By Miguel Rivera
Last Saturday night, Puerto Rican super featherweight Christopher Diaz suffered the first defeat of his career, and failed in his attempt to capture the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title, when he lost a twelve round unanimous decision to Japanese contender Masayuki Ito.
The officials scored the fight 116-111, 117-110, 118-109 in favor of Ito, who got the world title that Vasyl Lomachenko left vacant when he moved up to the lightweight division.
According to Diaz’s head trainer, Raul “Chino” Rivas, his pupil will return to 126 pounds to pursue another world title opportunity.
Diaz appeared to be overwhelmed at times, he was dropped in the fourth round and his left eye was swollen shut by the end of the fight.
“The Japanese (Ito) fighter was a very experienced boxer and it was evident. The weight difference was big. He was bigger than Diaz by almost 10 pounds. He was very strong. From the outside we could win the fight, but the Japanese fighter adjusted and did the work. I have no problems with the decision, it was the right one,” affirmed Rivas to Carlos Gonzalez.
“The reality is that he (Diaz) is a 126-pounder who will eventually grow to 130. People forget he’s only 23, so we’re going down to see him grow up so he has another shot at a world title. A defeat does not mean anything. There are many boxers who have lost a fight and then become champions. At the end of the day, the important thing is to keep it focused and that is my job. I saw improvements and I have to emphasize that Diaz has only been with me for eight months. Everything is a process.
“From the third round Diaz began boxing from the outside and was very active, but I saw that the Japanese boxer threw jabs, straight punches and held. When Ito realized that he was the stronger boxer inside and that Diaz could not box, he made the adjustments. I want him to be fighting again in December.”