By Keith Idec
Masayuki Ito overwhelmed Evgeny Chuprakov on Sunday.
Japan’s Ito pressured Chuprakov throughout their scheduled 12-round, 130-pound title bout and stopped him in the seventh round at Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo. Referee Laurence Cole stopped the action with 43 seconds to go in the seventh round, at the request of Chuprkov’s corner men.
Neither fighter scored a knockdown, but Ito cracked Chuprakov with an array of power punches throughout a fight that wasn’t all that competitive.
The 27-year-old Ito (25-1-1, 13 KOs) made the first defense of the WBO junior lightweight championship he won by upsetting Puerto Rico’s Christopher Diaz by unanimous decision in a 12-round fight July 28 in Kissimmee, Florida. Ito dropped Diaz in the fourth round of an all-action battle he won by big margins on each scorecard (118-109, 117-111, 116-112).
Chuprakov’s defensive flaws cost him against Ito, who continually landed hard shots as Chuprakov came forward, often with his hands down. The 28-year-old Russian lost for the first time as a pro (20-1, 10 KOs).
Ito’s onslaught that began just before the midway mark of the seventh round knocked the mouthpiece out of Chuprakov’s mouth. Cole called for a break with 1:16 to go in the seventh, so that Chuprakov could reinsert his mouthpiece.
A little less than 20 seconds later, Chuprakov’s trainer stepped up on the ring apron and instructed Cole to stop this one-sided fight.
Ito kept pressuring Chuprakov throughout the sixth round, regularly hit him to the body and landed several flush head shots.
A left-right combination by Ito moved Chuprakov into the ropes and caused the challenger to hold him just prior to the halfway point of the fifth round. Ito landed several more power punches later in the fifth.
A ringside doctor looked at a cut above Chuprakov’s left eye when there was 2:05 on the clock in the fifth round.
A right hand by Ito backed up Chuprakov with around 40 seconds left in the fourth round.
Ito’s straight right hand caught Chuprakov with just over 1:05 to go in the third round. With 55 seconds left in the round, Cole called for a break in the action for a ringside doctor to look at a cut over Ito’s left eye.
A clash of heads caused that laceration, which bled into Ito’s eye once the action resumed.
Ito clipped Chuprakov with a right-left combination when there were about 45 seconds remaining in the second round. Ito also landed several clean right and left hands to Chuprakov’s head as the challenger came forward recklessly later in the second round.
Chuprakov and Ito engaged in an entertaining exchange with around 30 seconds to go in the first round.
Earlier Sunday, Japan’s Ken Shiro easily out-boxed Mexico’s Saul Juarez in their 12-round fight for Shiro’s WBC world light flyweight title. The 26-year-old Shiro (15-0, 8 KOs) made the fifth defense of the WBC 108-pound championship he won in May 2017.
Shiro beat Juarez easily on all three scorecards (120-108, 120-108, 119-109). Juarez, 28, fell to 1-5-1 in his past seven bouts and 24-9-2 overall.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.