KAMEDA BEATS MEDINA, WINS WBC INTERIM 122LB BELT


November 12, 2018

TOKYO, JAPAN

Fast-jabbing Japanese Tomoki Kameda (36-2, 20 KOs), 121.75, acquired the vacant WBC interim 122-pound belt as he kept utilizing his trademark left hand, steadily piled up points, withstood his rivalfs last surge and earned a unanimous decision over slow-starting Spaniard, #1 Abigail Medina (19-4-2, 10 KOs), 121.5, over speedy twelve heats on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. Mauro Di Fiore (US) and Jose Manzur (Mexico) both tallied 117-111, and Noppharat Sricharoen (Thailand) 116-112, all for the 27-year-old speedster. Referee was Daniel Van de Wiele (Belgium).

Despite the unanimous tallies it wasnft an easy fight for Tomoki at all since Medina, 30, was a dangerous go-for-broke puncher with either hand?especially in later rounds. Their difference was simply on hand speed as Kameda was much faster than Medina.

Tomoki, former WBO bantam titlist, swept all rounds in the first four as his whiplash jabs looked too fast for the defensive Medina, who only occasionally threw less accurate left-right combinations to the elusive Kameda. The official tallies on the open scoring system, of course, were 40-36 across the board.

It was Medina, EBU European 122-pound champ, that abruptly turned loose and threw powerful lefts and rights to have Kameda retreating in round six. The next session also witnessed the Spaniard (whose very heavy beard was trimmed neatly) show his effective attacks in mixing it up and overwhelming the Japanese speedster, who looked bewildered by Medinafs power-punching. The game Spaniard sustained a slight cut on the right eyebrow by a legal shot midway in round seven. After the eighth, Kameda was still leading on points: 78-74 by all the judges.

Kameda, in round nine, busily threw pit-a-pat combos to the willing mixer with his tight peek-a-boo guard?regardless of precision?which apparently kept Medina from boring in harshly with Tomoki showcasing his favorite hit-and-run tactics.

Medina, however, kept his pressure on the fading footworker and demonstrated his powerful shots to the face with Tomoki nose-bleeding midway in the tenth. Abigail displayed his very best, and people thought there might be a possibility of Medina creating a breakthrough in his retaliations in the championship rounds. Tomokifs left optic looked puffed with Medinafs aggression.

The eleventh saw Tomoki desperately take the initiative by throwing still fast jabs and combinations in a pit-a-pat fashion, while Medina attempted to put the pressure with solid punches at a time. The nose-bleeding Japanese took a point with his heart.

In the final session Medina attempted to turn the tables and looked for a come-from-behind victory with big punches. The bearded Spaniard gamely threw strong shots but couldnft catch the target with precision. Abigailfs round, but not enough to overcome his early deficits on points.

When Tomokifs hand was raised by the referee Van de Wiele, the crowd (exactly 1,798 at the Korakuen Hall) burst into joy to celebrate his victory. His elder brothers?Koki and Daiki (both already retired)?had gained a couple of world titles, and the youngest Tomoki thus followed their footsteps. The Kameda brothersf achievement thus made history.

Tomoki, when fifteen, flew to Mexico to train under Ruben Lira and campaign in amateur contests, and suffered a decision loss to Rey Vargas, the current WBC champ in the same 122-pound category. Rey and Tomoki are grudge rivals since then. He, when seventeen, made a pro debut in Mexico in 2008, and kept on fighting mostly in Mexico to be nicknamed gEl Mexicanito.h

The youngster with remarkable hand speed, in 2013, captured the WBO bantamweight belt by outscoring more experienced champ Paulus Ambunda in Cebu City, Philippines. Why abroad? In Japan, without winning a national or an OPBF belt even once, our prospect isnft entitled to have a world title crack inside of Japan. The Japanese policy is to protect the quality of our world challengers. Tomoki skipped the procedure of having to become a national or regional champ in order to have a world title shot in Japan.

Kameda brothers then entered Al Haymonfs PBC, and Tomoki fought some games with the WBO 118-pound belt on the line in Las Vegas and Chicago. But he renounced his WBO belt in order to face WBA ruler Jamie McDonnell, losing on points (115-113 across the board) in Hidalgo US in 2015. Tomoki, in their rematch, failed to win back the belt only to lose a unanimous nod to McDonnell again in Corpus Christi, Texas, four months later.

Since then, Tomoki became a free agent, fighting in Mexico (once) and in Japan (three times) prior to his participation in this world title bout. For years Tomoki had been a road warrior, but now belongs to Kyoei Promotions here. His perseverance thus paid off.

Tomoki, married with a Mexican ex-amateur boxer (reportedly a distant relative of Pipino Cuevas) in 2015, is a good speaker of Spanish. He is a unique boxer with a unique career out of a unique family.

Upon WBC legitimate champ Rey Vargasf recovery from a shoulder injury, there will happen a mandatory revancha (rematch) between them since Tomoki is very much anxious to avenge his amateur setback to King Rey.

(11-12-2018)


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