While boxing fans on the West Coast got their big fight with Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr., fans in Florida got to witness its own world title fight.
On a Top Rank on ESPN+ card in Florida, Masayuki Ito gave a stellar performance, knocking down Christopher Diaz en route to a wide decision win, to win the vacant WBO super featherweight title. Ito won the title with scores of 116-111, 117-110 and 118-109.
The fight was physical and provided a lot of action but it was Diaz who took most of the damage. Ito landed a three-punch combination in the fourth round to knock down Diaz, but Ito didn’t stop there.
Although he failed to knock Diaz down after the fourth round, Ito landed a lot of punches onto Diaz’s face, specifically his left eye. When the fight was reaching into the championship rounds, Diaz’s left eye was massively swollen, almost completely closing it. Diaz gave a spirited effort against the Japanese boxer, but Ito was too successful in landing the cleaner punches.
The title was originally vacant after current WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko surrendered the title after winning the lightweight title back in May. Had Lomachenko remained fighting at super featherweight, he would have likely been ordered to fight Diaz, the top fighter at 130 pounds in the WBO rankings. When Lomachenko moved up in weight, it was a matter of time before he would drop the super featherweight title and the WBO ordered Diaz and Ito, the top two boxers at 130 pounds, to fight for the title.
This was Ito’s first fight outside of his native country of Japan, where he was a former OPBF super featherweight and WBC Youth lightweight champion. Since unsuccessfully challenging for the Japanese super featherweight title in 2015, Ito has won his last eight fight, winning five of those fights by stoppage.