Rewind to late October/early November, and it seemed unbeaten French heavyweight Tony Yoka would face Martin Bakole next – on Jan 15, in Paris, France. Then it was announced how Yoka had signed to face Carlos Takam, for the same date, same venue. Now it has been reported how Takam has suffered an injury to his wrist and he has had to pull out of the fight. His replacement? Original foe Bakole.
As fans said back when Yoka Vs. Bakole was first announced, this one is a good match-up, and it may result in a good fight. Bakole’s trainer Billy Nelson spoke with Sky Sports a little over a month ago, and he was confidently stating how Bakole will “go over there and knock him out.”
Then it seemed Bakole had got cold feet, but now his size tens are hot again.
To repeat, Yoka-Bakole is a good match-up, and hopefully, it will indeed go ahead this time. 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 and this won’t change in January.
Bakole, who has struggled to get the big fights, will take this one in a heartbeat, so said Nelson last month.
“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 – again – to take this risky but rewarding fight.
Nelson says his fighter is “much better than anyone (Yoka) has fought.”
We will now get to see if he is correct.