WBO super featherweight champion Masayuki ‘The Judge’ Ito 25-1-1 (13) is looking forward to putting on a show when he defends his world championship against Jamel Herring 19-2 (10) at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida this Saturday night.
The 28-year-old from Tokyo will be making his second appearance in Kissimmee, who he won the vacant title against previously undefeated Christopher Diaz in July last year.
“I’ve been here once before, so I feel it’s a comfortable environment like being at home. The local fans are all great too, so I appreciate being here,” Ito said in an interview with The Ring.
“But I think it doesn’t really matter where I fight because at the fight, there is only referee and the other fighter.”
Ito views the 5-foot-10 Herring, a southpaw, as a tricky opponent but remains confident he will have his hand raised at the end of the bout.
“Herring is a really difficult opponent and I respect him a lot. I think it will be a difficult fight for sure,” he said. “I’m a champion, but also I’m a challenger in my mind, so I’ll just do my best to be better than Herring.”
The Japanese champion praised his trainer Rudy Hernandez and said he had an excellent camp for this fight.
“He always thinks about how to win,” Ito said. “He gives me the best answer and always coaches me and pushes me even when the training is hard. I was repeating some fundamentals in addition to my hard training, so I was able to have a really good camp with Rudy and Daisuke this time.”
Ito revealed it was Hernandez who gave him the nickname ‘The Judge’.
“Rudy gave me the nickname,” Ito said. “In Los Angeles, Judge Lance Ito of the OJ Simpson case was famous. Because I share the same last name as him, it was fitting and so I became ‘The Judge’ because I determine the outcome of my match.”