Koki Kameda: This is Just Another Fight For Me

By Jake Donovan

Koki Kameda has been here before, in every sense of the phrase. A historic title bout, fighting in the United States, a win away from entering the record books – none of this is new to the eldest of the fighting Kameda brothers heading into his super flyweight title challenge versus Kohei Kono.

The two collide on Friday, October 16 at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill, serving as the chief support to a light heavyweight clash between Andrzej Fonfara and Nathan Cleverly. Both fights will air live on Spike TV in the United States.

The venue played host to Kameda’s last fight and his stateside debut, which took place last November in an intended rust-shaker following nearly a year away from the ring. Despite the bout being just his second in the span of 23 months, Kameda still feels good about chances of becoming the first fighter ever from Japan to win a major title in four weight classes.

“I am in the best shape of my entire boxing career right now,” insists Kameda (33-1, 18KOs). “I spent five weeks in Las Vegas training with Ismael Salas and that was best thing I could have done. I didn't do anything but prepare for this fight.”

The Kameda family is in dire need of a win. Younger brothers Tomoki and Daiki are a combined 0-3 on the year, including losses by both on the same show in September.

Tomoki’s unbeaten record and bantamweight title reign ended in a loss to Jamie McDonnell this past May in Hidalgo, Texas, also coming up short in their September rematch in Corpus Christi. The latter show saw Daiki return following a 21-month hiatus, only to suffer an upset loss to Victor Ruiz.

The run of bad luck in the Kameda family as of late, coupled with Koki’s inactivity, has Kono (30-8-1, 13KOs) feeling good heading into his stateside debut. The 34-year old from Tokyo looks to make the second defense of his second tour as champion. His previous outing nearly saw two consecutive one-and-done title runs, as he was held to a draw versus unheraled Norberto Jimenez last December.

“Kono promised the Japanese press and his fans that he would knock me out... that's about the last thing that is going to happen in this fight. I find that funny,” quips Kameda, who also refuses to get lost in the historical angles that come with the bout.

In addition to his pursuit of becoming Japan’s first-ever four-division champ – having previously reigned at junior flyweight, flyweight and bantamweight – the Spike TV-televised co-feature also marks the first time two fighters from Japan meet in a world title fight in the United States.

Two years ago, Kameda was more of a spectator as his brothers put in the work to twice get the family into the Guiness Book of World Records. Tomoki’s title win over Paulus Ambunda in Aug. ’13 marked the first time ever three brothers won titles at separate points in their career. One month later came a title win by Daiki, making it the first time ever three brothers held belts at the same time.

Daiki and Koki both saw their bantamweight title reigns comes to an end by year’s close. Daiki dropped a split decision to an overweight Liborio Solis in Dec. ‘13, with both fighters eventually abandoning the division. Conversely, Koki made his final bantamweight title defense that same month before deciding to drop down in weight to super flyweight.

A ban at home in Japan forced the family to seek opportunity in the United States. The eldest Kameda made his debut last November, scoring a knockout win on the undercard of younger brother Tomoki’s 12-round win over Alejandro ‘Payasito’ Hernandez in Chicago.

Now returning to the very same venue, Friday – despite all that it represents from a storyline perspective – is yet another night at the office for the confident southpaw.

“This is the first time two Japanese have fought for a world title in the United States, but I don't have any special feeling about the historic nature,” insists Kameda, who turns 29 in November. “This is just another fight for me because every single fight I'm in is equally important to me. Even a four-round fight is (life-and-death) for me.”

Jake Donovan is the managing editor of
Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Facebook Page: JakeBScene

Tags: Koki Kameda image   Kohei Kono image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Clegg on 10-13-2015

Who are people picking in this one? On paper it seems Kameda but I've not seen Kono.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Frank Warren: Forget Khan-Lo Greco - Watch Frampton-Donaire! Will Gervonta Davis Be The Next Mayweather or Broner? Golovkin Promoter on Derevyanchenko: GGG Needs Proper Pay Michael Dasmarinas Blasts Out Karim Guerfi For IBO Strap Eleider Alvarez, Trainer Confident They Will Shock Sergey Kovalev Showtime's Espinoza: Broner Really Can't Afford Another Loss Tete Dares Burnett To Fight, Eyes Inoue vs. McDonnell Winner Pacquiao's Adviser: If Both Win, Lomachenko is The Fall Target Golovkin vs. Martirosyan Undercard Coming Together Ishe Smith vs. Tony Harrison Finalized - PBC on Bounce, May 11 Tevin Farmer vs. Billy Dib Ordered For Vacant IBF World Title Photos: Ramon Alvarez, Jorge Paez on Weight For Showdown Photos: Gervonta Davis, Jesus Cuellar - Ready For WBA Title Fight Photos: Jermall Charlo, Hugo Centeno - Ready For Title Fight Photos: Adrien Broner, Jessie Vargas - Ready For War Frampton Admits a Loss To Donaire Could Mean End of Career Broner Weighs In Heavier Than Vargas for Their 144-Pound Fight Photos: Otto Wallin, Adrian Granat - Ready For a Viking War Gervonta Davis Makes Weight on First Try - First Time in 3 Fights WBC Reveal Huge List of Boxers Not Drug Testing With CBP/VADA LIVE Stream: Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas - Official Weigh-In Gary Russell vs. Joseph Diaz Finalized For May 19 at MGM Harbor Khan: I Want To End Career With a Big Bang, I'm Still in My Prime Max Ornelas, Tony Lopez Fight For Bragging Rights on beIN Pacquiao: I Still Have a Couple of More Fights Before I Retire Povetkin's Promoter Claims $4.3 Million Court Win Over Wilder Photos: Frampton, Donaire Prepare For Fireworks in Belfast Photos: Amir Khan, Phil Lo Greco - Ready For War in Liverpool Hugo Centeno Reflects on Stoppage Loss To Maciej Sulecki Jesus Cuellar: Gervonta Davis is Overrated; He's No Mayweather! Broner on Vargas: He Ain't Win His Fights When He Stepped Up Hearn: We Won't Let You Play With Our Balls To Overpay Wilder!'s Television Picks of The Week - April 20 Max Ornelas: I'll Do Whatever it Takes To Be a World Champion Vanes Martirosyan: Canelo is a Cheater, Golovkin is a Gentleman Khan vs. Lo Greco: Bilal Rehman To Remain On Card Amir Khan: If I Lose To Lo Greco - It's All Over For Me Jessie Vargas: No One Will Care About Broner After I Beat Him Euro News: Serge Michel, Stefan Haertel, Elvis Hetemi, More Photos: Pacquiao, Matthysse - Go Face To Face in Malaysia

Latest Active Forum Threads