When they fought four months ago, the champion won a razor-thin decision that could have gone either way. The 114-113 scores on all three scorecards justified a rematch.
But on Saturday afternoon at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, WBA World bantamweight world champion Jamie McDonnell (27-2-1, 12 KOs), from Doncaster, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, won another controversial unanimous decision over Tomoki Kameda (31-2, 19 KOs), from Tokyo, Japan, by scores of 116-111, 115-112, and 117-110, and despite the appearance of a wipeout, it wasn’t even close.
Fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks with red trim, it took McDonnell several rounds to find his stride. His opponent was fighting smart instead of rumbling, as he did in their first fight, and McDonnell needed several rounds to adjust.
Komeda, fighting out of the red corner in purple trunks, was exceptionally sharp. He was moving beautifully, using the ring, controlling the distance and tempo of the fight. His jab was landing. He was landing his hook to the body and head. It looked like he easily won five of the first six rounds.
McDonnell came on in the middle rounds as Kameda’s athleticism started to flag. Using his height, reach, and powerful jab, the Englishman was able to back up the challenger and put a couple of more rounds in the bank
Kameda fought his way back in rounds 10 and 11, varying his attack as he had in the first half of the fight, which often had McDonnell reaching for a target that wasn’t there.
A slip that was ruled a knockdown in the 12th and final round gave McDonnell and much needed edge to close the gap. But there was no gap that needed closing, as the judges’ scores indicated.
“When I dropped him in the last round, I think he did slip a little bit,” McDonnell said. “But I did catch him. After that I know I sealed the victory. My jab was the key in the fight and it was a great weapon for me. The plan was to box him and catch him with some big shots.”
One can expect Sky Sports to rule in favor of McDonnell, and in Tokyo the decision would have gone to Kameda, but there’s no explanation for the scores of the judges sitting ringside.
“I didn’t think it was a controversial decision,” said McDonnell, although many disagree, “because I always felt in control and I believe that I won the fight comfortably.”
After watching and scoring the fight in real-time and determining that Kameda was the winner by a country mile, I have come to the conclusion that I no longer know what constitutes a winning performance.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.