Feature Story

Kameda scandal explodes

By Joe Koizumi

The aftermath of the WBC flyweight title bout of Pongsaklek Wonjongkam defeating Koki Kameda last Saturday has become more and more scandalous day after day here in Japan. Kameda’s father Shiro, under the JBC’s indefinite suspension, shouted at the WBC supervisor Edward Thangarajah, a highly respected executive member of the Council, accusing him of his supervision on the said title bout. Tokyo Sports front-paged this scandal that happened in the dressing room after Kameda’s well-received and obvious loss admitted by the whole crowd. Edward was quoted as saying, “I have never received such a disgusted humiliation by any boxing person in my forty-five-year boxing life of covering more than one thousand bouts. His barbarous behavior was a serious slander to the WBC. He disgracefully shouted and almost punched the JBC representative. He must understand that boxing is a sport of gentlemen. I’ll report all what really occurred that night in detail to our president Dr. Jose Sulaiman.”

Nikkan Sports mentioned a possibility of Shiro Kameda to be expelled from the boxing world because of his thirty-minute threat to the JBC executive secretary and WBC sub-supervisor Tsuyoshi Yasukochi for his logical and well-supported negligence of the referee Lupe Garcia’s alleged second penalization on Pongsaklek in the fifth round.

Sports Hochi also suggested the JBC’s possible penalty to Shiro by forbidding him to enter the arena on any fight of his sons (Koki, WBA 112-pound champ Daiki and unbeaten prospect Tomoki) as he is to be designated as dangerous and undesirable person.

Japan Pro Boxing Association (JPBA), the union of licensed club owners, will call an emergency executive meeting to discuss the heavy penalty on the future activity of the Kameda Gym by reproving it for failing to control the mad-dog-like Shiro.

Hiroyuki Miyata, the impresario of Miyata Promotion that staged the Kameda-Pongsaklek title go, revealed that the surprisingly sparse crowd was only 1,900, which showed Kameda’s unpopularity among our boxing aficionados. He pointed out that what accounted for the previous big audience in the Kameda-Daisuke Naito bout last November was just Naito’s nationwide popularity as well as people’s expectation on his victory over the bad boy Kameda.

Why are Kameda brothers hated by the general public? Simply because they are not sportsmanlike. Kameda makes it a rule (ritual) at the weigh-in to shake hand with his opponent with full force to hurt the hand and intimidate him. Kameda once roughly appeared to the press conference, eating a Kentucky fried chicken, and said to his rival, “Can you eat now like this?” Kameda always ridicules his opponent with dirty words, which the Japanese culture dislikes. Kameda, after the weigh-in, usually gives an awesome stare to his opponent, and if he turns his eyes away, he triumphantly shouts, “You’re a coward!” They are antisocial rather than childish, which is absolutely against what we expect professional boxers to be with our old tradition in the wake of Yoshio Shirai, Fighting Harada, Masao Ohba, etc. Our hero should be humble, modest and strong, unlike Kameda.

Kameda is a strange boxing figure. Many people won’t buy tickets to profit the arrogant Kameda family, but they watch the bad boy’s fight on television, so the TV ratings are high probably because they are eager to see the big-mouthed Kameda beaten. Despite high television ratings, strange enough, very few sponsors financially give support to Kameda’s boxing programs chiefly due to his bad manner and impaired reputation therefore. Definitely it is a misunderstanding that foreign media think Kameda is popular here. He is just notorious and flamboyant. Almost all active Japanese boxers also dislike Kameda, since they are afraid that people think them to be as ill-mannered as Kameda. Since his appearance on the paid ranks, the bad boy has destroyed and deteriorated the dignity of boxing here.

We would like to watch and wait for the JBC’s punishment on Shiro Kameda and the Kameda Gym as well, since our commission has to definitely prevent any boxing people from acting like the notorious father in showing his displeasure with any official verdict.

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