Home Boxing News Takayama, Tomoki and Daiki all retain

Takayama, Tomoki and Daiki all retain

It’s not often that the boxing world turns to Japan for it’s action, but that was exactly what happened today as fans from around the globe turned their attention to the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka city where we had a world title triple header.

The title bouts, all shown live on TBS sports in Japan, began with the return of “Lightning K” Katsunari Takayama (26-6-0-1, 10) who was fighting in Japan for the first time since 2009. Takayama, the IBF Minimumweight champion, successfully defended his belt as he took on Filipino challenger Vergilio Silvano (17-3-1, 10) and put on a performance to remember.

Takayama started the fight fast, rocking Silvano in the opening round before putting on a punch perfect display beating Silvano to the punch round after round. Not only was Takayama landing shot after shot on on Silvano but he was doing it whilst moving non-stop. Whether he was moving was in and out or circling Takayama was in a state of perpetual motion and it was forcing Silvano to miss shot after shot as he was left punching air and little else. It was a masterclass by a man that Japanese boxing fans should do all they can to appreciate whilst he’s still active.

Following Takayama’s decisive victory over Silvano we moved on to the first ever WBO title defence in Japan. This contest saw Tomoki Kameda (29-0, 18), the first ever Japanese fighter to claim a WBO world title, fighting against the previously unbeaten Immanuel Naidjala (17-1-1, 11). Naidjala was attempting to regain the title lost by his countryman Paulus Ambunda earlier this year though lacked the skills needed to really ever test Tomoki.

Through the first 8 rounds Tomoki built up a clear lead forcing Naidjala backwards and smashing him with left hands to the body almost at will. It seemed less a case of who would win but whether or not not Naidjala would see out the final bell as Tomoki dominated round after round. Surprisingly though Naidjala turned out to be one of those “teak tough Africans” who refused to show any pain and in fact in the later rounds he came on strong arguably claiming the final 3 rounds. It was far too little far too late though it did show that Tomoki still isn’t great in the championship rounds and he’ll certainly be hoping to work on that in subsequent defenses.

The final of the world title bouts was shrouded with some controversy before the first punch was even thrown. Originally we had expected Liborio Solis (16-3-1, 7) to fight Daiki Kameda (29-4, 18) in a WBA/IBF Super Flyweight unification bout. What we ended up with was a bit odd as Solis missed the weight by quite a bit, in fact he was pretty much a Bantamweight on the scales, however Daiki was still able to become the unified champion. There was question marks however over what would happen if Daiki lost.

As it turns out Daiki retained his IBF title despite being out pointed by Solis in what turned out to be nothing short of enthralling contest. The first 3 rounds were total war with the two men stood toe-to-toe trading shots at a remarkable rate. These early rounds were competitive but appeared to be taking their toll on Daiki who tried to box rather than fight in round 4. The change of strategy was a good idea though one that came after Daiki had had some fight taken out of him and Solis quickly tracked him down with an amazingly aggressive mindset.

Through the middle rounds Solis continued to dominate and through rounds 5 and 6 it seemed almost certain that Daiki was going to be stopped. He wasn’t just being beaten but he was being beaten up by Solis who looked much bigger and stronger in the ring. Knowing he was in trouble Daiki managed to hold and spoil for several rounds before recovering his confidence and fighting back with body shots, cutting the distance and landing eye catching shots. Unfortunately for those wanting the titles unified however it was too little too late and Solis had done enough to take a split decision.

Whilst some may question why Daiki retained his title it does seem somewhat fair considering he did make the weight whilst Solis hardly seemed to have tried, in fact it’s thought that Solid rehydrated to around 135lbs giving him a serious in ring advantage.

Interestingly Solis’s victory has probably help set up fights for all 3 of the Kameda brothers.

Daiki, who is still the IBF champion, will likely be forced to fight South African Zolani Tete next year. Tete recently won an eliminator for the IBF title and would likely travel to Japan for his shot at Daiki. This is a bout that seems to fall together very easily and makes too much sense for it not to happen.

For Tomoki the logical match up is with Solis who is pretty unlikely to remain at Super Flyweight. Coming to the scales at 117.5lbs is bang on what you’d expect of a Bantamweight and a WBO Bantamweight title fight between these two is one that makes a lot of sense. Tomoki will be looking to get revenge for the Kameda family, as Koki did when Daisuke Naito defeated Daiki, whilst Solis will be looking for a third successive win on Japanese soil.

Interestingly it could be Koki Kameda, a man who wasn’t in action at all today who could be the biggest benefactor. Koki was expected to travel to Panama next year to face Anselmo Moreno or be stripped of his WBA Bantamweight title. That would be a hiding to nothing for Koki who really wouldn’t stand a chance with Moreno. With the eldest of the Kameda brothers capable of making Super Flyweight it seems very plausible that Koki could drop to 115lbs and fight for the vacant WBA title down there. If he wins that title he’d become the first ever Japanese fighter to claim world titles in 4 different divisions and further cement his place in Japanese boxing history despite what would be a clear ducking of Moreno.

Talking about the men’s next fights, it’s also worth noting that Takayama is strongly linked to a fight in China with WBC champion Xiong Zhao Zhong. That bout, if it takes place, would be an IBF/WBC Minimumweight unification bout and a bout that would be more than just about boxing. Some have described that possible encounter as being the Asian version of Max Schmelling versus Joe Louis II and whilst that might be an over-statement it’s still pretty accurate one with the tensions between the two countries certainly growing at the moment.

You can read more by Scott Graveson at his site: AsianBoxing