Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall saw OPBF Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (19-1-1, 9) [伊藤 雅雪] record his second defense of the title as he forced an 11th round TKO win against the brave and tough, but out classed, Filipino challenger Ernie Sanchez (15-8-1, 6).
Ito took control early with his jab and right hand being the key to his early success. Sanchez did land some nice counter right hands but they were few and far between with Ito establishing the pace, distance and tempo for the early section of the bout. The early control of Ito saw him race out to a clear lead when the open scoring kicked in after round 4, with the champion up 40-36, twice, and 40-37.
Sanchez was unable to turn things around in the middle portion of the fight with Ito extending his lead and boxing to his strengths. The challenger did have some success, claiming round 6 on one scorecard, but was leaving himself a lot to do in the final part of the fight if he was wanting to turn the fight around. In fact when the open scoring was announced after round 8 read 80-72, 80-73 and 79-73.
Things didn't get any better for Sanchez who seemed to believe he had the power to stop Ito with one shot, though struggled to connect with any sort of consistency.
In round 9 one judge scored the action 10-8 to Ito, tho others going with 10-9 to the champion who continued to do as he wanted in round 11, until the referee finally stopped the Filipino much to Sanchez's annoyance. The Filipino made it clear that he was unhappy at the stoppage, and later seemed to suggest he wanted a rematch, but given that he was 8 points, 9 points and 11 points behind on the cards the reality is that the round and a half wouldn't have made much difference.
Whilst Sanchez seemed to try to secure a rematch after the bout Ito seemed to suggest that he wanted a notable bout with a big name, and seems like he's looking to move towards a world title bout, rather than focus on the OPBF title for too much longer.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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