The plan for Japan's Koki Kameda and Thailand's Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, two of the marquee Asian boxers of this century, to come out of retirement for a rematch fell apart when the Japan Boxing Commission declined to approve the bantamweight fight.
Kameda announced at a news conference last week that he would face rival Wonjongkam on May 5 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. However, the Japan Boxing Commission said it would not allow the bout because it won't license a fighter who has not had a fight for three years or longer.
Wonjongkam, 40, has not boxed since winning a six-round decision in August 2013, more than four years ago. So if Kameda still wants to end his own retirement, he would have to find a new opponent.
The Kameda-Wonjongkam rematch could take place if they opted to do it as an exhibition, but in that case it would amount to a sparring session with no official result rendered. However, that is unlikely because an exhibition would not generate much business and likely would not be worth it to stage.
Kameda, 31, won world titles at junior flyweight, flyweight and bantamweight but lost his flyweight world title to Wonjongkam by majority decision -- 116-112, 115-112 and 114-114 -- on March 27, 2010, in a major fight at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo. The victory launched Wonjongkam's second flyweight title reign. He previously had held a flyweight world title from 2001 to 2007 and made 17 defenses to stamp himself as one of Thailand's all-time greatest boxers.
Wonjongkam (90-5-2, 47 KOs), 40, retired on a three-fight winning streak in 2013.
Kameda (33-2, 18 KOs) met countryman Kohei Kono in Chicago on Oct. 16, 2015, and lost a unanimous decision challenging for a junior bantamweight world title in a thrilling fight and later retired.