Masayuki Ito At A Crossroads Following Surprising Defeat To Hironori Mishiro
Former WBO World Junior Lightweight champion Masayuki Ito (26-3-1, 14 KOs) has hopes of getting back into world title contention. Those dreams took a big hit on December 26 when he was upset by Hironori Mishiro (10-0-1, 3 KOs) via majority decision (95-95, 96-94, 96-94) at the Sumida City Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
3KingsBoxing was able to witness the bout on replay. While this was a close and competitive fight, in the end, this reporter believes that Ito did enough to earn the victory.
It was a damaging setback for the former champ. This is also a drastic fall from grace. In April 2019, Ito was on top of the world. A world champion who had just signed a promotional deal with Top Rank, he had the look of a major player in the 130-pound division. Then on May 25, 2019, Ito stepped into the ring to make the second defense of the title against Jamel Herring (22-2, 10 KOs). He walked out of the ring that night a loser and no longer a world champion.
After a stoppage win over Ruben Manakane (25-20-1, 14 KOs) in September 2019, Ito stepped into the ring against a Mishiro who was a prohibitive underdog. Now losing for the second time in his last three fights, it is officially a gut-check time. Following his defeat to Mishiro, Ito took to his Instagram to thank his supporters. He said he is unsure of his future and wants to reevaluate things with his family over the New Year’s Day holiday.
At age 29, Ito is still relatively young and has time to pick himself up. But the question now becomes, does he have it in him mentally to do so after such a devastating loss? The road back to the top has become that much more difficult. We could have very well seen the last dance for Masayuki Ito.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.