Tonight in Edinburgh, Scotland on the under-card of the Josh Taylor-Miguel Vazquez fight 140-pound title fight, unbeaten heavyweight Martin Bakole enjoyed something of a showcase in destroying previously undefeated Belgian heavyweight Ali Baghouz.
With the vacant IBO international strap up for grabs, Bakole, born in The Democratic Republic of The Congo but now based in Scotland, turned in an impressive performance. Punishing the somewhat fleshy Baghouz with his useful left jab, Bakole then whipped in a tasty left hand to the body, sending Baghouz down an in obvious pain. Counted out, Baghouz fell to 10-1-1(6). Time was 2:23 of the very first round. Bakole is now 10-0(7).
It’s quite obviously way too early to get excited about Bakole, but the 6’6” 26 year old looks to be a solid, strong and reasonably fast heavyweight with power. Trainer Don Charles (Dereck Chisora’s main man) speaks very highly of Bakole and experienced trainer Billy Nelson is working with the fighter who recently sparred with WBA/IBF champ Anthony Joshua. Nelson says Bakole is “the most naturally talented boxer I’ve trained.” High praise indeed.
There will be far bigger, stiffer tests than tonight’s fight (Baghouz had a nice unbeaten record but he had faced no-one of note; picking up just three wins over opponents who had a winning record) but Bakole is most certainly a fighter to keep an eye on. So far, Bakole has yet to face anything close to a top contender himself, but now that he has picked up his first pro title that may change in the near future.
Fans are always on the look out for a new, exciting heavyweight and maybe they have one in Bakole. Again, it’s still early days, but the Cyclone-promoted hope could possibly emerge as a serious threat next year. Yet to be taken past the sixth round, Bakole, who turned pro back in March of 2014, has many questions to answer but it could prove to be fun seeing him try and do so. Hopefully Bakole will remain active.