Photos: Masayuki Ito Shocks Christopher Diaz For WBO Title

Masayuki Ito traveled halfway around the world, and he will return home a world champion. Ito, from Tokyo, defeated Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz via unanimous decision (116-111, 117-110, 118-109) Saturday evening at the Kissimmee Civic Center in a pitched affair to win the vacant WBO junior lightweight world championship. (photos by Top Rank).

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Ito (24-1-1, 12 KOs) knocked down Diaz (23-1, 15 KOs) in the fourth round and controlled the tempo of the fight, becoming the sixth current male world champion from Japan. Ito, who was fighting for the first time outside of Japan, was not fazed by the pro-Diaz crowd.

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In the co-feature, Gabriel “Tito” Bracero (25-3-1, 6 KOs), who was a late replacement for the injured Carlos Adames, scored the upset and knocked out Artemio Reyes with a body shot in the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round welterweight bout.

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Bracero broke a two-bout winless streak with a masterful performance, outboxing the taller Reyes before a left hand to the liver sent Reyes to the canvas for the count.

Reyes (25-3, 20 KOs) saw his 10-bout unbeaten streak come to an end against Bracero, a 37-year-old former amateur star who seized this unexpected opportunity.

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Vladimir Nikitin, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist from Russia, had a successful professional debut, knocking down Edward Kakembo twice en route to a six-round unanimous decision in a featherweight bout. The judges scored the contest 60-52, 60-52, and 60-51 for Nikitin, who is best known for his controversial Olympic quarterfinal win over Michael Conlan.

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by bxkiddchino on 07-29-2018

Great effort by Diaz, but I don't see how he earned his spot into contention to be honest. I mean his best win was Bryant Cruz & prior to their fight he had been stopped twice already. Unless the standards…

Comment by 1hourRun on 07-29-2018

[img][/img] Masayuki Ito, no amateur experience yet manages to win a world title! congratulations! Respect for Christopher for a courageous effort. I enjoyed the fight, I thought at times Diaz could of changed the course when he would land flush…

Comment by Boxingfanatic75 on 07-29-2018

[QUOTE=Greenfield02;18977373]Another over rated PR bites the dust.[/QUOTE] Over rated? He earned his way into that contention spot and gave a spirited effort over the entire fight. He just faced someone better that night. So I don’t see where you come…

Comment by Greenfield02 on 07-29-2018

Another over rated PR bites the dust.

Comment by slimPickings on 07-29-2018

[QUOTE=Hatesrats;18977225]"Pitufo" Diaz took one of them " He will NEVER be the same" type of beatings last night. (It was Brutal)[/QUOTE] I guess that is what it takes to win a title on points AWAY from home if you cannot…

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