Masayuki Ito Stuns Christopher Diaz, Wins WBO Jr Lightweight World Championship
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – 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) at the Kissimmee Civic Center in a pitched affair to win the vacant WBO junior lightweight world championship.
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.
“I believe in myself. I knew I was going to become a world champion, and that is exactly what happened,” Ito said. “Since the beginning of the fight ,I knew I had more power and I dropped him. In my mind, I kept saying that it was a close fight and that is why I kept going for the knockout.
“I knew that this was going to be a good fight, and I respect Diaz for coming ready to fight. He is a warrior. This is a dream come true for me. Now, I want bigger fights”
Said Diaz: “This does not end here. I am going to return with more strength and with more hunger. I have a promise to fulfill. I am going to be a world champion. I promise you that.”