Going into the main-event of the June 21st broadcast of Showtime Boxing, one would be hard-pressed to find a casual or even some hardcore fans who had much interest in the welterweight match-up between Robert Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 knockouts) and Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21 knockouts). After all, Robert Guerrero’s last in-ring appearance came 13-months ago in a one-sided loss to Mayweather, and aside from a handful of fights in California most of Kamegai’s career has been spent in home country. Fans didn’t expect much, and those that did predicted a one-sided victory by Guerrero. Instead, fans were treated to a brawl that has already claimed a spot among early Fight of the Year lists.
From the onset, both men came forward in an effort to rid themselves of the chips on their respective shoulders. Whether it was to prove something to themselvesor to the fans, both men engaged in a phone-booth type war that is rarely seen these days. Without a breath in between, both fighters unleashed a volley of hooks, straights, and uppercuts that all had the intention of stopping their target. As competitive as it was, however, it was clear even early on that Guerrero was not only throwing more shots, but was landing more as well.
With each passing round the two fighters’ tactics never changed. Kamegai would immediately come forward throwing a series of blows, and Guerrero would be all to eager to respond with his own. This is especially impressive considering the damage already sustained by both fighters up to this point. Kamegai was already dealing with a badly damaged lip while Guerrero was forced to fight with a hurt eye that had completely swollen shut by the end of round seven.
As the fight continued on a rather constant pace, both fighters finally began to slow through rounds eight and nine. Although understandable considering the output of both fighters, this managed to work in Guerrero’s favor as he relied on his in-ring experience and superior conditioning to endure on and ultimately top Kamegai.
This being the case, Kamegai still refused to go down quietly, and the final round saw him put forth the kind of effort that was reminiscent of the early moments of this fight. After twelve hard fought rounds, it was clear that Guerrero had been the more effective boxer as he landed 400+ power punches during the bout. The judges scored the bout 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111. As is the case with these types of brawls there is no loser, at least in the fans eyes. For Guerrero, this was the gritty type of performance he needed to throw his name back in the same conversation with some of the division’s best. As for Kamegai, he has proven to be an all-around exciting fighter who will always put on a show regardless of the odds of victory. It was one of the most memorable bouts of the year, but more importantly it was a nice sign of hope following the drama surrounding Golden Boy Promotions.