August 27, 2013

Bantamweights & Below - Boxing's Other Five Weight Divisions Vol. 8

The Kameda brothers look to make boxing history in 2013
By Derek "DBO" Bonnett ~ Boxing has long been about records. However, I am not talking about dossiers and professional ledgers, but rather, important benchmarks. We have marveled as boxers chased titles in multiple divisions. We have also been titillated by how young or old various fighters have been able to win these plastic and metal trinkets. Additionally, we have witnessed history in the making as sons have followed their fathers as world champion just as nephews have mimicked uncles. We have even celebrated as brothers joined brothers as world title holders. But now, the sport of boxing is eying a first, and maybe another important milestone.

Boxing history was on the line in a couple of different fashions when Tomoki Kameda, 22, fought for his first world title. T. Kameda met Paulus Ambunda of Namibia on August 1, in the Philippines. In raising his record to 28-0 (18), Tomoki claimed the WBO bantamweight title with unanimous scores thus making the Kameda brothers the first trio of siblings -- Koki, Daiki, and Tomoki -- to hold world boxing championships throughout their careers. 

Japan's Kameda Brothers
The eldest brother, Koki, a three-division champion (108, 112, 118) defended his WBA bantamweight strap against John Mark Apolinario. As expected, Koki Kameda, 26, successfully defended his title for the seventh time and raised his record to 31-1 (17). That means two brothers are currently reigning at the moment. Now, History Part II comes into play. On September 3, middle brother, Daiki Kameda, the former WBA flyweight champion, will challenge for the IBF super flyweight title against the formidable champion Rodrigo Guerrero. Should D. Kameda defeat Guerrero, not only will be become a two-division champion, but he will also secure the milestone of all three Kameda brothers holding world championships simultaneously.

The chance to reign simultaneously with his brother Wladimir motivated a 2008 comeback from Vitali Klitschko at heavyweight, perhaps the same desire can will the Kameda brothers to continue to raise their games and secure their own special niche in family boxing history. Even as a supporter of Rodrigo Guerrero, I can't help but pull for the Japanese boxing dynasty to reach this much coveted goal.

World Class Boxing Results at Bantamweight & Below: 

History made, Part I
On Thursday, August 1, at Cebu City Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, Paulus Ambunda was dethroned by Tomoki Kameda in a twelve round WBO bantamweight title bout. Kameda prevailed by unanimous scores of 118-110, 117-111, and 116-112. In doing so, he became the WBO 118-pound champion and made history in helping his family to produce the first trio of brothers to become world champions in boxing. Kameda raised his ledger to 28-0 (18). Ambunda fell to 20-1 (10). Kameda re-entered my bantamweight rankings at number eight. Ambunda fell from eighth to ninth. Pungluang Sor Singyu fell from ninth to tenth. Julio Ceja fell out of the top ten. 
On Friday, August 2, at Arena Roberto Duran, Panama City, Panama, Luis Concepcion defeated Nestor Daniel Narvaes in a twelve round flyweight bout. Concepcion won by margins of 118-108 twice and 118-109. Concepcion dropped Narvaes in the fifth round and was deducted a point for illegal blows in the eighth. The Panamanian fighter raised his record to 29-3 (21). Narvaes fell to 19-2-2 (9).Concepcion maintained his number eight spot in my rankings among a very talented flyweight division. 

Also on this date, at Megapolis Convention Center, Panama City, Panama, Anselmo Moreno won a unanimous decision over William Urina in a 12- round WBA bantamweight title bout. The three judges favored the champion 118-110 twice and 116-112 to give him the eleventh defense of his title. Moreno lifted his dossier to 34-2-1 (12). Urina dipped to 24-3 (20). Moreno remained a close second to Shinsuke Yamanaka among my top rated bantamweight boxers.

Yamanaka bombs Nieves in 1 round
 On Monday, August 12, at Ota-City General Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan, Shinsuke Yamanaka took less than one round to dispatch Jose Nieves in a WBC bantamweight title bout. The end came at 2:40 after the champion badly hurt his opponent. Yamanaka scored his fourth title defense in moving his record to 19-0-2 (14). Nieves crashed to 22-3-3 (11). Yamanaka held his number one ranking among my top bantamweights, but has a Super Fight opponent right below him in Anselmo Moreno.

