Undefeated prospect Martin Bakole (11-0, 8 KO’s) will face American Michael Hunter (14-1, 9 KO’s) at London’s famous York Hall venue, this Saturday night – live on Channel 5.
The stocky, powerful heavyweight – brother of similarly heavy-handed former cruiserweight world title challenger Ilunga Makabu – currently boasts a professional record of 11-0 with eight knockouts.
Trainer Billy Nelson and promoter Blain McGuigan are thus supremely confident that Bakole, sooner or later, will establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in boxing’s marquee division.
The Congolese heavyweight has reportedly impressed in sparring sessions with the likes of Daniel Dubois and Tyson Fury, in addition to Anthony Joshua, as part of the latter’s preparations for the Alexander Povetkin fight.
Bakole himself has reported that sharing the ring with some of the top British heavyweights has provided him with invaluable experience going forward as he progresses in his career.
Indeed, in Michael Hunter, he faces another former cruiserweight contender, who – having lost a lopsided unanimous decision to Oleksandr Usyk eighteen months ago – performed admirably throughout the early rounds against someone now regarded among the pound-for-pound elite.
Also on the card, Edinburgh’s undefeated bantamweight prospect Lee McGregor (4-0, 4 KO’s), trained by Shane McGuigan, fights Thomas Essomba (8-4, 3 KO’s) for the vacant Commonwealth title.
Undefeated in four fights with four knockout wins, McGregor is coming off a fourth round stoppage win over Goodluck Marena on the undercard of stablemate Josh Taylor’s unanimous decision victory over Viktor Postol.
Cyclone’s undefeated cruiserweight talent Chris Billiam-Smith (6-0, 5 KO’s) also features on the card, in addition to Chantelle Cameron (7-0, 5 KO’s) – someone widely considered one of Britain’s most promising female fighters – defending her IBO lightweight title against Dahiana Santana (36-9, 15 KO’s).
Currently positioned at the summit of the female lightweight division is Katie Taylor – Ireland’s unified WBA and IBF champion – and Cameron will no doubt be eagerly anticipating an eventual showdown with Taylor, sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Billiam-Smith will be looking to extend his record to 7-0 and advance his career with a win over Robin Dupre, a man who has only been defeated once in fourteen fights.
In a currently thriving domestic scene, ‘The Gentleman’ will be looking to go one better than former Commonwealth champion Luke Watkins, who halted Dupre (13-1, 1 KO) in six rounds at the same York Hall venue twelve months ago.
With an action-packed card from start to finish, Saturday’s show represents a clear – but calculated – step up in opposition for some of Cyclone Promotions’ top prospects.
Having seemingly mastered the art of risk-reward with their shrewd matchmaking of WBC Silver super lightweight champion Josh Taylor, the McGuigans take another refreshing step in testing their stable this Saturday at the famous East London venue.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________