Tomoki Kameda’s laughter needs no translation.
“Of course, it’s me,” he says in Spanish, Kameda’s second language after his native Japanese, speaking through an interpreter once his chuckles subside. “I’m the fastest. I’m the strongest. And I’m the best.”
Kameda’s just been asked a question that he’s spent much of his life answering, not with his words, but with his fists: Which of the three Kameda brothers is the finest boxer of them all?
In order of birth, there’s Koki, 28, who’s won world championships in three different weight classes.
Then there’s Daiki, 26, himself a former titlist at 112 and 115 pounds.
Finally, there’s the undefeated Tomoki, 23, a 118-pound champ who’s the only Kameda with an unblemished record at 31-0.
Together, they made history in 2013 when Daiki became a 115-pound champ, making the Kamedas the first trio of siblings to ever hold titles simultaneously.
It’s Tomoki Kameda, though, who many boxing pundits—and Tomoki himself, of course—see as having the potential to be the biggest star of them all.
He’s a flamboyant, charismatic presence—a Kameda brother trait—with a come–forward style as eye-catching as the dyed blond hairdo he’s been known to sport.
Now, he’s getting a stage as big as his personality, with a network TV fight against British 118-pound champ Jamie McDonnell (25-2-1, 12 KOs) on May 9 in Hidalgo, Texas, that will air live on CBS at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.
It’s Kameda’s third fight in a row in the United States, and he's taken a circuitous route to get to this point: As a kid, he was uncertain if he even wanted to join the family business.
“At first, I didn’t think I was going to be a boxer—I wanted to try to do something different,” he says. “But being in a boxing family, my father wanted all three brothers to be world champions. It was my duty to my family, for their honor, to become a world champion as well. It was my father’s dream, and me and my brothers were able to complete that.”
They did so together.
“We always competed,” Kameda says. “Who’s faster? Who punches harder? Who’s stronger? Me being the youngest, I hard to work harder, because they were older than me and they had advantages.”
But what Tomoki may have lacked in age, he made up for in bravado.
“At a young age everyone knew that I was the special one,” he says. “I knew I was destined for greatness.”
- Tomoki Kameda