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Last month, a gangster, a YouTuber, a teacher, and a club host fought ex-WBA light flyweight, WBC flyweight, and WBA bantamweight champion Koki Kameda for the chance to win ¥10million (about £112,000).
Not an inconsiderable sum, sure, but was it worth it? For the exposure, it was, seeing as FOURTEEN MILLION people tuned in to watch the carnage unfold.
Despite his CV, Kameda is known as being a bit of a dick back in his home country, famed for being a loud-mouth and very “un-Japanese” all-round, slagging off opponents and trash-talking anyone who comes within earshot, and many have even claimed he was given an easy ride to the top of Japan’s boxing game, with – as Fightland pointed out – his first six opponents claiming a total of no wins and 18 losses between them. But hey, what boxer hasn’t padded their numbers, right?
"Those who think it was easy for me to become world champion, here is your chance to take ¥10million from me," said Kameda in his press release. So some regular people tried.
And there they are above: from left to right – 25-year-old teacher Ryota Matsumoto, a club host known as "Kamikaze," a 26-year-old YouTuber whose name translates to JoeVlogs, and 32-year-old gangster Yuuta.
We throw it over to Fightland for the review:
“First up for Kameda was Kamikaze, whose chin up defence and flailing arms wasn't enough for a trained fighter as Kameda dispatched him with a left hook to the body and brutal left hook to the head just two minutes 30 seconds in. Next was YouTuber Joe, who put up a much better fight, lasting until the third round before losing by TKO as the referee adjudged him to be suffering too much damage. School teacher Matsumoto lasted until the second round before suffering a TKO loss once a right hand sent him wobbly. Yuuta, a motorcycle gang general who is also supposedly a renowned street fighter, was last up for Kameda and took him to a decision with the boxer clearly not in the fighting shape he once enjoyed.”
So everyone went home skint – including Kameda, who won no prizes for battering a bunch of amateurs at the sweet science.
Just did it for the love of the game, man. The love of the game.