Wake, the OPBF champion, was in his most significant fight to date, an IBF Super Bantamweight world title eliminator, against Thailand's highly experienced Mike Tawatchai (35-8-1, 21). The prize for the winner was a date with IBF world champion Carl Frampton and a prospective career high pay day along with massive international exposure.
From the opening bell the fight seemed to in Wake's capable hands. From the off the Japanese fighter found a home for his southpaw jab, right hook and southpaw straight. Not only did Wake look sharp from the opening bell but his footwork was on point as well, despite an early slip to the canvas, allowing him to tag the Thai at range and use his significant reach advantage to rack up points at will.
After 4 rounds it was looking like a rout for Wake however Tawatchai did mange to have a few moments of success in round 5. Unfortunately for the Thai he was unable to build on them as Wake got straight back to doing what he had been doing so well.
Having stopped his last 6 foes it was clear Wake was hunting a stoppage again here. Tawatchai however showed his toughness, even in the later stages, and saw out the final bell. That however was the Thai's one triumph in what was an other wise one-sided show case from Wake.
After the fight the Japanese sharp shooter hinted that he was set to travel for his title fight, stating that he would be bring the belt back home to Japan. It's a big ask to beat Carl Frampton but it's not impossible and Wake will be hoping to do just that, possibly later this year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)