Earlier this month Shingo Wake (26-5-2, 18) [和氣 慎吾] was linked to a IBF Super Bantamweight world title eliminator with exciting Mexican brawler Cesar Juarez (23-6, 17), set for February 16th. At the time it seemed a strange link, given that Wake was just days away from a bout with domestic rival Takafumi Nakajima (29-12-1, 13) [中嶋 孝文], but couldn't be ruled out all together.
Today however it was confirmed that Juarez's opponent for February 16th wouldn't be Wake but instead former IBF champion Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3, 16) [岩佐 亮佑], who had long been rumoured as being Juarez's next foe.
The bout will see the winner become the mandatory challenger for TJ Doheny (21-0, 15), the IBF champion who actually took the belt from Iwasa last year. Given the styles this should be an incredibly compelling contest.
For fans wanting to watch it will be part of a PBC broadcast, on Fox, and will be part of a card that is headlined by WBA Featherweight "super" champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19) defending his title against Rafael Rivera (26-2-2, 17)