By Barry Holbrook: Martin Bakole states that he “stopped” heavyweight world champions Oleksandr Usyk and Daniel Dubois in sparring in the past, and he wants a world title shot now.
There’s something a little off-putting about fighters that attempt to gain credibility in the boxing world by bragging about their success in sparring.
That stuff should be kept secret, as it means zero in the sport. It’s like a practice squad football player bragging about their success in training.
Obviously, some fighters have given Bakole problems in sparring at one point or another, but they’re not openly reveling in it, telling the world how they hurt him.
If anything, Bakole is hurting his chances of getting fights against Dubois, Usyk, and others by blowing his own trumpet about having sparring success with them. The way that Bakole talks about his sparring suggests that he’s desperate.
Bakole (18-1, 13 KOs) wants a title shot against secondary WBA champion Dubois, but unfortunately, he’s not in the position to force a fight. If it’s true that Bakole hurt the chinny 25-year-old Dubois in sparring, it’s safe to say the last person Daniel ‘Dynamite’ will be allowed to fight by his promoter would be him.
Ranked #2 WBA, #7 WBC, #12 IBF, and #13 WBO, the 29-year-old Bakole is the younger brother of former WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu recently lost his title to Badou Jack last month on February 26th.
Born in the Congo, the 6’6″ Bakole has been fighting professionally for nine years since 2014 and currently fights out of Scotland in the UK. Bakole is coming off a 10 round majority decision over 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka last May in Paris, France, in a totally one-sided fight in Martin’s favor.
Dubois is the WBA mandatory for IBF/WBA/WBO champion Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), and until he gets his title shot, he’s likely to be matched carefully, especially after how vulnerable he looked in his recent fight against former cruiserweight Kevin Lerena last December and in his 10th round knockout loss to Joe Joyce in 2020.
Although Dubois says he wants a rematch with Joyce, there’s nothing in his last performance against Lerena that suggests that the rematch would be any different than the first fight. Dubois’ punch resistance isn’t good enough to beat anyone that can get to his chin.
“Daniel Dubois is the fight I want. I’ve sparred him twice, and I stopped him twice in sparring. He knows that. If we fight, I think I stop him in the first or second round,” Martin Bakole said to Sky Sports.
“I’m calling him out, and I want him to be ready for me. I want that fight; I can’t wait. People are hiding because they don’t want to fight me because I made the mistake of sparring them in the gym.
“Even Usyk, I stopped him in sparring in Dubai; he knows that,” Bakole said.