Masayuki Ito captured the WBO junior lightweight title by dominating previously undefeated Christopher Diaz at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida Saturday night.
The scores were 116-111, 117-110 and 118-109. The title became vacant when Vasyl Lomachenko moved up to lightweight to challenge Jorge Linares a few months ago.
Ito (24-1-1, 12 KOs) boxed well from the get go, tattooing the aggressive Diaz with head and body shots. Diaz (23-1, 15 KOs) fought back in round two, but Ito still had the edge. Ito floored Diaz with a quick combination in round four. Ito tried to end matters, but Diaz hung in and fought back.
Ito worked over the game Diaz in the next few rounds.
He punished Diaz with wicked shots in round eight. He was probably wondering what was keeping Diaz up. The proud warrior battled back in round 10 as well. Ito regained control of the fight in the next stanza. Diaz, with blood dripping from his left eye battled on, but Ito made him pay in the 12th and final round.
“I believe in myself. I knew I was going to become a world champion, and that is exactly what happened,” said Ito. “Since the beginning of the fight, I knew I had more power and I dropped him.”