It was a fresh start for Tomoki Kameda against Jamie McDonnell, but the end result was—painfully—the same.
After dropping a narrow decision to Jamie McDonnell (27-2-1, 12 KOs) on May 9 in Hidalgo, Texas, Tomoki Kameda (31-2, 19 KOs) was looking to avenge the lone loss of his career in the 118-pound world title rematch at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Instead, what he got was his second defeat in as many tries in another seesaw fight that, if not as tight on the scorecards as the first bout, was about as close to the naked eye.
“I thought I won this fight a lot more clearly than the last fight,” Kameda said. “I think I had the right plan and did everything right."
Kameda, under new trainer Ismael Salas, came out and showed an unexpected patient side in comparison to the fireballing aggressor he was in the first match.
It was effective early, perhaps catching McDonnell by surprise. Kameda saw success through the first few rounds, particularly with counter left hooks, as he was able to deftly duck under the taller McDonnell’s hammering jabs.
But by the middle rounds, McDonnell adjusted to Kameda’s retreating tactics and jabbed his way back into the fight as he pressed steady action against Kameda’s periodic outbursts of heavy-handed combinations. Kameda threw the bigger bombs, but it was a case of slow and steady winning the race, as McDonnell’s jab found consistent purchase.
It all came to a head in the 12th, when Kameda came out firing, looking for something decisive, but as he was circling around McDonnell, the Brit caught Kameda with a right to the ear that dropped him. It appeared as though Kameda slipped just as McDonnell's punch connected, but the referee ruled it a knockdown.
"When I dropped him in the last round, I think he did slip a little bit. I tried to stay away, but I did catch him. After that, I know I sealed the victory," McDonnell said. "My jab was the key in the fight, and it was a great weapon for me. I just had to make sure that I stuck to the game plan we had been working on for over eight weeks."
After the knockdown, Kameda popped back up quickly. As it turns out, the extra point proved to be irrelevant, as McDonnell walked away with all three scorecards, 116-111, 115-112 and 117-110.
For Kameda, it’s back to the drawing board. Two fights ago, he was still an unbeaten fighter. Now he has to get back on track following back-to-back losses.
For the full recap of McDonnell vs Kameda, including photos and video, make sure to check out our fight page.