By Joe Koizumi
Ex-WBA flyweight champ Takefumi Sakata (36-5-2, 17 KOs), 112, very impressively made short work of Indonesian titlist Eric Diaz Siregar (14-10-3, 2 KOs), 112, dispatching him with a couple of knockdowns at 2:44 of the opening session on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Sakata, 30, furiously swarmed over the nervous Indonesian from the start and quickly floored him with a vicious left to the side of the belly. Siregar gamely resumed fighting, but Sakata went all out for a kill and finally dropped him again with an effective left-right combination with the loser collapsing face-first to be unable to beat the count.
There had been a very complex situation behind Sakata’s tune-up bout prior to his highly anticipated crack at the WBA 112-pound throne against newly crowned compatriot Daiki Kameda, formerly Sakata’s stablemate. Prior to Kameda’s coronation on February 7, Keiichiro Kanehira, Sakata’s manager/promoter, had already executed the contract with then WBA ruler Denkaosen Kaowichit by making an advanced payment to the champ’s manager Niwat Laosuwanwat. It should have been their rematch since the Thailander captured the WBA belt by upsetting Sakata on a second-round demolition on the last day of 2008.
Kameda Promotions, however, persistently asked for a rematch between Denkaosen and Kameda after a close but majority decision (115-113 twice and 114-114) with the belt at stake last October. Both Kyoei and Kameda Promotions strongly appealed to the WBA, insisting on the priority in catching up with Denkaosen, the fast-fading 33-year-old champ whom either might very probably beat and dethrone with ease. It became such a nasty drama as “Casablanca” where people kept struggling to obtain a visa to get out of Morocco. The visa was equivalent to the WBA’s sanction in this case.
The WBA seemed terribly tired with too frequent appeals by both parties, and finally decided in the last convention in Colombia that Daiki Kameda should face the Thai champ first, the winner meet Sakata and the ultimate victor square off against WBA interim titlist Luis Concepcion. The WBA explained the reason that Sakata hadn’t fought as a 112-pounder since his forfeiture of the belt for almost a year and should prove he would be able to fight within the flyweight limit. It might be a very clever logic to distinguish the priority between Sakata and Kameda.
Kameda dethroned Denkaosen as expected. Sakata cleared the WBA-ordered “flyweight” bout this night. Will they fight soon with the WBA belt at stake? No, the situation isn’t so easy. Kameda is trying to avert his obligatory defense with ex-champ Sakata, saying both promotions have been under perennial litigation. That’s another matter, and Kameda and Sakata should definitely fight as the WBA ordered as all Japanese fight fans greatly anticipate.
But Kameda Promotions wish to get back an unpaid purses of Kameda brothers (Koki and Daiki, both of whom the WBC and the WBA 112-pound champs now) for some one million USD while they belonged to Kanehira’s Kyoei Promotions. Kyoei defends itself on logic that Kameda family’s repeated wrongdoings and violations of boxing rules and national moral had financially damaged Kyoei’s business activities such as distributing boxing merchandise and delegating fitness instructors to various athletic clubs. Go to the court to decide the legal matter, and make Kameda and Sakata fight to decide which the better is in the ring. Otherwise, Daiki Kameda will be called “coward” by all our aficionados for averting his confrontation with the much more experienced ex-champ Sakata. Should Kameda refuse to do so, the WBA should strip Kameda of his lately acquired belt and order an ultimate elimination bout between the interim champ Concepcion and Sakata.
Promoter: Kyoei Promotions.