Vargas beats Kameda, retains WBC 122lb title

By Rocky Morales at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada

WBC super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas (34-0, 22KO) retained his title with an unpopular unanimous decision victory over Tomoki Kameda (36-3, 20KO) on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Vargas Kameda20
The decision was roundly booed despite it being a largely pro-Vargas crowd in attendance. Vargas played the part of matador with Kameda playing the bull. Kameda charged forward for all twelve rounds and seemingly landed far more power punches and seemed to hurt Vargas on a couple of occasions while Vargas was usually in retreat while flicking his jab. In the final round, during a clinch, Kameda grew frustrated, hit Vargas on the break and was deducted a point.

All three judges scored it the same, 117-110, for Vargas, an eight round to four round margin with the point deduction taken into account. Kameda was gracious in defeat even while the pro-Vargas crowd continued to boo Vargas during post-fight interviews. Vargas said he hopes to meet unified WBA/IBF champ, Daniel Roman, next in a fight to unify 3/4 of the super bantamweight title.


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  • After a rough early start, Vargas started using his jab and outboxed Kameda the rest of the way. It was a decisive victory for Vargas, but he had a rough moment in the last round when he got caught by a punch to the temple and looked shaky. The punch was landed on the break so Vargas was given time to shake it off.

    Kameda tried to rough Vargas up in the second half of the fight but was not effective enough to give him the rounds. Kameda gave a solid effort but didn’t throw and land enough punches to win.

    A solid win for Vargas, but I don’t like his chances against Leo Santa Cruz. Leo is a clever boxer and a high volume puncher. Neither fighter has knockout power, but Santa Cruz has the experience and is at a higher level than Kameda. Vargas had better enjoy this victory before moving up to fight Santa Cruz. A better matchup for him would be against Danny Roman. However, Roman punches a lot harder than Kameda, so I’d favor him in a fight against Vargas.

  • Math, guys! 117-110 is 9-3 not 8-4 with point deduction. 9×10+3×9=117, 3×10+9×9=111 – 1 for point deduction, 110.

    • 120-108, 119-109, 118-110, 117-111. These are all the usually scores for wins over 12 rounds fans are used to seeing with no knockdowns, or no point deductions. 117-110 is 9 rounds for one fighter, and the other fighter got 3 rounds, and maybe lost a point, or maybe got dropped along the way.

  • Vargas looked like a deer in the headlights! Totally scared he ran for dear life like a gazelle with Kameda being the leopard. Vargas won on points but didn’t impress me. Also, it looked more like he was hoping to get Kameda disqualified from that blow on the break.

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