Also on the card, Akira Yaegashi won a unanimous decision over Oscar Blanquet in a twelve round WBC flyweight title bout. The three judges favored the champion 116-110 twice and 115-111. Yaegashi notched his first title defense and raised his ledger to 18-3 (9). Blanquet fell to 32-6-1 (23). Yaegashi retained his number seven ranking among my top 112-pounders.

On Saturday, August 17, at El San Juan Resort & Casino, Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, Giovani Segura battered Jonathon Gonzalez into fourth round submission in a flyweight bout. Gonzalez hit the canvas multiple times, but only two knockdowns were ruled. Segura got back in the win-column and raised his numbers to 30-3-1 (26). Gonzalez fell to 13-1 (11).Segura climbed to number nine in my flyweight rankings, pushing Toshiyuke Igarashi to the tenth spot.

On Saturday, August 24, at Gimnasio Municipal N. 1, Trelew, Chubut, Argentina, Omar Andres Narvaez stopped Hiroyuki Hisataka in ten rounds of a WBO super flyweight title bout. The endcame at the 1:26 mark. Narvaez marked his eighth title defense in raising his ledger to 40-1-2 (21). Hisataka fell to 22-11-1 (11). Narvaez held his number two ranking among my compilation of the world's best 115-pounders.

Bantamweight & Below Featured Rankings: Best of Mexico

Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr - the best of Mexico at Bantamweight & Below
1.) Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. (115) 16-1-1 (8) ~ Former IBF Super Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins: UD Juan Francisco Estrada, UD Rodrigo Guerrero ~ Notable Fact: Sanchez is a southpaw and his nickname "Zurdito" is a translation of that term.

2.) Juan Francisco Estrada (112) 25-2-0 (18) ~ WBA/WBO Super Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins: SD Brian Viloria, UD Milan Melindo ~ Notable Fact: Estrada gave pound for pound contender Roman Gonzalez his toughest fight.

3.) Edgar Sosa (112) 49-7-0 (13) ~ Former WBC Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins: KO 2 Ulises Solis, MD Brian Viloria ~ Notable Fact: Before stopping Ulises Solis in two, Sosa dropped two decisions to his countryman early in their careers.

4.) Hernan Marquez (112) 36-3-0 (26) ~ Former WBA Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins: KO 1 Luis Concepcion, TKO 11 Luis Concepcion ~ Notable Fact: Marquez is one of many fighters to adopt a nickname inspired by Mike Tyson.

5.) Moises Fuentes (108) 17-1-1 (8) ~ Former WBO Minimumweight Champ ~ Best Wins: TKO 5 Ivan Calderon, SD Raul Garcia ~ Notable Fact: Fuentes received a controversial draw against Donnie Nietes in a WBO 108-pound title bout.

Adrian Hernandez likes Tecate ring card girls
6.) Adrian Hernandez (108) 27-2-1 (16) ~ Two-Time WBC Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins: KO 4 Rodel Mayol, TKO 6 Kompayak Porpramook ~ Notable Fact: Hernandez' first reign as champion came to an end by tenth round TKO to Kompayak Porpramook in a late 2011 FOTY candidate.

7.) Pedro Guevara (108) 20-1-1 (13) ~ #2 WBC Light Flyweight Contender ~ Best Wins: UD Mario Rodriguez, SD Raul Garcia ~ Notable Fact: A first round knockdown cost him his first world title against John Riel Casimero.

8.) Giovani Segura (112) 30-3-1 (26) ~ Former WBA/WBO Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins: KO 3 Ivan Calderon, KO 8 Ivan Calderon ~ Notable Fact: Segura has eleven first round KOs.

9.) Carlos Cuadras (115) 28-0 (23) ~ #1 WBC Super Flyweight Contender ~ Best Wins: TKO 7 Victor Zaleta, UD Fernando Lumacad ~ Notable Fact: Cuadras is known as "Principe" or Prince.

