By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Sumio Yamada
There has been a great controversy on an outcome of a world title bout here in Japan. People’s question is: even if a champion should lose, can he retain his world belt? To make a long story short, he can keep his belt despite his loss only if his opponent is over the class limit, but people here cannot understand it, saying it seems contradictory that the loser is still the champion.
A unification title bout in the super-flyweight (115-pound) category was staged between the WBA and the IBF champions here in Tokyo on Tuesday. The WBA ruler Liborio Solis (16-3-1, 7 KOs) from Venezuela couldn’t make the contracted weight of 115 pounds, tipping the beam at 117.5 even at his second trip to the scale, while the IBF counterpart Daiki Kameda, Japan, tipped the beam at the 115-pound class limit. Solis refused to more reduce his weight, still two pounds and a half over the limit, and recklessly drank seven bottles of water and Coca Cola at the official weigh-in ceremony.
Despite such an unseen incident, Solis (116-3-1, 7 KOs) was awarded a split decision over Kameda (29-3, 18 KOs) at the Body Maker Coliseum in Osaka. Joe Garcia and Valerie Dorsette both scored 116-112 for Solis, while Robert Hoyle had it 115-113 for Kameda.
The Venezuelan, 31, was an early starter and took the initiative with his opening attack, while Daiki, 24, looked still cautious to watch his foe’s strategy. Daiki occasionally lifted a left hook at a time, while Solis kept punching lighter blows in combination. Daiki took the third, but began to bleed from the nostrils in the third session.
Kameda looked a little sluggish probably due to his reportedly severe reduction of weight, but Solis threw more punches in the close quarter regardless of precision, winning points steadily.
In the seventh through ninth sessions Daiki attempted to land body shots to the moving target, but Solis responded with light but quick combos to the face to be still in command in the competitive contest.
It was his elder brother Koki Kameda that strongly encouraged Daiki to go forward and attack more, and the younger brother followed his instructions to become more aggressive. Daiki dominated the tenth and eleventh with his positive rallies to the still game Venezuelan. In the last session they fought on even terms, throwing big shots and clinching each other.
The winner Solis joyfully said, “Only one shot from Kameda hurt me. It’s a right hook to the belly in the first round. Kameda might be physically strong, but wasn’t so intelligent, nor skillful. I’ll beat all Kameda brothers. Next may be Koki, and then Tomoki.”
Daiki didn’t speak much as he was greatly dejected by this defeat on a split verdict. He left the arena without leaving any comments.
On the fight day, prior to the contest, Solis scaled in at 59.5 kilogram (131.5 pounds), no less than 16.5 pounds over the limit, while Daiki 56.0 kilogram (123.75 pounds) due to the IBF’s ten-pound regulation that a world title contestant must not become heavier by ten pounds on the fight day after the weigh-in. As Solis already forfeited his WBA belt and had no qualification to win the IBF throne, he didn’t weigh in on the fight day. It was a contest with an actual weight difference of eight pounds between them.
Daiki Kameda’s IBF belt, of course, wasn’t at stake in such a contest against the overweight rival Solis. Regardless of the result, Daiki shouldn’t forfeit his belt, but some people or some media couldn’t comprehend the fistic common sense to cause the nationwide controversy. It was a problematic unification bout that should not have happened.
Promoter: Kameda Promotions.