Koki Kameda retains WBA title - Japanese TV Screenshot
In the immediate aftermath of Kameda vs Ruiz only two people could be accounted for that thought Kameda deserved to win: South Korean judge Michael Lee and Dutch judge Lahcen Oumghar. South African judge Stanley Christodoulou and anyone else had Ruiz comfortably ahead.
WBA regular bantamweight champion Koki Kameda retained his title against interim champion Hugo Ruiz in a bout that was fairly dull but incredibly controversial. The final scorecards tallied 117-113 for Ruiz, which seemed reasonable, and 116-113 / 115-113 for Kameda, which did not.
From the opening of Koki Kameda vs Hugo Ruiz one thing was clear: Koki did not want to fight on the inside against his taller and longer opponent. Kameda, a southpaw, tried to emulate a slick boxer and dance his way to victory against orthodox boxer-puncher Ruiz through at least ¾ of the fight. He offered next to nothing offensively until it was seemingly too late in round 10. Out of kindness you could maybe give Koki 2 of the first 9 rounds simply for making Ruiz miss more than Koki did. And then you could arguably say Kameda swept the last 3 rounds based on finally finding the nerve to fight on the inside, even though he led with his head, threw low blows, and held and hit once he got there. The referee warned Kameda for his illegal tactics throughout the bout, including punching after the bell and general instigation, but a point was never deducted.
Honestly, through most of the bout Kameda's primary accomplishment was keeping Ruiz from getting into a rhythm. Kameda lulled Ruiz to sleep with his persistent disengaging maneuvers then tried to bull rush him for a quick flurry. Kameda did nothing of real note fighting that way but did his best work when he slipped punches and countered on the inside. However, going back to my opening point, Kameda didn't want to stay inside once he got there. After trying to land a punch or two Kameda would shoot right back outside where Ruiz's superior range could pick him off from a distance. And as the fight went on Ruiz began to pick Kameda off easier and easier with jabs and straight right hands.
But just as the fight was slipping away on the official scorecards Kameda got off his bicycle and fought the last 3 rounds like a man. Nonetheless, it still wasn't until round 10 that Kameda began to win exchanges with Ruiz. He did it by making Ruiz uncomfortable (legally or not). Prior to that Kameda tried to win by boring Ruiz to death. But perhaps he just bored the judges instead and caused them to arbitrarily assign rounds. Scoring criteria is made up of clean punching, effective aggression, ring generalship, and defense. 90% of the score is supposed to be based on clean punching. So how did Kameda win the fight by merely proving superior on defense? And even that was debatable.
Daiki Kameda UD10 James Mokoginta (100-91, 100-91, 99-91)
Tomoki Kameda KO4 Rey Las Pinas