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Koki Kameda vs. Daisuke Naito - 29 ноември 2009


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The boxing match between Daisuke Naito and Koki Kameda, which was billed as "Japanese Fight of the Century", did magnificent TV ratings as expected in Japan, with the fight averaging 43.1% and peaking at 52.1% on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System). The fight was seen by a total of 65 million viewers.

^ Това го прави най-гледаният мач (кеч, бокс или ММА) от 46 години насам (Rikidozan vs. The Destroyer от 24-ти май 1963 - 67.0 рейтинг). Мачът е бил и най-гледаното нещо въобще в Япония за 2009.

Кратко обобщение на историята покрай мача:

When one thinks of the biggest fights of 2009, obviously Cotto-Pacquiao, Mayweather-Marquez and Hatton-Pacquiao will spring to mind immediately. But in terms of the sheer number of eyes watching a fight, perhaps no fight globally in 2009 has been, is, or can be bigger than the Sunday morning showdown between Daisuke Naito and Koki Kameda at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

The bad blood between WBC flyweight titlist Naito and Japanese boxing's baddest boy Kameda goes back years, and starts with Naito's 2007 fight against Koki's brother, Daiki. Naito clearly outclassed Daiki in the fight, and was fouled frequently. At the end, Daiki and his father were suspended after the Kameda family essentially attempted to assault Naito. Daiki even slammed Naito to the ground, picking him up by the waist to do so. Daiki was suspended for a year. His father was suspended indefinitely.

Koki got off with a warning, but was not without fault. TV cameras caught him telling Daiki to elbow Naito in the eye.

So yeah, this one's a little bit personal.

Beyond the genuine dislike, this is a fight that pits philosophies. Naito is regarded as a gentleman, a credit to Japanese boxing and the sport in general. His series of fights with Thai living legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam turned him into a superstar. And then there's Koki, perhaps the rudest and crudest Japanese fighter of them all.

To truly understand how loathed he is, you have to at least sort of "get" the cultural differences. What may seem to be "cool" in a bad guy way in America is truly disgraceful from a famous Japanese athlete. And Kameda ups the ante. Were Floyd Mayweather Jr. on his worst behavior a Japanese fighter, he might approach Kameda, who speaks with a brash arrogance that is perhaps unrivaled throughout the boxing world.

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