Ito vs Herring
Ito vs Herring: Masayuki Ito returns in Saturday night’s ESPN main event, facing Jamel Herring in Kissimmee, Florida. Let’s take a look at the fight. Ito wants to come forward and put pressure on Herring and Herring wants to either box or smoother, as Ito is most dangerous.
Masayuki Ito vs Jamel Herring Live
Ito will be defending the WBO 130-pound title, and he and Herring (19-2, 10 KO) will also be fighting for a shot at unification with WBC titleholder Miguel Berchelt, who will be in attendance.
The 28-year-old Ito, a native of Tokyo, turned pro in May 26, 2009, just about 10 years to the day of this Saturday’s fight. His first fight was a decision win over Katsunari Fujii at Korakuen Hall, and Ito would fight his first 22 pro bouts at the famed venue, going 20-1-1 overall.
The draw came in his fourth pro bout in 2011 against Tsuyoshi Tameda, who is still fighting and has a career record of 19-4-2 (17 KO). The loss came against Japanese super featherweight champion Rikki Naito in 2015, a 10-round majority decision. Naito was unbeaten at the time and is now 21-2 (7 KO) and the reigning OPBF champion at 140.
After the loss to Naito, Ito claimed the vacant OPBF title at 130 by defeating Dai Iwai in Aug. 2015, and made successful defenses at Korakuen against Shingo Eto and Ernie Sanchez. Ito’s first fight away from Korakuen came on New Year’s Eve 2016, and he again defended the OPBF title, beating Takuya Watanabe over 12 rounds.
Ito gave up the OPBF title after that, beating Lorenzo Villanueva back at Korakuen in April 2017, stopping the Filipino opponent in the ninth round. After two more fights at Korakuen — wins over Glenn Enterina and Virgil Puton — Ito came to the United States in July 2018 to face Christopher Diaz for the vacant WBO super featherweight title.
In his first fight outside of Japan, Ito just proved too good for the unbeaten crowd favorite in Kissimmee, Florida, winning on scores of 116-111, 117-110, and 118-109, with Bad Left Hook scoring the fight 116-111 for Ito. By the end of the fight, Diaz’s left eye was a swollen, bloody mess, and the victor was clear.
Ito went back home to Japan for his first title defense on Dec. 30 in Tokyo at Ota-City General Gymnasium, where he stopped unbeaten Russian challenger Evgeny Chuprakov in the seventh round, leading 60-54 on each card when the fight was stopped.