By Ronnie Nathanielsz
TOMOKI Kameda, the youngest of the three fighting Kameda brothers, created history both for his clan and Japan when he won the World Boxing Organization bantamweight title in an impressive performance against champion Paulus Ambunda of Namibia at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu.
All three judges had Kameda the winner by comfortable margins, with Carlos Colon scoring it 118-110, Tom Miller 116-112 and Waleska Roldan 117-111.
The referee was veteran Raul Caiz Sr., who was also the third man in the ring when Juan Francisco Estrada retained his WBO flyweight title with a unanimous decision over mandatory challenger Milan Melindo in Macau last week.
WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel was at special ringside to witness history when Kameda became the third member of the family to win a world title and the first to win a WBO world title after the Japan Boxing Commission, following years of refusing to place the world organization alongside the World Boxing Council and the World Boxing Association, ultimately gave in to the clamor and did the right thing by recognizing the WBO.
Tomoki’s older brother Koki Kameda is the reigning WBA bantamweight champion, while his other brother Daiki Kameda was formerly the WBA flyweight champion.
The Japan Boxing Commission isn’t enamored with the Kamedas because of their father Shiro, who was suspended indefinitely by the JBC for his antics during Daiki Kameda’s title bout against Daisuke Naito. In that bout, he was accused of asking his son to fight dirty, which led to Daiki being penalized a total of three points in the last round for a series of violations, including lifting Naito and slamming him to the canvas.
The father and the two other brothers of Tomoki worked the corner, adding another interesting dimension to the title fight.
The JBC reportedly declined to sanction the title fight in Japan, claiming it was not a mandatory, forcing promoters to stage the fight in Manila. In fact, the Tokyo Broadcasting Company sent a huge complement to telecast the fight in Japan, while the venue was crowded with flag-waving Japanese fans most of whom traveled from Japan to watch the fight and left the venue after it was over.