ESPN+ Announces Christopher Diaz-Masayuki Ito Headliner

By James Kinneen Jun 12, 2018
Following the success of the Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford bout, ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+ has added another solid card of boxing scheduled for July 28. In Kissimmee, Florida, Puerto Rico’s Christopher "Pitufo" Diaz (23-0, 15 KO’s) will face off against Japan’s Masayuki Ito (23-1-1, 12 KO’s) for the World Boxing Organization junior lightweight (130-pound) belt.

Following the implosion of Felix Verdejo, who was supposed to carry the torch as the next great Puerto Rican fighter, the island has longed for another boxing superstar. Diaz believes he can fill that void and has dedicated this fight to the island that has suffered so much after hurricane Maria (Diaz himself lost most of his possessions because of the storm). He has been on a win streak lately, having knocked out his last four opponents including a fourth-round stoppage of Braulio Rodriguez on March 17.

Ito has won his last seven fights, including stopping four of his last five opponents, but the fight against Diaz will be his first ever outside of his home country of Japan. He has only been defeated once in his career, a respectable decision loss to Rikki Naito.

The undercard will see Carlos "Caballo Bronco" Adames (14-0, 11 KO’s) facing Artemio Reyes (25-2, 20 KO’s). Adames is the up-and-coming prospect, an undefeated welterweight from the Dominican Republic who trains under Joel Diaz and is promoted by Top Rank. In his last fight, he beat Alejandro Barrera by unanimous decision. Reyes has not lost since 2012 and has stopped eight of his last ten opponents. He should provide a stiff test for the confident young prospect, who once declared he had "the talent to become the superstar my country is waiting for."

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