Lem Satterfield

Tomoki Kameda eyes birthday victory vs. Pungluang Sor Singyu

Tomoki Kameda hopes to celebrate his birthday in style by defending his WBO bantamweight title against Pungluang Sor Singyu on the Showtime-televised undercard portion of the main event between junior middleweights Saul Alvarez and Erislandy Lara on July 12

Kameda (29-0, 18 knockouts) turns 23 on the evening he faces Pungluang (46-2, 31 KOs), 26, a winner of three consecutive fights since losing the WBO title to Paulus Ambunda by unanimous decision in March 2013.

In his follwing fight five months later, Ambunda lost his WBO belt to Kameda by a wide unanimous decision.

"Pungluang is a strong opponent and a former world champion. He has a lot of heart and he always moves forward," said Kameda, speaking fluent Spanish through translator Miguel Ayala. "We've been studying video on how to beat him. I've studied our mutual fights against Ambunda and I've been preparing from that fight to make the necessary adjustments to beat Pungluang."

Both Kameda and Pungluang will be making their U.S. debuts at the MGM in Las Vegas.

"It's always been my dream to fight in Las Vegas ever since I was a little kid. I've been preparing really hard and I know that I will give my best to impress the American fans. I have been training in Las Vegas. I arrived in Las Vegas on May 24," said Kameda.

"The time difference between Japan and America has not been a factor at all because I've been training in Mexico City the entire time. So that's only a two-hour difference. It's not the 14 hours that it would be from Japan."

Nicknamed, "El Mexicanito," Kameda said "my entire career as an amateur was spent training in Mexico," said Kameda, "so I have strong ties to Mexico, which is why I speak the language so well."

In other bouts on the pay-per-view portion of Alvarez-Lara, three-division titlist Abner Mares will face veteran Jonathan Oquendo in Mares' first fight under trainer Virgil Hunter; junior welterweight contender Johan Perez will battle former title challenger Mauricio Herrera and former two-divsion titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez will clash with Francisco Vargas in a 130-pound bout.

Kameda and his two brothers, Koki, 27, and Daiki, 25, are among the most famous fighters in the history of Japanese boxing.

All three siblings recently held titles at the same time. Tomoki held the WBO bantamweight belt and Koki was the WBA 118-pound titleholder until he vacated in December in order to move down to flyweight.

Daiki was the IBF junior bantamweight titlist until he lost the belt by decision last December.

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