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Tomoki Kameda retains WBO with split decision over Alejandro Hernandez

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Tomoki Kameda appeared to clearly win tonight in Chicago, but only got split decision scores over his mandatory challenger.

Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Tomoki Kameda was looking for a big performance tonight against Alejandro Hernandez, but in the end, despite punch stats clearly in his favor, he wound up doing just enough to eke out a split decision win on the judges' scorecards, retaining his WBO bantamweight title against his mandatory challenger.

Kameda (31-0, 19 KO) won on scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 113-115, downing Hernandez (28-11-2, 15 KO) without doing much by way of flash, or anything that left a lasting impression. BLH had it 116-112 for Kameda, but at one point I had Tomoki up eight rounds to one before he lost, in my view, the final three frames, in large part due to a cut that bothered him pretty noticeably. Hernandez was able to take advantage of that and do some good work, but for my money, he just didn't do enough early on to have a good argument for the win.

Kameda, 23, got a good learning experience, or at least that's what he and his team will likely hope. The 28-year-old Hernandez, a young veteran with a lot of experience, gave him some troubling looks and never allowed Kameda to physically take over the fight, even when Tomoki seemed to be winning handily.

Statistically, the fight was a landslide. Kameda landed 217/564 (38%) total punches, including 62/244 (25%) jabs and 155/320 (48%) power shots. Hernandez landed just 157/815 (19%) total shots, including 46/310 (15%) jabs and 111/505 (22%) power punches.