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Friday, October 26, 2007

Kameda Come-Uppance


The spoilt brats of the boxing ring, the Kamedas, have finally had their come-uppance. This morning, the eldest brother, Koki, appeared, shaven headed (a sign of repentance in Japan), on Japanese TV to apologize for the behavior of his younger brother, Daiki, and face a grilling from the press.

The three brothers, in particular the elder two, the undefeated flyweight Koki (21) and the super flyweight Daiki (18), are renowned for their trademark crass behavior. Typical pranks are openly badmouthing opponents before a match, giving them insulting gifts, eating and drinking in the ring during a fight, turning around and waving their ass at opponents, and generally doing their best to rile.

Their skill has also been questioned. Koki and Daiki seem never to be squared off with opponents who pose a serious threat to their dominance, and Koki’s most significant win, over Venezuelan Juan Jose Landaeta in August, 2006, which earned him the WBA light flyweight title, has been universally branded as fixed. It was a decision that drew immediate and vehement protest from the Japanese public and veteran Japanese boxers alike.

The incident that led to this morning’s breakfast of humble pie, not to mention pie in the face, was younger brother Daiki’s performance on the eleventh of this month when he lost to WBC flyweight champion, Daisuke Naito.

Daiki Kameda was consistently outboxed by Naito. However, Kameda responded, not only by constantly fouling him, but punching him in the thigh on several occasions, and, in the most blatant display of petulance, grasping his opponent between the legs, lifting him aloft, and dumping on the floor pro-wrestling style – several times. Incidentally, the defeated Daiki had said prior to the fight that he would “squash Naito like a cockroach” and would even commit seppuku (AKA hara-kiri) if he lost.

Older brother Koki became caught up in the outrage over Daiki’s performance when it became evident through video footage that between bouts he was encouraging Daiki to foul his opponent as much as possible.

Daiki’s licence has been suspended for a year, and the Kamedas' father has been indefinitely suspended from boxing for failing to restrain Daiki.

Check out this video clip of Koki apologizing for his little brother’s behavior. The questioning from journalists that followed this apology was merciless. He was reduced to acknowledging that the antics he and his brothers employed were calculated to humiliate the opponent and had been excessive. At one stage he was almost even reduced to tears when grilled about his father's role. While the lengthy questioning is not shown in this short clip, the angry intensity of the flashes going off in his face sums it up!

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