Koki's Kristmas Kame(da) EarlyChristmas came early for WBA Bantamweight champion Koki Kameda (29-1, 17) who got given a gift wrapped present from the judges as he claimed a split decision victory over hard punching Mexican Hugo Ruiz (31-2, 28). A fight that some feel may well go down as one of, if not the, robbery of the year.
Ruiz came out knowing he needed to make an early impression and that's exactly what he did using his reach and power to keep Kameda at a safe distance whilst seeming to bag the opening 5 rounds with little real effort. Kameda, giving away noticeable size and reach simply couldn't get at Ruiz in the early part of the fight as Mexican showed his world class ability.
It wasn't until round 6 that you could make a case for Kameda to have even won a round as he started to get close to the Mexican. Sadly despite winning the round Kameda did himself no favours as he landed a clear blow well after the bell as he proved to class one would expect from such a distinguished fighter.
Kameda was made to pay for his cheap shot as Ruiz came out fired up for round 7, a round that he clearly won, much like he had won the opening 5. It was hard to score it any other way than 69-64 through the first 7 rounds in favour of Ruiz, the rounds were easy to score at this point and it should have left Kameda needing at least a knockdown at some point to claim a victory, something he failed to get.
Although Kameda failed to drop Ruiz, he did start to get more and more success as Ruiz's work rate began to drop however the championship rounds saw both men really fighting on even terms, the only rounds in the bout which were really up for debate.
Th first scorecard, 117-113 for Ruiz seemed about spot on, though the other two scorecards, 116-113 and 115-113 in favour of Kameda were simply disgraceful. At very best Kameda deserved a draw (and that's giving him everything you possibly could), though in all honesty he really should have suffered his second defeat and by very clear scores.
I'd advise all fighters to avoid facing Kameda on this showing. It's not the first time he's had a controversial decision go his way with his 2008 victory over Juan Jose Landaeta loudly criticised and likewise his victory last year over David De La Mora. For Ruiz however it was proof that he deserved to be mentioned amongst the top fighters at 118lbs.