Shingo Wake gets IBF title opportunity on Wednesday
On Wednesday, Shingo Wake gets his long-awaited world title opportunity when he faces unbeaten power-puncher Jonathan Guzman for the vacant IBF junior featherweight title at the EDION Arena, Osaka, Japan.
Wake (20-4-2, 12 knockouts) is thrilled to finally have his opportunity.
“Well, actually, I was a little bit frustrated,” Wake told RingTV.com through Tomoyuki Kakaoka, “because of the very complex situation of IBF junior featherweight titleÔÇªbut the date, or the ‘Judgment Day,’ Wake versus Guzman has been finally decided, so now I’m very excited.”
It is easy to see that Guzman’s biggest asset is his power; he’s is a perfect 21-0 (21 KOs). Wake’s manager Satoshi Koguchi, an amateur star in the 1970s, is studying film of the Domincan to look for pointers for his fighter.
Wake is confident of victory but respectful of his opponent.
“He is a beautiful knockout artist; he can finish or end the fight whenever he wants,” acknowledged Wake. “Guzman deserves to compete against me with the prestigious IBF junior featherweight belt at stake. I know he’s powerful but you will be surprised by my speed and technique.
“Come to see the fight at stadium or on TV, TBS channel (Kazuto Ioka will face Keyvin Lara in the co-feature) will broadcast our fight live in Japan.”
Wake has been the IBF mandatory challenger since June of last year when he widely outpointed Mike Tawatchai (also known as Pipat Chaiporn) in a final eliminator. Wake had hoped to face Carl Frampton but the Irishman instead fought Scott Quigg in a unification that superseded a mandatory, leaving Wake to wait longer on his opportunity.
When Frampton elected to move up to featherweight to face WBA titlist Leo Santa Cruz, the title became vacant.
“I had been waiting so long,” said the 28-year-old southpaw, “but, during the time, I studied a lot to beat such a hard-punching Dominican. My dream will come true on July 20. The intermission time was good for me.
“For me, July 20, 2016 is Judgment Day. I try my best to win the prestigious red IBF belt. The fight will end before the final bell. I will win by KO. The next day after the fight is my 29th birthday. I want to make it a memorable day!”
Wake’s promoter Mr. Keiichiro Kanehira, famed for his gym’s work with, among others, Hiroyuki Ebihara (former two-time flyweight champion in the ’60s), Yoko Gushiken (long-reigning junior flyweight titlist in the ’70s-early-’80s), Yuri Arbachakov (former flyweight titlist in the ’90s) and, more recently, Koki Kameda (three-division titlist), worked long and hard to bring the fight to Japan.
He felt getting home advantage was very important for his fighter.
“Shingo Wake is very talented and charismatic boxer,” explained Kanehira. “So I wanted to give him a chance to stage the bout definitely here in Japan. It was very tough negotiation with the foreign big names promoters but I could finally make it reality. Even I wanted to the fight as soon as possible.”
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