If trainer Billy Nelson is correct, his fighter Martin Bakole – a once-beaten heavyweight – will face undefeated Frenchman Tony Yoka in December. This one will be a most interesting heavyweight match-up if it goes ahead. Nelson, who spoke with Sky Sports, says Bakole will “go over there and knock him out.”
The Bakole-Yoka fight is not yet signed but Nelson says Bakole has accepted an offer – “we are just waiting on confirmation,” Nelson said.
It’s a good match-up, and hopefully this one will indeed go ahead. Bakole, 17-1(13) has beaten good fighters like Sergey Kuzmin and Kevin Johnson (Bakole being one of a very few to have ever stopped Johnson) and the man from the Democratic Republic Of The Congo has won six in a row since being stopped by Michael Hunter in 2018. Yoka, 11-0(9) is a talented heavyweight who won Olympic gold in 2016, along with other amateur honours, and he has scored pro wins over good names like Alexander Dimitrenko, Christian Hammer, and, last time out, Petar Milas. Yoka has yet to fight outside of France at pro level.
Bakole, who has struggled to get the big fights, will take this one in a heartbeat, so says Nelson.
“We want a breakthrough fight for Martin,” Nelson said. “Martin will go over there [to France] and knock him out, I believe. I do genuinely believe Martin is capable of beating anyone in the heavyweight division. We don’t care where it is, although it will be harder in France. Yoka is a big, strong guy. The bigger the better for Martin.”
If Bakole can go and score a KO win over Yoka – or a win of any kind – he will generate some waves through the heavyweight division, no doubt. But Yoka, fast as well as tall and skilled, will take some beating, especially at home. Credit to Bakole for being more than willing to take this risky but rewarding fight. Let’s hope it does come off.
Nelson says his fighter is “much better than anyone (Yoka) has fought.”
We will see, hopefully.