Japan: Kameda hits below the belt

(In)famous for their big mouths and bad behaviour, coupled with showy performances such as singing karaoke after their victories in the ring, the Kamedas have become the Japanese media's favourite boxing family. On October 11, the World Boxing Council flyweight title match between world champion Daisuke Naito and challenger Daiki Kameda, the second son of the family, was broadcast across the nation, with its viewing rate reaching 40%.

This match, much hyped particularly by TV network TBS, however, turned out to be a rather embarrassing one for the Kamedas as Daiki was penalized for punching Naito while they were on the floor, and later for lifting and throwing the counter down. Naito also accused Kameda of thumbing and literally hitting him below the belt. There was also a speculation that his father and his brother, Koki, both of whom served as his cornermen, might have instructed him in the dirty play. Daiki along with his brother Koki and his father Shiro found themselves in a great deal of critical fuss, which lasted for weeks after the match. This resulted in the Japan Boxing Commission suspending Daiki's boxing license for a year as well as his father's license indefinitely.

While the mainstream media focused heavily on Daiki's foul play and the responsibility of his family for instructing him his behaviour, many bloggers criticize the media's hyporisy and double standard.

One blogger points out that the media coverage is off the point:


The mass media were focusing strongly on the “wrestling-like act of throwing” but Naito himself was emphasizing 2 points: “thumbing while being headlocked” and “punching on the legs”.
However, the media covering is mainly focused on the wrestling part.
Naito said “It is understandable when your boxing is not good enough that you might do that kind of thing (lifting and throwing another boxer). I've had the experience too. But you can't do headlocking or thumbing or punching legs.”


Thumbing and punching in the legs are dirtier and rare but it seemed that he was wondering why [the media] was not covering it.
I think this is Naito's real feeling that these could really have damaged his career.
What is wrong about the media is that they tend to shed a light only on what they can easily show with pictures and images.

Blogger hana23th describes his reaction to the press conference held this week, where only the eldest son of the family attended and became a target of criticisms from the reporters who were present.


Next, I feel that the questions from reporters about the “performance” were problematic.
They said that his father gave the order, or it was his idea, or it was their strategy.
But who was it who wanted the performance to start with?
Wasn't it the media?
They know if they make it bigger, they encourrage [the Kamedas] to be more impudent.
Even so, it is an undeniable fact that a lot of people wanted this performance.
It is true that the Kameda family is the one that did the big performance, and I don't know if they said it or not, but there must have been people who made them do that.

Another blogger shares a similar view:


This morning, the oldest of the Kameda brothers was being harshly attacked by the press at the press conference, but what was that?
What made me angry were the questions reporters asked. Until now they have been praising [the Kamedas] all they want,
and now just as an opportunity like this comes, they abruptly change their attitude [and bash them].


They brought up things that were unrelated to his brother's foul play and blamed him.
To top it all off, they blamed him saying “why was the press conference delayed 5 minutes?”
I don't really like the Kameda family's language and behaviour from the beginning but I don't know about bashing and bullying them.
Koki showed up with a suit and tie on and he was almost crying.
It seems that today's Japanese media attack like crazy once they find someone who is weak, but is this really ok?

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