Boxingtalk reviews Kameda-Landaeta scoring


Boxingtalk reviews Kameda-Landaeta scoring

Analysis of controversial verdict in WBA 108-pound fight

By Scott Shaffer, Michael Doss and Kurt Emhoff

A couple of weeks ago, a young boxer captivated Japanese television audiences by bidding for a world title before his twentieth birthday. Koki Kameda wound up winning the vacant WBA 108-pound championship by split decision before one of the largest Japanese television audiences of the year, but many Japanese observers, causal boxing fans at best, strongly criticized the decision of the judges and thought Juan Landaeta was robbed. Was it a hometown decision for Kameda? Or simply a close fight that could have gone either way? Boxingtalk put together a panel consisting of Michael Doss, Scott Shaffer and Kurt Emhoff to score the fight round by round. Here is the findings of the review panel:

Round 1: Remarkably fast-paced round with no feeling out process. Both men landed solid punches, with Landaeta probably having a very slight edge for the first 2:55. The Landaeta connected with a solid right to the jaw that put Kameda down. The Japanese teenager got up quickly with clear eyes but wobbly legs. The round ended without any further exchanges, but Kameda was greeted with a slap in the face from his trainer as he sat down between rounds. Emhoff: “I thought the only clear cut rounds were 1, 8, 11 and 12 - three of which I gave to Landaeta.  All of the other rounds were close with both men having their moments but Kameda moving forward and generally throwing the sharper shots.” Entire panel agrees: 10-8 Landaeta.

Round 2:  In the second, the exciting Kameda showed why he has captured the attention of the Japanese public. Supposedly in defensive mode, Kameda came out in a peek-a-boo stance but stood right in front Landaeta and made no attempt to hold or clinch, instead looking for opportunities to land hooks to the body. He landed some, but so did Landaeta, and while it was difficult to tell how many of Landaeta’s jabs got through Kameda’s defense, his higher workrate tipped the round in his favor. Doss: “With the jab, Landaeta just outworked him a little more although it was a semi-close round.” Shaffer: 10-9 Landaeta; Emhoff: 10-9 Kameda; Doss: 10-9 Landaeta.

Round 3: A difficult round to score, but Kameda spent much of the time coming forward, and his aggression appeared to be a little more effective than Landaeta’s output.  One thing is clear, however, this is shaping up to be a great fight with both men refusing to hold or take a step backwards. Shaffer: 10-9 Kameda; Emhoff: 10-9 Landaeta; Doss: 10-9 Kameda.

Round 4: Some brilliant work by Landaeta in the middle minute carried the round. Kameda was effective with single punches, but Landaeta seemed to land a few more combinations. Doss: “Landaeta did a little more and also briefly stunned Kameda with short uppercuts.” Shaffer: 10-9 Landaeta; Emhoff: 10-9 Kameda; Doss: 10-9 Landaeta.

Round 5: Landaeta continued his brisk work rate, but the punches seemed to lose a bit of steam, thanks to Kameda’s persistent body attack. The Japanese announcers got more excited with every Kameda left to the body, but it was a Kameda combination to the head that got the crowd revved up and sealed the round for the local fighter. Doss: “Very close round with Landaeta winning the round with the jab and a nice left uppercut, credit to Kameda, though, who came on strong in the final seconds of the round, but it was just not enough.” Shaffer: 10-9 Kameda; Emhoff: 10-9 Kameda; Doss: 10-9 Landaeta.
Round 6:
This was Kameda’s best round thus far in the bout, although he got cut by Landaeta . He set the tone early, landing a variety of right uppercuts and hooks. Shaffer:  "Kameda is incredibly poised for a teenager, and boxing fans can only hope that he gets the opportuinity to face the best boxers from 105-112 pounds.  There are many wars to be made, particularly against the likes of Arce, Wongjongkam and Darchinyan at flyweight." Entire panel agrees: 10-9 Kameda.

Round 7: Very tough round to score. Kameda started out very strong, backing Landaeta up several times with solid punches. Towards the middle of the round, he had Landaeta up against the ropes and moved in for the kill, but Landaeta had more than enough left to keep Kameda off him, and Kameda seemed to have punched himself out, giving Landaeta an opportunity to rally. Still Kameda landed a few choice shots in the final minute of a round that could have gone either way. Doss: “Landaeta worked the jab better and used his feet to his advantage, boxing a better round.” Shaffer: 10-9 Kameda; Emhoff: 10-9 Kameda; Doss: 10-9 Landaeta.

Round 8: An exciting round in which Landaeta may have landed a few more punches, but Kameda landed the more dramatic ones, including a sequence in which he briefly punished Landaeta against the ropes. Entire panel agrees: 10-9 Kameda.

Round 9: This was another difficult round to score, particularly if you had to listen to the Japanese announcers shriek every time their boy Kameda landed a body shot. Sometimes the announcers' yelling lasted so long, they didn’t appear to notice Landaeta landing counters that were more effective than the initial blow. Landaeta closed the round strong, possibly giving him a hairline edge. Doss: “Kameda started strong, pinning Landaeta on the ropes but a nice straight left from the Venezuelan stunned Kameda for a split second and changed the tide. Koki threw another barrage at Landaeta in the final minute, but it was not enough to win the round. There was aggressiveness from Kameda but not effective.” Shaffer: 10-9 Landaeta; Emhoff: 10-9 Kameda; Doss: 10-9 Landaeta.

Round 10: Again, a hard round to judge, with Kameda beginning to slow down but still fighting effectively in spurts. Kameda landed a hard punch with about ten seconds to go that seemed to wobble Landaeta slightly. Shaffer: 10-9 Kameda; Emhoff: 10-9 Landaeta; Doss: 10-9 Kameda

Round 11: The television camera caught Kameda grimacing before the eleventh round began, and it would only get worse for him. With about forty seconds to go, Landaeta hurt Kameda badly, and Kameda spent the rest of the round instigating clinches to protect himself. At one point, Kameda stepped forward to grab Landaeta, who landed a jab and then stepped back, leaving Kameda to fall to the canvas. It was ruled a slip, but a knockdown would not have been a terrible call either. Emhoff: “The key round of the fight was round 11.  Kameda was clearly hurt and wobbly for the last minute of the round from a solid left hand from Landaeta.  Kameda never went down though.  I scored it 10-8, so on my card, the fight's a draw.” Shaffer: 10-9 Landaeta; Emhoff: 10-8 Landaeta; Doss: 10-9 Landaeta.

Round 12: With the normally quiet Japanese crowd going crazy, Landaeta came out looking reasonably fresh and firing a still-quick jab. Kameda’s defense was exposed as he stood in front of Landaeta too exhausted to get his punches off first.  Shaffer: "Kameda came forward gamely in headhunting mode, but anyone who gave either of the last two rounds to Kameda wasn't doing their job." Entire panel agrees: 10-9 Landaeta.

The decision: The WBA judges called it a split decision in Kameda’s favor: 115-113 and 114-113 for Kameda overruling 115-112 for Landaeta.  Kameda pulled a Cory Spinks when the decision was announced, bursting out in tears and practically collapsing.  Kameda's victory was criticized by many in the Japanese mainstream media, some even going as far as calling it a fix. Emhoff: “I think the Japanese media was much too hard on Kameda.  He fought a very game fight and gave it all he had.  I don't think he looked ordinary, I thought he looked like a kid with a lot of potential.  A rematch is probably in order.”  Boxingtalk has Landaeta as the winner by majority decision, and now an uncrowned champion:
Shaffer’s scorecard: 114-113, Landaeta
Emhoff’s scorecard: 113-113, even
Doss’ scorecard: 116-111, Landaeta


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