By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
WBA flyweight champ Daiki Kameda (19-2, 11 KOs), 112, very barely kept his belt as he eked out a highly controversial split decision over totally aggressive Silvio Olteanu (11-4, 3 KOs), 112, European titlist of Romania, over twelve lousy rounds on Sunday in Saitama, Japan.
The scoresheets were as follows: Jose Roberto Torres (Puerto Rico) 115-113 and Levi Martinez (US) 116-112, both for the defending champ Kameda, while Roberto Ramirez (Puerto Rico) saw it quite differently 118-110 for Olteanu. The referee was Pinit Prayadsab (Thailand).
The 32-year-old Romanian looked dominant and aggressive throughout the monotonous contest. Olteanu was the aggressor all the way. Probably the champ’s severe reduction of weight caused Kameda, 21, to be too sluggish to throw many punches only to retaliate with a punch at a time. The champ was said to be a hard-puncher, so his by far fewer punches might have been evaluated only by the two judges, but Olteanu, a soft-punching but much busier speedster, seemed to have controlled the bout and was apparently robbed.
Who should have been the winner? This question is related to the essence of boxing. We know the traditional scoring standard: (1) effective punch, (2) aggressiveness, (3) defense, and (4) ring generalship. Everyone will admit Oltianu was aggressive all night. If so, was Daiki Kameda more effective in punching against the by far more aggressive Olteanu? This reporter whose score was 117-111 almost agrees with the tally of Roberto Ramirez, 118-110 in favor of Oltianu.
Oltianu recently won the EBU-EU 118-pound belt by defeating Alain Bonnel on points in Madrid last December and registered his initial defense of his regional belt by beating Berrnard Inom (who had only lost to Omar Narvaez in a quest for the WBO flyweight belt in 2006 in twenty-two bouts to show his real power) by a unanimous decision this May.
This reporter has seen great many world flyweight title bouts since a Pascual Perez-Kenji Yonekura title go in 1959, but can definitely say that this Kameda-Oltianu bout was the technically worst and lowest title bout. It is a shame to call such a technically poor fight as a world title bout. It must be an insult to Jimmy Wilde, Pancho Villa, Pascual Perez, Pone Kingpetch, Yoshio Shirai, Fighting Harada, Hiroyuki Ebihara, Alacran Efren Torres, Chartchai Chionoi, Masao Ohba, Betulio Gonzalez, Erbito Salavarria, Shoji Oguma, Miguel Canto, Chanhee Park, Santos Laciar, Sot Chitalada…
If you can see this bout by YouTube, etc., you may rightly see what this observer says. It is shameful to call such a poor boxer world flyweight champion after such a technically poor bout.
Oltianu was a harmless air windmill, while the defending champ Kameda was a very negative shell that threw very few punches in every round. Kameda was poor, but Oltianu was also poor. But without throwing punches, you can’t win a point. The shorter Romanian by four inches kept throwing punches—light leather like feather—to the peek-a-boo stylist. The sluggish champ displayed his willingness to defend his belt only in the eighth and ninth rounds, but remained cautious and negative from the tenth on.
This reporter begs the WBA headquarters to review this fight at your office to see whether it was worth being called a world title bout. It is really good that Daiki Kameda will very certainly renounce his WBA 112-pound belt without facing the formidable interim ruler Luis Concepcion of Panama despite the WBA’s order. We must call the strongest man in the respective weight category “the champion.”
This reporter gave only three rounds (the second, eighth and ninth) to Kameda, and all others to Oltianu. Whether my view was right or not—it should be detected and discussed by the WBA headquarters on reviewing it on a tape.
Please don’t downgrade the status of professional boxing any longer by declaring Daiki Kameda the winner and world champion.
WBA supervisor: Alan Kim (Korea).
Promoter: Kusunoki Miyoshi Promotions.