Former flyweight titleholder Daiki Kameda won a unanimous decision over Rodrigo Guerrero to win the vacant IBF junior bantamweight belt in Takamatsu, Japan, on Tuesday night. The scores were 114-112, 116-110 and 117-109.
Kameda (29-3, 18 knockouts), of Tokyo, was deducted points in Rounds 5 and 11 for low blows. His superior speed was instrumental early on, but as Kameda stood his ground to trade punches, Guerrero began to feel more comfortable. Guerrero (19-5-1, 12 KOs), of Mexico City, who briefly held the same belt in 2011, finally broke through in Round 10 and hurt Kameda on two occasions. He appeared to be close to a late technical knockout victory, but Kameda was able to steady himself and fire back later in the round, seizing back the momentum.
The belt was vacated in June by Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr., who failed to make weight for his defense against Roberto Domingo Sosa.
With the win, Daiki Kameda, 24, joins his brothers Tomoki and Koki as the first trio of brothers to reign simultaneously as world title holders. Younger brother Tomoki, 22, won the WBO bantamweight title last month with a unanimous decision over incumbent titleholder Paulus Ambunda, while older brother Koki, 26, has reigned as WBA bantamweight titleholder for three years after a brief run as WBC flyweight titleholder.
The middle Kameda’s path to his new title has been a tumultuous one. In 2007, Daiki was suspended for a year by the Japan Boxing Commission for his unprofessional behavior during a WBC flyweight title challenge against countryman Daisuke Naito. A frustrated Kameda resorted to elbows and body slams before losing a unanimous decision. Prior to the bout, Kameda had promised to commit seppuku – a samurai method of suicide by disembowelment – should he lose to Naito.
Kameda then lost a shot at the WBA flyweight belt against Thai Denkaosan Kaovichit in 2009 by majority decision, but won a rematch the following year to gain the title. Kameda made two successful defenses before moving up to 115 pounds, only to lose his first attempt at the WBA junior bantamweight title against Tepparith Kokietgym in 2011 by unanimous decision.
Elsewhere, fortunes weren’t as kind to Japanese boxing.
Earlier in the day, former two-time 115-pound titleholder Nobuo Nashiro lost a split decision to Kaovichit in Thailand. Nashiro (19-6-1, 13 KOs) appeared to control the earlier rounds with his greater accuracy – particularly with the right cross – and skill, but seemed to fade down the stretch against Kaovichit’s crude aggression and bodywork.
The 37-year-old Kaovichit (62-3-1, 26 KOs) had won the WBA flyweight title on New Year’s Eve of 2008 and held it for a year.
Nashiro, on the other hand, had risen to prominence in 2006 by taking the WBA junior bantamweight title from Martin Castillo in a mild upset, but had lost four consecutive title fights heading into Tuesday’s bout.
Photos: Jiji Press-AFP/Gettyimages