WBO Bouts in Kissimmee: Ito-Herring, Pedraza-Lozada, Cintrón-Eto
Three WBO Bouts to take place this upcoming Saturday May 25th at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
Masayuki Ito won the WBO Junior Lightweight title last July in Kissimmee, Florida. For title defense number two, he’s returning to the city of his greatest triumph.
Ito, who recently signed a long-term co-promotional contract with Top Rank, will defend his title against 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team captain and U.S Marine Corps veteran Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring. Ito-Herring will headline a special Memorial Day weekend edition of Top Rank on ESPN beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
In the co-feature, for the vacant WBO Latino Lightweight Championship, two-division world champion José Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) faces Mexican warrior Antonio Lozada (40-2-1, 34 KOs).
The entire undercard will stream live in the United States exclusively on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT and will showcase a host of prospects in competitive matchups including a match for the vacant WBO International Jr. Bantamweight Title, when WBO #5 ranked and two-time Puerto Rican Olympian Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 5 KOs) battles former interim Flyweight World Champion and WBO #4 ranked Koki Eto (24-4-1, 19 KOs) of Japan, in a 10-rounder.
Ito (25-1-1, 13 KOs) claimed the vacant WBO junior lightweight title with an upset decision win over Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz at the Kissimmee Civic Center. The Diaz fight marked Ito’s United States debut and the first time he’d fought away from his native Japan. He returned home for his first title defense on Dec. 30, scoring a seventh-round TKO over Evgeny Chuprakov.
Herring (19-2, 10 KOs), who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a field electrician, turned pro in December 2012 and won the first 15 bouts of his career. He lost a pair of fights as a lightweight, including a razor-thin decision to Ladarius Miler in August 2017. Following the Miller defeat, Herring signed on with Top Rank, hired trainer/manager Brian McIntyre and moved down to 130 pounds. Since then, he is 3-0, including an ESPN-televised decision victory over John Vincent Moralde last September on the Jose Ramirez-Antonio Orozco card in Fresno, California. In his last bout, Dec. 14 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he notched a clear points decision over Adeilson Dos Santos.
Vacant WBO Latino Bout Pedraza-Lozada:
Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) won the IBF junior lightweight title in 2015 and made a pair of title defenses. Following a 2017 TKO loss to Gervonta Davis, he moved up to the lightweight division. In his third bout at lightweight, he won a unanimous decision over Ray Beltran to claim the WBO title. Less than four months later, he faced off against WBA champion Vasiliy Lomachenko to unify world titles. He was competitive, but Lomachenko scored a pair of 11th-round knockdowns to secure the unanimous decision.
Lozada (40-2-1, 34 KOs) burst onto the world stage last March, knocking out highly touted prospect Felix Verdejo in the 10th and final round. Since then, he is 1-0-1, including a disputed draw versus Hector Ambriz.
Eto (24-4-1, 19 KO) edged Kompayak Porpramook for the interim WBA belt in 2013 thanks to a pivotal knockdown in the 12th round, but lost the title to Sirichai Thaiyen soon after. After picking up a trio of knockouts, he challenged Carlos Cuadras for the WBC super flyweight title, losing a unanimous decision in his native Japan.
He’s since won seven straight over marginal competition, six by knockout, and sits in all four sanctioning bodies’ top 10s at 115.
Cintron (10-0, 5 KO) signed with Top Rank back in 2017 ahead of his professional debut and has had some fairly standard prospect matchmaking. With only 10 fights, of which he has won five by KO, the #5 ranked by the WBO and Latino champion of that entity at 115 pounds, look to impress.
Though he debuted at bantamweight, this will be the 24-year-old’s fourth fight at 115 pounds.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing and Teiken Promotions, tickets to this world championship event go on sale Friday, April 26 at 10 a.m. ET. Priced at $100 (ringside) and $50 (general admission), including all taxes and facility fees, tickets may be purchased online via ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800.745.3000 or in person Osceola Heritage Park box office (open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. and on event days). For more information: www.ohpark.com.