Japanese super bantamweight contender Shingo Wake warmed up for his mandated IBF title shot with a fifth round victory over Waldo Sabu in Tokyo this week.
Wake overpowered the inexperienced Indonesian, 26, at the famous Korakuen Hall in front of his home fans to improve to 20-4-2 ahead of the southpaw’s first shot at the big time.
The 28 year-old is lined up as the next contender to face either current IBF champion Carl Frampton or upcoming opponent Scott Quigg, dependent on the victor deciding to keep the coveted red strap at the end of the month.
Should Frampton or WBA title holder Quigg agree to fight World Boxing Association number one Guillermo Rigondeaux instead of taking the IBF route, Wake is then likely to be pitted against Filipino Albert Pagara for the vacant belt.
Undefated Rigondeaux was originally made ‘Champion in Recess’ in controversial fashion by the WBA with the added stipulation that Frampton or Quigg agree to face the pound for pound rated Cuban by the summer.
Frampton v Quigg is set to happen on February 27 at Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom, and barring a rematch with special dispensation from the IBF and WBA, Wake will soon find out his world championship fate.