Masayuki Ito will be returning home for his first fight as the WBO super featherweight champion.
Ito will defend his belt against Evgeny Chuprakov on December 30 at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo. It had been confirmed for a while that Ito would defend his title at the end of the year and while Chuprakov was rumored to be Ito's rival, it had not been confirmed until now. This will not only serve as Ito's first title defense but also as Ito's mandatory title defense.
Ito's journey to the world title was shortened a bit by Vasiliy Lomachenko, the previous titleholder, vacating the belt to move up in weight. The governing body then ordered Christopher Diaz, the then-mandatory challenger, to fight Ito for the vacant belt. Ito would go on to win the title in late July in Florida as the main event of an ESPN+ card. Ito, a former OPBF super featherweight champion, is on an eight-fight win streak.
Chuprakov, the WBO's Intercontinental titleholder at 130 pounds, is undefeated as a pro, winning all 20 of his fights with 10 of them being by knockout. Chuprakov will be fighting for the third time outside of his native country of Russia. The 28-year-old Chuprakov last fought in July when he scored a unanimous decision win over Ernie Sanchez.
The card will also feature Ken Shiro vs. Saul Juarez for the WBC light flyweight title as well as Takuma Inoue vs. Petch Sor Chitpattana for the interim WBC bantamweight title.