Brian Harty

Kameda brothers headline Osaka slugfest

Japan’s “first family” of boxing will stage a public reunion this Wednesday in Osaka, as all three Kameda brothers fight on the same card.

The brothers are bona fide mega-stars in their home country, in part because of successful amateur careers, but perhaps more from appearances on reality-TV, controversies surrounding their behavior and because of their trainer/father, who once had his license revoked for encouraging rough tactics during a title fight.

Koki Kameda, the oldest of the three at 25, and ranked No. 8 in THE RING’s list of bantamweights, gained early attention as a young amateur, but triggered a massive backlash when, in 2006, he won the WBA jr. flyweight title from Juan Jose Landaeta in controversial fashion. His highest-profile bout since then is a loss to flyweight juggernaut Pongsaklek Wongjongkam in March of 2010.

He carries a strong record of 26-1, 16 KOs, but Koki is still dogged by criticism of his behavior, which is sometimes seen as disrespectful. He will defend his WBA title against Mexican challenger Mario Macias (23-7, 11 KOs).

The middle brother, Daiki Kameda (22-0, 14 KOs), 22, is perhaps the most colorful of the three. He once vowed before a fight to commit ritualistic suicide if he lost, and makes a habit of serenading the crowd after each victory. Beyond that, his antics have been especially problematic; in 2007 he was suspended for a year after bodyslamming and punching opponent Daisuke Naito while he was down, out of frustration, in a failed attempt to win the WBC flyweight title (the same fight before which he announced his promise to commit seppuku). He has since captured the WBA jr. bantamweight belt and is currently rated No. 9 by THE RING in that division. He will defend against No. 7-rated Tepparith Singwancha (18-2, 12 KOs), of Thailand.

The youngest brother, Tomoki Kameda, 20, doesn’t yet own a major title, but is seen by many as the most talented in the family. Training and fighting largely in Mexico, the jr. bantamweight has earned the nickname “El Mexicanito” — little Mexican — and is promoted by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Tomoki (21-0, 13 KOs) will face Eduardo Garcia (21-6-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico.

 

 

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