By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Former WBO junior lightweight ruler Masayuki Ito (26-2-3, 14 KOs), 134.5, made a successful comeback after his unexpected forfeiture of his WBO belt at the hand of Jamel Herring in Florida this May, as he decked Indonesian Ruben Manakane (26-19-1, 14 KOs), 131.5, four times and halted him at 1:08 of the sixth round on Friday in Tokyo, Japan.
Unfortunately, Ito sustained a badly swollen—later almost closed—right optic due to an accidental headbutt in the first round, but he overcame the deteriorated eyesight and finally caught up with the veteran Indonesian. Ito, less accurate and less precise tonight, accelerated his attack, dropped Manakane in the fourth and three times more in the fatal sixth, when the referee Sugiyama made a well-timed halt over the flattened pancake.
It’s true Masayuki absorbed a considerable number of Manakane’s roundhouse shots even if we admit he had to fight on with an eye almost closed.