks Schaefer, Trump, King, UFC, More Arum: I Would NEVER Do Pacquiao vs. Golovkin - It Was a Joke! Video: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work For Vargas Title Clash Video: Freddie Roach on Thurman-Garcia, Lebedev-Gassiev, More Mason Menard's Fight Now Off Due To Bookkeeping Issue Molina Still Wants Danny Garcia Fight: He Has Holes in His Armor Video: Manny Pacquiao Talks Camp, Retirement, Vargas, More Demetrius Andrade Very Motivated as Jack Culcay Clash Nears Photos: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work at Wild Card Gym Canelo Says The Ball is in Golovkin's Court: Accept The Offer! Ricardo Mayorga Crashes Into Taxi, Pursued For 200K in Damages Canelo Eager To Prove WBO Prez's Prediction of Mayweather KO Vences: A Win Over Casey Ramos Will Open A lot of Doors For Me Photos: Juanma, Vazquez Explode in Very Tense Final Presser Ustinov's Manager Expects WBA To Order Klitschko Title Fight Premier Boxing Champions Reveal Season 3 Schedule Helenius Faces Basile on 12/17, Chisora Rematch Eyed For March Arthur Abraham Shelved For Three Weeks Due To Elbow Injury SHO's Espinoza: Mayweather Won't Even Joke About Ring Return Curtis Stevens-De La Rosa Added To PPV Portion of Kovalev-Ward

Latest Active Forum Threads