Weekend results: July 31, 2018
– In the fight that garnered the most interest among fans this past weekend, Oxnard, California’s Mikey Garcia, 39-0 (30), impressively beat Robert Easter Jr., 21-1 (14), to pick up a unanimous decision, unifying the IBF lightweight title with his WBC strap, at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, CalifornIa. After the bout, Garcia spoke of wanting to move up to meet IBF 147-pound beltholder Errol Spence Jr. but there may still be some great business for him to handle at 135 pounds, with pound-for-pound denizen Vasiliy Lomachenko. A jump to 147 would be a massive undertaking for Garcia, as he would be facing the multi-talented Spence, who would likely enter the ring, on fight night, close to the middleweight limit.
– Masayuki Ito, 24-1-1 (12), defeated previously unbeaten Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz, 23-1 (15), on Saturday night, in Kissimmee, Florida, to capture the WBO junior lightweight title, recently vacated by Vasiliy Lomachenko. The pro-Diaz crowd was loudly cheering on its fighter but Ito stuck to his game plan, and worked his way to an impressive unanimous decision win. Fans would have no problem watching these two in a rematch, as the fight was all-action from start to finish. After the bout, Diaz seemed in fairly good spirits, despite one eye being completely swollen shut, and promised to come back stronger than ever next time.
– WBC No. 1, WBO No. 2 and WBA No. 7-ranked Dillian Whyte, 24-1 (17), squeaked by former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, 24-2 (18), on Saturday night, in London, England. On the same card IBF/WBA female lightweight champ Katie Taylor, 10-0 (5), retained her belts with a third round stoppage over Kimberly Connor, 13-4-2 (5).
– WBO world flyweight champ Sho Kimura, 17-1-2 (10), successfully retained his world title belt by drilling Filipino WBO NO. 3-ranked Froilan Saludar, 28-3-1 (19), stopping him at 54 seconds into the sixth round, on Friday, in Japan.
– Former IBF middleweight champion Sam “King” Soliman, 46-14-1 (19), picked up a 10-round majority decision over Tej Pratap Singh, 13-5-2 (7), in Victoria, Australia. With the win, Soliman grabbed the vacant WBA Oceania middleweight title.