Christmas comes but once a year, unless it seems your name is Koki Kameda (30-1, 17) who for the third time in 5 bouts appeared to be given a gift decision in order to retain his WBA Bantamweight title. Kameda's split decision victory over little known Thai Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (36-2, 19) was just the latest in a line of controversial moments for the 3-weight world champion from Japan.
For those who have been following the career of Kameda over the years you'll know perfectly well about his first gift decision back in 2006 over Juan Jose Landaeta, a decision that saw the then unbeaten Kameda claim the WBA Light Flyweight title. Since then Kameda has claimed world titles at both Flyweight and Bantamweight though his Bantamweight reign has been highly controversial.
In his second defense of his WBA Bantamweight title Kameda was given a highly controversial decision over the then unbeaten Mexican David De La Mora in a bout many felt De La Mora did more than enough to claim the title in. Just 3 fights later De La Mora's country man Hugo Ruiz was given the proverbial shafting by the judges in a bout that was difficult to even view as close.
Against Kaiyanghadaogym it was expected that Kameda would have an easier nights work to defend his title, that thought however didn't last long as as the unheralded Thai gave him a real battle and a half over a very hard fought 12 round contest.
Despite the fact Kaiyanghadaogym was the smaller man naturally (coming up from Super Flyweight) the Thai wasn't effected by Kameda's power and in typical Thai fighting style refused to be intimidated by the large crowd at the Bodymaker Colosseum in Kameda's homeland of Japan. This saw Kameda forced to fight back hard.
With both men gunning for the victory it was a hard fight though one that Kaiyanhadaogym should feel he did enough to claim victory in. Sadly however Kameda again retained his title with a huge question mark hanging over his head.
The 26 year old Kameda may well be a 3-weight world champion though this current reign is one that appears to be highly questionable. It's only a matter of time before the boxing world shrugs their shoulders with Kameda who will likely get a similar reputation to the likes of Sven Ottke or Felix Sturm as holding a title hostage with helpful judging.