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Masayuki Ito defeats Evgeny Chuprakov – RESULTS

By Jim Dower: WBO Super World super featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13 KOs) defeated previously unbeaten #1 WBO mandatory challenger Evgeny Chuprakov (20-1, 10 KOs) by a 7th round knockout win on Sunday in front of a large audience at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo. This was the 27-year-old Ito’s first defense of his World Boxing Organization title that he won last July in defeating Christopher Diaz.

The 5’5″ Chuprakov was at the mercy of the taller 5’8 1/2″ It, who was catching him with shots when he was coming forward. Chuprakov was there for Ito to hit all night, and he did a poor job of getting out of the way of the incoming when he was attacking. Chuprakov’s punches had respectable power, but not enough to give Ito any problems.

Ito did an excellent job of boxing the over-matched Chuprakov, and nailing him with shots throughout the fight. The fight was halted in the 7th round after Chuprakov’s corner opted to have referee Lawrence Cole stop the fight by throwing the towel in. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:11 of round 7. Ito landed a lot of right hands, and powerful body shots that slowly wore down the will of the Russian Chuprakov. The victory for Ito was his ninth straight since his loss to Rikki Naito in February 2015. Naito is a good fighter. It’s not surprising that Ito lost to him.

In round two, Ito was over over his left eye from a head-butt. The cut was a non-factor in the fight though, as his trainer did a nice job of stopping the blood flow by patching him up.

In rounds three though six, Ito took advantage of the aggressive style of the 28-year-old Chuprakov in nailing him with shots as he attacked. Chuprakov was landing nice shots, but he was getting clipped a lot. Chuprakov wasn’t able to land enough of his own solid punches to keep Ito from controlling the fight. The lack of punching power was Chuprakov’s main problem in the fight. If he had the type of punching power that Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis possesses, the fight would have been very different. All the shots that Chuprakov landed likely would have given Ito huge problems.

The plan now is for Ito to make his next defense of his WBO 130 lb title against 2012 U.S Olympian Jamel Herring (19-2, 10 KOs).

The super featherweight division doesn’t get a lot of interest from casual boxing fans in the United States. The Ito vs. Chuprakov fight was streamed on ESPN+ on Sunday, so it might have gotten some hardcore boxing fans interested in watching it. The casual fans didn’t even know these guys were fighting, and likely wouldn’t have taken the time out of their busy lives during the holiday season to watch this one. It’s not as if Ito and Chuprakov are household names in the States.

In the co-feature bout on Sunday, Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3 KOs) defeated Petch CP Freshmart (48-1, 33 KO) by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the interim World Boxing Council World Bantamweight Title. The scores were 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111. Boxing News 24 had the 23-year-old Inoue winning by the score 118-110.

Both fighters were cut from a clash of heads in round 2. Inoue was cut on the bridge of his nose, whereas CP Freshmart suffered a cut over his left eye.

Inoue looked like he was gassing out in the fifth and sixth rounds. However, he was able to get his second wind in the second half of the fight to dominate the slower Freshmart. Inoue’s hand speed was the factor in him getting the better of CP Freshmart in the exchanges. In the tenth, Freshmart was hurt by a hard right hand shot from Inoue.

Takuma Inoue, 23, is the brother of WBA bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue. The hand speed of Takuma was too much for the slower, but more powerful CP Freshmart. Inoue was connecting all night long with scorching right hands to the head of the 25-year-old CP Freshmart, who also goes by the name Tasana Salapat and comes from Thailand. The loss for CP Freshmart was his first career defeat since he turned pro in 2011. CP Freshmart had been padding his record against a lot of weak opposition in Thailand. CP Freshmart’s lack of quality opposition on his resume seems to have hurt him tonight, as he did not look at all ready for the type of boxing skills and hand speed that Inoue possessed in this fight.

Inoue is now the mandatory challenger for the vacant WBC bantamweight title, which will be fought for by Rau’shee Warren and Nordine Oubaali on January 19 on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner card on SHOWTIME PPV at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In other boxing results on the card, undefeated WBC light flyweight champion Ken Shiro (15-0, 8 KOs) defeated #8 WBC Saul Juarez (24-9-2, 13 KOs) by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision. The scores were 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109. This was Shiro’s fifth defense of his WBC 112 lb title. Shiro did an excellent job of staying out of range of the hard shots from Juarez. The fight was expected to be a mismatch, and it turned out to be just that.

The loss for Juarez was his second attempt at fighting for a world title. He was beaten by WBC strawweight champion Wanheng Menayothin by a 12 round unanimous decision in 2016.

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