Takuma Inoue Outpoints Shingo Wake By Unanimous Decision

Takuma Inoue Proves Too Sharp and Accurate For Shingo Wake

Takuma Inoue pressures Shingo Wake in their junior featherweight bout
Takuma Inoue pressures Shingo Wake in their junior featherweight bout

Takuma Inoue Proves Too Sharp and Accurate For Shingo Wake


A key battle of world-ranked junior featherweights happened as Takuma Inoue took on Shingo Wake at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Inoue ranked #6 at 118 and Wake ranked #13 at 122 pounds by the WBO. Plenty was on the line in this domestic battle.

Of the two combatants, Takuma is considered the more well-known fighter. He is the younger brother of unified world bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue. Like his sibling, much was anticipated from the 25-year-old, but that has not been the case so far. In November 2019, he came up short in a world title bid against then-WBC world bantamweight champ Nordine Ouubali. After that setback, he’s rebounded with two consecutive wins.

Wake is a fighter who has exceeded expectations. After a 3-2-1 start to his pro career, the southpaw kept plugging. He improved and worked his way to a world title shot himself, losing to Jonathan Guzman for the vacant IBF world junior featherweight title in July of 2016. However, in 2021, many Japanese pundits consider the 34-year-old to be on the downside of his career.

IN CONTROL EARLY

After a slow start by both men in the first three rounds, Inoue (15-1, 3 KOs) struck in the fourth, landing with a hard right-hand that put Wake (27-7-2, 19 KOs) on the canvas. He went for the finish, but the veteran used his legs to avoid further punishment.

Sensing he was behind, Wake pressed the action in the middle rounds, but Inoue did an excellent job of using head movement to avoid power punches. Wake’s best punch is his straight left hand but was unable to land consistently. Instead, Inoue built on his lead. Rounds nine and ten saw him connect hard left hooks and rights to the body.

Wake put on a late surge during the last two rounds. He got home with straight left hands, but it was too little too late as Inoue fought back hard, refusing to fold.

In the end, all three judges scored the fight for Inoue 117-110, who now claims the vacant WBO Asia Pacific junior featherweight title. It will be interesting to see where Inoue goes from here. Will he continue to campaign at bantamweight, or will junior featherweight become a permanent move? At the very least, look for Inoue to now appear in the WBO rankings at 122.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Michael Wilson 850 Articles
Michael is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a writer/contributor for 3kingsboxing.com.