By Jake Donovan
Love 'em or hate 'em, there's no denying that it's been one hell of a summer for the Kameda family.
Daiki Kameda completed the trifecta for his fighting brothers, outpointing Rodrigo Guerrero in their vacant title fight Tuesday evening in Tokyo, Japan. The win allowed the Kamedas to enter the history books for the second time in less than five weeks, as all three brothers are now reigning titlists.
The win was hardly guaranteed (despite conspiracy theories to the contrary), as Kameda had a real fight on his hands. Guerrero knew the risk of traveling abroad in attempting to come home with a title around his waist. The Mexican southpaw fought accordingly, serving as the aggressor throughout the 12-round contest.
Kameda's stick and move style made for a slow affair in the early rounds, but the strategy proved effective as Guerrero - though constantly coming forward - caught mostly air while expending unnecessary energy early on.
Both fighters certainly had their fair share of significant punches landed, however. It can be argued that Guerrero landed the more telling blows, but such subjectivity is discouraged when scoring bouts. In that vein, Kameda being first to the punch proved an effective tactic, landing right hooks with conviction even if it meant taking an occasional straight left in return.
A point deduction in round five made things interesting for Kameda, who treated the infraction as a wakeup call. Less clinching and moving was offered, in favor of more sustained action.
Guerrero continued to press forward the entire fight and surprisingly never ran out of steam. This fact wasn't lost on Kameda, who was economic in his punch output and relying more on savvy infighting tactics rather than mobility to avoid the incoming.
The strategy proved sound until a near-disastrous round ten. Kameda was rocked twice and fortunate to avoid a knockdown, but dramatically turned the tide with a burst of power shots in the final minute of a round that will warrant consideration come year-end award season.
Another point deduction in round eleven provided more anxious moments for Kameda, but he was able to dig deep and land enough power shots down the stretch to pave the way for a historic moment.
All three judges were in agreement by fight's end, with scores of 114-112, 116-110 and 117-109. The win gives Kameda his second title reign in a second weight class as he improves to 29-3 (18KO). The feat marks the first time in boxing history that three brothers all held major titles at the same time, with older brother Koki and younger brother Tomoki currently in possession of separate alphabet bantamweight titles.
Guerrero falls to 19-5-1 (12KO), coming up short in a bid to reclaim the title he lost last year to countryman Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. in his native Mexico. The title became vacant after Sanchez Jr. failed to make weight for a June defense against Roberto Sosa.
Kameda's win comes five weeks after younger brother Tomoki first entered the fighting family into the record books, with his bantamweight title winning effort over Paulus Ambunda last month in the Philippines. The moment marked the first time ever that three brothers all claimed major titles at separate points in their respective careers, and also the first time ever that an IBF title fight was recognized by the Japanese Boxing Commission.
Lost in the mix was the win that began the run for the Kameda family, when Koki scored a wide unanimous decision win over John Mark Apolinario in July to retain his portion of the bantamweight crown. In addition to all of the history made and enjoyed by the Kameda family over the past few weeks, all three brothers winning title fights in the span of roughly seven weeks is also an achievement unlikely to ever be matched.
The bout aired live on TBS Japan.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox