Masayuki Ito's next WBO super featherweight title defense has been officially announced.
Ito will defend his title against Jamel Herring on May 25 on a Top Rank-promoted boxing card from Florida. The title bout will headline an ESPN telecast from the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee.
This will be Ito's second title defense since winning the belt in July 2018 when he defeated Christopher Diaz by unanimous decision. Ito traveled back to his native country of Japan last December for his next fight against Evgeny Chuprakov. Ito would dominate Chuprakov, stopping him in the seventh round to retain his title.
Herring, who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a field electrician, will get an opportunity to fight for his first world title after winning his last three bouts. Herring is coming off an eight-round decision victory against Adeilson Dos Santos late last year.
This fight has been in the works for several months, but Top Rank couldn't announce the fight sooner until it got approval from the WBO. When rumors and reports circulated that the two fighters were going to fight for the title, Herring wasn't ranked in the WBO's top 15 and was deemed ineligible to fight for the belt until he is ranked. Herring entered the rankings several weeks ago, which made him eligible to fight for the title.
The co-main event bout is a lightweight matchup between two-division champion Jose Pedraza and Antonio Lozada Jr. Pedraza will be fighting for the first time since losing his WBO lightweight title to Vasiliy Lomachenko last December in Madison Square Garden. Lozada is unbeaten in his last nine fights and ended Felix Verdejo's perfect record last year in their fight at Madison Square Garden.