Earlier today it was announced that OPBF Super Bantamweight champion Shingo Wake (18-4-2, 11) would be facing off against experienced Thai Mike Tawatchai (35-7-1, 21) in an IBF Super Bantamweight eliminator, with the winner set to become the mandatory challenger for the unbeaten IBF champion Carl Frampton (20-0 14).
Wake has solidified his claim as the best in Asian by having made 5 defenses of the OPBF title, including a recent opening round KO against gutsy Filipino foe Jimmy Paypa. That claim as the best in Asia has seen Wake claim world rankings with all 4 world title bodies, including a #6 ranking with the IBF, at least in their last ranking update.
Thai fighter Tawatchai was, technically, the top contender with the IBF despite only holding a #3 IBF rankings. That's because the top spots were both vacant following Frampton's recent victory over mandatory challenger Chris Avalos, who looked awful in his challenge against Frampton. As for those who are unfamiliar with the Thai he's a stablemate of Amnat Ruenroeng's and has twice defended the IBF Asian title at 122lb whilst winning his last 9. though he does lack a significant win.
From what we've been told this bout will take place on June 10th at the Korakuen Hall and will see the winner getting a world title fight by the end of the year. Sadly this seems to be the final nail in the coffin of a prospective bout between Wake and unbeaten Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 1-0), a bout that was teased earlier this year by Rigondeaux's manager Garry Hyde.
From what we understand the plan now is for Rigondeaux to defend his WBA "super" title against the unbeaten Scott Quigg (30-0-2, 22), who holds the WBA regular title, whilst Frampton gets a voluntary defence and then the winner of Wake/Tawatchai gets Frampton, or his conqueror. Though of course boxing never goes quite to plan
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