Kameda vs. Apolinario: What We Learned from Bantamweight Bout
WBA champion Koki Kameda (31-1) dominated John Mark Apolinario (17-3-3) in Tokyo on Tuesday. He dropped the challenger in the 10th and 12th rounds en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win. The 26-year-old Japanese champion was clearly the sharper, more experienced fighter throughout.
Apolinario didn't have the power or speed to seriously challenge Kameda. Despite the dominating performance from Kameda, it is difficult to see his stock rising after besting such an overmatched opponent.
Here are the official judges scorecards, and all three scored the fight for Kameda, per BoxRec.com: Judge Alfredo Polanco: 117-109, Judge Pinit Prayadsab:118-108 and Judge Wan-Soo Yuh: 119-107
Here's a closer look at Kameda's easy win.
It was clear Apolinario had little to no chance of defeating Kameda from the outset. Even before we saw the results play out in the ring, one look at Apolinario's very modest KO total (four in 22 fights) suggested Kameda wouldn't have to worry about running into a bomb from Apolinario.
Kameda generally fights an action style, but he could employ his natural aggression much easier against a fighter with limited power.
Apolinario's Status as Mediocre Contender is Defined
Even though the young Filipino fighter is just 23 years old, it was clear in this fight that he just doesn't possess the physical tools to challenge the best bantamweights in the world. Ryan Bivins of Sweet Boxing chimes in on Apolinario's effort:
Apolinario not fighting like he wants to be champ. Getting walked down by Koki Kameda of all people. Filipino #boxing just not what it was.— Ryan Bivins (@sweetboxing) July 23, 2013
Apolinario should be ashamed of himself for the amount of time he spent with his back to the ropes in the biggest fight of his life.— Ryan Bivins (@sweetboxing) July 23, 2013
Apolinario seemed intimidated by the champion and reluctant to take the chances necessary to make the fight a bit more competitive. His ceiling in the sport may be as a gatekeeper for up-and-coming prospects over the next five years.
Kameda Still Hasn't Proved He's an Elite Bantamweight
Coming into the fight, most wouldn't have called Kameda one of the three best bantamweights in the world. Because of his weak competition on Tuesday, there is no way you can put him in the same conversation as countrymen Shinsuke Yamanaka or Anselmo Moreno.
Kameda is only 26 years old and he's yet to get a crack at the elite fighters in his division. However, it seemed scoring a KO over such a hapless opponent would have made Kameda look better.
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