Koki Kameda’s foe changed for upcoming WBA bantamweight title bout

Kyodo

WBA bantamweight champion Koki Kameda will make his sixth title defense on April 7 against Juan Carlos Payano of the Dominican Republic instead of Venezuelan Yonfrez Parejo as originally planned, the Kameda Boxing Gym said Tuesday.

The WBA has changed Kameda’s opponent for the fight at Osaka’s Bodymaker Colosseum from the eighth-ranked Parejo to the sixth-ranked Payano due to trouble in the former’s camp.

“A champion has to be prepared to win in any situation,” Kameda, who will be fighting in his hometown of Osaka, said after hearing the news.

Kameda, 26, retained his title for the fifth time in December with a 2-1 decision over Mexico’s Hugo Ruiz, improving his record to 29 wins, 17 by knockout, and one defeat.

The 28-year-old Payano took part in the flyweight division at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the Beijing Games in 2008. A southpaw, Payano is 12-0 with six knockouts.

“It will be the first time I’ll face a southpaw in awhile, so I have to train hard,” Kameda said.