–In Round 2, Kohei Kono scored a flash knockdown of Koki Kameda when he landed a sharp right hand just moments after recovering from a low blow.
–In a rough-and-tumble, foul-heavy fight, Kameda twice had a point deducted for low blows in Round 3, and Kono was docked a point in Round 9 for holding.
–Both fighters threw a massive amount of power punches, trading heatedly in the center of the ring throughout the fight in an intense slugfest, but ultimately it was Kono who emerged victorious via unanimous decision to retain his 115-pound world title.
This one was personal, the kind of nasty fight normally precipitated by another dude insulting your mother, hitting on your lady or—no he didn't!—eating the last slice of pizza.
In a full-contact grudge match, 115-pound world champion Kohei Kono and Koki Kameda hit after the bell, clashed heads, ran their mouths (referee Celestino Ruiz told each fighter to shut up at one point), racked up a number of fouls not seen since the NBA’s Hack-a-Shaq days and seemed determined to imperil the ability of the other man to father future children (more on that later).
On a chilly autumn evening in Chicago, where the temperatures strayed below 50 degrees, the fists flew with the volume and velocity of a massive flock of geese heading south for the winter. Both fighters shot out of the gate like thoroughbreds, attacking each other like the other dude owed him money, as Kameda attempted to become the first Japanese fighter to win a world title in four weight divisions.
Each fighter targeted the body early, and in Round 2, this seemed to hurt Kono, who clutched at his midsection as Kameda hammered away. But Kameda then belted Kono low, and Ruiz gave Kono time to recover. As soon as Kono got back up, he got his revenge via a short, sharp right hand that sent Kameda down for only the second time in his career.
Kameda’s crotch shots would cost him in the very next round, when he was twice docked a point for again straying below the beltline. Although Kono was never penalized for low blows as Kameda was, he threw his share, and Ruiz seemed to acknowledge as much.
In a rare and bizarre move in Round 7, Ruiz paused the action, sending both fighters to their corners to seemingly cool off for a bit, then conveyed them in the center of the ring to tell them that the fight would be ended upon the next low blow.
The bout was never stopped, but Kono was docked a point in Round 9 for pushing Kameda’s head down.
Each fighter dug to the body like they were mining internal organs, but began going up top to Kono’s advantage.
Both fighters threw a massive amount of power punches, trading heatedly in the center of the ring throughout the fight in an intense slugfest, but ultimately it was Kono who emerged victorious via unanimous decision to retain his 115-pound title.
- Kono vs Kameda