Heavyweight contender Martin Bakole, last seen scoring an upset win over Tony Yoka in Paris, France, has one blot on his pro record – this a 2013 stoppage defeat to Michael Hunter. Now, the warrior from Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo who is based in Scotland, wants to avenge the loss. And then, as Bakole’s trainer Billy Nelson told Sky Sports, Bakole wants a shot at Daniel Dubois and his WBA “regular” heavyweight belt.
Bakole, 18-1(13) has won seven fights in a row since being stopped in the eighth round by Hunter and he has shown he is a physically strong and imposing fighter who has power and a good chin. Nelson says his man would “absolutely obliterate” Dubois and he wants the Hunter rematch to be a final eliminator for Dubois’ belt.
“In no way shape or form am I trying to take anything away from Michael Hunter. He’s a very good fighter. But I can assure you that was nothing, nothing like the real Martin Bakole [in the first fight with Hunter],” Nelson said. “All you’ve got to do is watch the Mariusz Wach fight where he knocked him out. He stopped him quicker than Povetkin, Klitschko, all these guys. Not many British fighters were willing to go over to Paris and fight the Olympic gold medallist in Paris. [Bakole] gave him the biggest beating of his life. We’d fight Daniel [Dubois] any time. When they were sparring he was like a rabbit in the headlights. Martin would absolutely obliterate Dubois.”
Hunter, 20-1-2(14) is currently ranked at number one with the WBA while Bakole is number two. A return fight between the two would be very interesting, as would a Bakole-Dubois fight if Bakole were able to get his revenge over Hunter. Was it a bad night for Bakole back in October of 2018, as Nelson claims? Hunter has not looked too good in his recent fights, his stoppage win over Mike Wilson seeing him take out a cruiserweight, while Hunter’s December 2021 draw with Jerry Forrest could easily have been scored as a loss for him.
Bakole looked great in hammering Yoka (and almost getting robbed at the end) and maybe the 29 year old has made enough improvement since the Hunter defeat to put things right. Let’s hope these two do fight again. As a supporting feature, Hunter-Bakole II would add value for money to the PPV offering that is the eagerly anticipated rematch between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall.