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Daiki Kameda defeated compatriot and former champion Takefumi Sakata on a unanimous decision Saturday to successfully defend his WBA flyweight title for the first time.

Kameda opened up a cut over Sakata’s right eye in the third round and came on strong with a combination of juicy left hooks and straight rights in the late stages of the 12-rounder at Tokyo Big Sight.

“I am happy that I was able to defend my title against such a courageous opponent. He came at me right until the end,” said Kameda.

“I am pleased with the result. I couldn’t really box the way I wanted to but my opponent was a strong champion. I will go back and start from scratch.”

The 21-year-old Kameda, who captured the title after winning a unanimous decision in a rematch with Denkaosen Kaowichit of Thailand in February, improved his record to 18-2 (11 knockouts).

Sakata, 30, won the WBA flyweight title in March 2007 and defended his belt four times before losing to Denkaosen in December the following year. He is 36-6-2 (17 KOs) .

“I fought as hard as I could but the result didn’t follow,” said Sakata.

“I couldn’t become champion and feel sorry for all the people who have supported me. I want to take time to consider my future.”

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