A former sparring partner of Anthony Joshua believes it was a big mistake since the British heavyweight ‘won’t fight him’ in an official contest in the squared circle.
As the saying goes, sparring stories should stay in the gym, but many that involve Scotland based Congolese fighter Martin Bakole have leaked out into the wider world – mostly from his own team.
He claims to have hurt everyone from Daniel Dubois to Oleksandr Usyk during training rounds, and now reckons that because he put in such a solid showing against Joshua during one camp, he will never get the call for a full fight.
Speaking to Seconds Out, Bakole explained what happened when Joshua was looking for a late replacement opponent following Dillian Whyte’s drug test failure.
“I had Eddie Hearn say he can’t take the risk. They never called. They know. That’s the reason I said I made the mistake of sparring him. But at that time I needed the spar.”
Bakole added he was more than ready to step in for that fight but Joshua’s team didn’t want it because they’re in a rebuilding process with him.
“I was ready. I was in the UK. I was only a few hours from the venue, but they never game me a call because they know I’m a big risk to Joshua. Joshua doesn’t need that now. He needs a little bit of confidence. He needs to build up his career, I think that is what his team is doing.”
Bakole has one of his sternest tests to date this weekend when he faces former world title challenger Carlos Takam on the undercard of the Tyson Fury versus Francis Ngannou fight in Riyadh on October 28.
A win would put him in the frame for a potential shot should the belts become vacant after Fury and Oleksandr Usyk have their historic undisputed fight.