In an extremely close — and somewhat controversial — bantamweight contest, Jamie McDonnell retained his 122 pound trinket via unanimous decision over Japan’s Tomoki Kameda. Scores of 115-112, 116-111, and 117-109 tell a relatively dominant tale, but in truth this was an extremely tactical contest, fought on close to even terms for the most part. Ultimately, however, McDonnell made his reach advantage count and put his famed stamina levels to good use as he pressured Kameda and forced him into retreat for long stretches of the middle rounds.
Many predicted Kameda would start fast, with the feeling amongst certain observers that he had taken McDonnell lightly when they first met earlier this year. He was able to land a couple of nice shots in the opening round, before McDonnell’s subtle head movement took away his right hook, the money punch which had dropped the British fighter in the 3rd round of their first contest.
With McDonnell applying relentless pressure, utilising his significant reach advantage and even slipping a good number of shots while staying largely in the pocket, Kameda was reduced to flurrying on occasion while circling away from his indefatigable opponent. He seemed to pace himself better the second time around, however, and the fighters were near inseparable heading into the championship rounds: Kameda’s sporadic clean punching up against McDonnell’s work rate and forward momentum.
There was almost no consensus amongst fans as the fight entered its closing stages, with PBC’s American and international commentary teams having near mirror images of one another’s scorecards. The U.S. team favoured Kameda by 8 rounds to 3, while others had McDonnell ahead by as many as 9 rounds to 1. Given such a wide divergence in scoring, the knockdown by McDonnell in the final round made little difference, although that tipped the balance on TQBR’s card, who had Kameda ahead by one point after 11.
Despite this inconsistency, it’s tough to argue with McDonnell as a worthy winner. He demonstrated tremendous will and conditioning once again, with a steady jab and an unceasing forward march serving to prevent Kameda from establishing any kind of rhythm or landing his patented hooks.
TQBR scoredcard: 115-114 for McDonnell.