10.) Hugo Ruiz (118) 32-2-0 (29) ~ Former Interim WBA Bantamweight champion ~ Best Wins: TKO 4 Francisco Arce, UD Francisco Arce ~ Notable Fact: Ruiz lost a controversial decision to Koki Kameda for the full title in 2012.

Bantamweight & Below: Give That Man a Title Shot!

How can you not Give That Man a Title Shot?
Since losing his rematch to Hernan Marquez in 2011, Luis Concepcion, a former WBA flyweight champion, has been a busy bee. His six fight winning streak has included three KOs. Concepcion's dismissal of Odilon Zaleta in two round was impressive and got even better once Zaleta stopped top ten contender Armando Torres in his very next bout. The Panamanian fighter then took the unbeaten record of Colombian prospect Pablo Carillo. He then rematched Carillo for a second, more comprehensive victory.

Following that came a stoppage of Anuar Salas and a twelve round decision over Nestor Daniel Narvaes, who lost a questionable verdict in a world title bout previously. In all, Concepcion scored eleven knockdowns in these bouts and even found time to hit the canvas once himself. 

Concepcion deserves this opportunity on pure excitement as much as he does on the merit of being a former world champion with a nice win-streak. Name a flyweight in today's top ten and it's nigh impossible to make a bad match-up. A third fight with Hernan Marquez? Sure. Uh, yeah! A guaranteed Fight of the Year candidate with fellow former champion Giovani Segura? Uh, yeah! However, since the idea is to get him a world title opportunity, a phone booth war Akira Yaegashi for WBC honors would be ideal. Yaegashi never met a punch he didn't like the taste of and Concepcion is no stranger to the canvas. This is the type of fight to get boxing fans talking about the lighter weight classes, but only after they have witnessed the sheer brutality it would promise.

Bantamweights & Below — On the Horizon:

Daiki Kameda chases History Part II in Japan September 3
On Tuesday, September 3, at Sun Messe Kagawa, Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan: Daiki Kameda versus Rodrigo Guerrero in a twelve round vacant IBF super flyweight title bout. Kameda chases history to allow his family to become the first trio of brothers to hold world titles simultaneously.

On Tuesday, September 3, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchisima, Thailand: Nobuo Nashiro versus Denkoason Kaovichit in a twelve round interim WBA super flyweight title. Nashiro vies for his third title in the division as Koavichit seeks to become a two-division titlist.

On Friday, September 6, at NCO Club, Royal Thai Airforce, Bangkok, Thailand: Suriyan Sor Rungvisai versus Jeson Berwela in a twelve round bantamweight bout. Also on the card, WBC 115-pound king, Srisasket Sor Rungvisai versus Roque Lauro in a six-round bantamweight non-title bout. The Thai-boxers look for their sixth and fifth wins in 2013 respectively.

On Saturday, September 7, at Casino, Apadoca, Nuevo Leon, Mexico: Hugo Ruiz versus Julio Cesar Miranda in a bantamweight bout of unspecified distance. This will be a true Mexican crossroads fight for the two tough contenders.

On Saturday, September 7, at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan: Toshiyuke Igarashi versus Omar Soto in a ten round super flyweight bout. The former flyweight champion moves us to test new waters against a seasoned veteran.

Argentine Juan Carlos Reveco
On Wednesday, September 11, at Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Osaka, Japan: Kazuto Ioka versus Kwanthai Sithmorseng in a twelve round WBA light flyweight title bout. The second generation world champion looks to defend against the once-beaten challenger. Also on the card, Ryo Miyazaki versus Jesus Silvestre in a twelve round WBA minimumweight title bout. The champion takes on his greatest challenge as a professional. 

On Saturday, September 21, in Managua, Nicaragua: Roman Gonzalez versus TBA in a ten round flyweight bout. The pound for pound contender keeps busy in a non-title affair. And on Saturday, September 28, in Mendoza, Argentina: Juan Carlos Reveco versus Ricardo Nunez in a twelve round WBA flyweight title bout. The protected WBA titlist takes a step-up in opposition albeit a small one.

Written by Derek "DBO" Bonnett - exclusively for KO Digest

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