Earlier today Japanese fans at the Korakuen Hall got the chance to see the highly talented Shingo Wake (20-4-2, 12) [和氣慎吾] take part in a "world title prelude", or warm up bout, against Indonesian Bantamweight champion Waldo Sabu (7-3, 2).
Unsurprisingly Wake, the IBF #1 ranked contender at Super Bantamweight, came out on top, though did put on a punch perfect display.
From the onset Wake looked several levels above Sabu, and naturally much bigger, and seemed intent to score an early finish but looked too tense to really let his shots go properly. It took a couple of rounds before he really settled and when he did the bout really became one sided with Sabu's corner eventually saving their man in round 5 as the towel came in.
Whilst the performance wasn't great it did have positives to take from it, and Wake's team seemed to suggest that the idea of the bout was to help his prepare for a world title bout, which will come later this year. The bout was to shed some nerves and to see hows things are going with a team that has seen several members added in recent years.
Wake's team has grown from being Mr Koguchi, his mentor, to now featuring two close allies of Mr Koguchi, including former world champion Katsuya Onizuka, who are helping Wake with a number of things.
After the win it was made very clear that Wake's next fight would see him fighting for the IBF title, whether that's against the winner of the upcoming Scott Quigg-Carl Frampton bout, or a vacant title fight has yet to be determined but Kyoei will enforce Wake's mandatory title shot. Interestingly if the Quigg-Frampton winner does vacate we would see Wake face off against another top IBF ranked fighter, which could mean possible bouts with Albert Pagara, Rey Vargas or Jessie Magdaleno all three of which would be very bouts in their own right.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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