Newly crowned WBA bantamweight champ Koki Kameda (25-1, 16 KOs), 118, kept his belt as he took the initiative from the outset, decked a lanky Nicaraguan, #14 Daniel Diaz (18-3, 13 KOs), 117.25, in the eighth and finally halted him at the end of the eleventh round on Friday in Osaka, Japan.
Taller by three inches and longer also by three inches at reach, the lanky Diaz wasn’t such a nuisance for Kameda who had acquired the vacant WBA 118-pound belt by defeating Alexander Munoz on points last December. The Nicaraguan was simply slower than Kameda who easily came close to him at will, landing southpaw combinations whenever he liked. Diaz occasionally responded to the champ’s attack with sickle-like uppercuts that occasionally caught Kameda with insufficient power to hurt him.
The 24-year-old champ cautiously started in the opening session, but quickly realized he was faster than the skinny challenger who hadn’t fought since his last bout in April of the previous year. Kameda steadily piled up points with ease with his more accurate combinations. The fourth saw Daiz sustain a gash over the left eyebrow caused by an accidental butt, though the champ claimed that it was opened by his legal punches.
Diaz, 27, turned loose in round seven, when he became aggressive and kept punching the much shorter champ with right uppercuts to the face, but Kameda showed some retaliation in the closing seconds of the round. Kameda, in the eighth, floored him with a left shot. Being in command in the ninth and tenth, Kameda went for a kill with a flurry of punches in the eleventh, but Diaz gamely withstood the champ’s desperate rallies to last the critical moments.
After the eleventh Diaz corner showed his surrender on the stool, and referee Mark Nelson (US) raised the hand of the defending champ.
The official tallies before the stoppage were as follows: Levi Martinez (US) 108-100, Tom Miller (US) and Dave Parris (UK) both 107-101, all in favor of Kameda, who had acquired the second world throne in the 118-pound category following his reign in the 112-pound division (without competing in the 115-pound class).
Kameda said, “I was born here in Osaka, from which I’d like to deliver my encouragement to people that suffered a tragic disaster.”