Getting the heavyweight action underway today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia today, were Martin Bakole and Carlos Takam. Bakole, who tipped-in at an eye-popping 299.4 pounds, stopped the ever-game Takam on his feet in the fourth round. After landing a huge left hand body shot that clearly hurt Takam, Bakole landed another shot to the midsection before a final right hand to the head from the 30 year old persuaded the referee to dive in.
Time was 2:15 of the fourth and Bakole is now 20-1(15). 42 year old Takam, who really should consider calling it a career, falls to 40-8-1(28).
Martin Bakole s’impose au 4ème round par TKO face au camerounais Carlos Takam! Félicitations au champion, pourvu qu’il combatte pour le titre prochainement! https://t.co/VB0Q57AHE6 pic.twitter.com/TKW0T7nHSG
— ғᴀʙʀɪᴄᴇ ᴍᴠɪᴛᴀ (@fmayfield8) October 28, 2023
Bakole came out jabbing, his left hand held very low. Stationary for long periods, Bakole was walking Takam down. Takam, boxing defensively, barely threw a punch. It was a slow start to the fight. Things didn’t change too much in round two, although Bakole felt a few shots, as Takam scored with a couple of right hands upstairs.
In round three, the bombs began to fly and, for a while, we had a good heavyweight slugfest. Bakole landed a series of hefty wallops, Takam suddenly looking all of his 42 years. Takam, however, showed grit and back he came. Bakole, his back to the ropes, had to take some blows from the veteran who has been in with so many big names. Bakole was under some pressure, before he again opened up, his punches wobbling the legs of the old warhorse. But back Takam came again. Bakole finished the round with a big left uppercut to the chin.
Takam, blowing and swelling around the eye, was drilled by a big right hand at the start of the fourth and the older man’s defiance was short-lived. Bakole, pressing forward and unloading, whipped in a huge left hand shot to the body that really hurt Takam. The end was swift in coming, as Takam had to soak up another hefty shot to the body, before Bakole landed a final right to the head that ended the fight via TKO.
Overall, despite the slow start and the heavy poundage he carried into the ring with him today, it was a good performance from Bakole. Takam is past his best, but he was coming off a win over Tony Yoka and he had quite recently gone the distance with Arslanbek Makhmudov (who will feature later on today’s card).
Bakole reportedly carried a back injury into the ring with him today, so this perhaps explains his lack of movement early on. How far can Bakole go? The Congolese giant says he is ready for “anybody.”