London: Jamie McDonnell retained his World Boxing Association bantamweight title Sunday with a unanimous decision over Japan`s Tomoki Kameda in a rematch of their title fight earlier this year.
The 29-year-old Brit McDonnell knocked Kameda down in the final round as he won on all three judges` scorecards 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 at the American Bank Center arena.
McDonnell scored the only knockdown of the fight when he hit Kameda with a straight right hand that landed behind the ear and sent the 24-year-old Japanese fighter to the canvas.
It was a straight shot by McDonnell in the 12th as he timed his punch when former world champion Kameda was stepping back and off balance. Kameda wasn`t hurt by the blow and immediately got up and indicated to the referee he was ready to continue.
McDonnell and Kameda were fighting for the WBA`s "regular" bantamweight title, a rung below Juan Carlos Payano`s WBA undisputed crown.
McDonnell, of Doncaster, England, improved to 26-2-1 with 12 knockouts as he ran his unbeaten streak to 19 consecutive fights.
He won the 118-pound title in March 2014 and defended it against Kameda six months ago in another scintillating fight in the Lone Star State.
Kameda was hoping to avenge the only loss of his career and many in the crowd thought he had done just that, booing the decision by the judges including one judge who scored it a lopsided 117-110.
Other than the knockdown-slip in the 12th, Kameda appeared to be throwing the harder punches in the final rounds.
Kameda, who dropped to 31-2, 19 knockouts, comes from a boxing family. He was born in Osaka and moved to Mexico when he was 15. At one time he and his two brothers were all world champions together.