Kameda makes history, unseats Ambunda for WBO title
Japan’s Tomoki Kameda lifted the WBO bantamweight title from Paulus Ambunda on Thursday night with a unanimous-decision win, joining his brothers Daiki and Koki as the first trio of brothers to win world titles in professional boxing.
In a battle between a Namibian champion and Japanese challenger at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, Philippines, the 22-year-old Kameda (28-0, 18 knockouts) used his superior speed and technique to outbox Ambunda (20-1, 10 KOs) over twelve rounds, winning by the tallies of 118-110, 116-112 and 117-111. Kameda appeared to drop Ambunda just before the final bell with a short right hand, but referee Raul Caiz Sr. ruled it a slip.
The fight was Ambunda’s first defense of the title he had won from Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu in March.
The eldest brother, Koki, 26, was the first to win a world title in 2009, winning the WBC flyweight belt before losing it in his first defense. He is the current WBA bantamweight titleholder, having made seven successful defenses. Daiki, 24, won the WBA flyweight title in 2010 before losing it a year later. If he can defeat Rodrigo Guerrero next month in Kagawa, Japan for the vacant IBF junior bantamweight title, all three will reign simultaneously.
Tomoki Kameda also made another bit of history on Thursday night, becoming the first Japanese boxer to win a WBO title.
On the undercard, former flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (34-13-5, 24 KOs) continued his downward spiral, losing his third straight in dropping a ten-round split decision to Filipino journeyman Gerpaul Valero (15-14-3, 10 KOs). Jaro, 31, who had won the flyweight title last March in THE RING’s Upset of the Year when he knocked out Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, has yet to win a fight since then, losing the title in his first defense, then losing to a journeyman opponent in Japan earlier this year. Jaro’s trainer/manager, Aljoe Jaro, suggested retirement after Thursday’s loss.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.