Photos: Christopher Diaz, Masayuki Ito - Face To Face at Presser

Christopher "Pitufo" Diaz (23-0, 15 KOs) will have the crowd on his side Saturday evening at the Kissimmee Civic Center when he takes on Japan's Masayuki Ito (23-1-1) for the vacant WBO junior lightweight title. (photos by Mikey Williams)

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Kissimmee is home to a large Puerto Rican population, and Diaz is seeking to become the fifth current male world champion from the "Island of Enchantment."

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Ito, who has fought solely in Japan as a professional, will look to become the ninth 130-pound world champion in the rich fighting history of his homeland.

Diaz-Ito and the 10-round welterweight showdown between Artemio Reyes and Gabriel Bracero will stream live and exclusively in the United States at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, with undercard action set for 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+. Also in action will be middleweight contender Esquiva Falcao (20-0, 14 KOs), who will face Jonathan Tavira (16-5, 12 KOs) in a 10-rounder.

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Diaz and Ito crossed paths for the first time Thursday at the final press conference. This is what they, and many of the other fighters on Saturday's card, had to say.

Christopher Diaz

"I never expected to be at this point in my career. I had my pro debut in 2013, and I didn't even know that I was going to get to 10-0, 20-0. And I never expected to be fighting for a world title. But my hard work every day, my anger, my passion for this sport, made me be here for this opportunity. I think nobody is going to take that out of me, and I feel so good. It's a moment. It's one more fight. I know Ito is a great fighter. I've been working for 15 years to now for this opportunity."

"{My fans} know that I always make a war. I know Masayuki Ito is going to come to give me a war. That's the kind of fight that I want for the fans."

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Masayuki Ito
"Thanks for giving me the opportunity to fight here. Also, I appreciate Top Rank, All Star Boxing, and Teiken Promotions. I did not have enough English training, but I did have hard training in boxing every day. I promise I'll show a very good fight on Saturday night."

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Artemio Reyes
"You can expect to see a good fight. First of all, I want to thank Bob Arum and Top Rank for giving me the opportunity. My team, we worked hard for this camp. {Everyone} is going to see a good show. We trained hard for this fight. I know {Bracero} is a tough fighter. These short-notice opponents are always the toughest because we were studying for one style and now they're coming with a different style. But, nonetheless, we're ready to go, and we're ready to go for 10 rounds and put on a great show."

"I'm willing and able to fight anybody who is willing to step in the ring with me. I'm going to go out there and get the victory."

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Gabriel Bracero
"I want to thank everyone at Top Rank for giving me the opportunity. It was a last-minute call. I took the fight on maybe seven, eight days' notice. But the good part about it was, I was just in training camp. I've been in training camp for the past six weeks. I was Robert Easter's main sparring partner for his fight against Mikey Garcia... and I was also sparring with Devon Alexander for his fight against {Andre} Berto. So, when I got this call at the last minute, I was all in. I was ready for it. I look forward to putting on a performance here in Kissimmee. I have a lot of friends and family here."

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Esquiva Falcao
"I had a very tough training camp. I'm looking for the knockout and to show what I can do. I'm looking forward to fighting for a world title."

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by trippleupper on 07-27-2018

[QUOTE=Fabian69;18969946]Very slim chance of diaz losing this one hes a great fighter[/QUOTE] On the contrary, I favor Ito all the way.

Comment by Fabian69 on 07-27-2018

Very slim chance of diaz losing this one hes a great fighter

Comment by PETUFF on 07-26-2018

Warrr Pitufo!!!!:boxing::boxing:

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
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