Diaz, Ito clash for vacant WBO Jr. lightweight title
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.
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.”
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, in a press conference, said he is ready for a tough battle against the Japanese.
“[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,” Diaz said.
Ito was appreciative of the opportunity to fight for a world title and vowed to give his all.
“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,” he said.
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.
“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,” Falcao said.
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