Oleksandr Usyk may well retire once his rivalry with Tyson Fury has played out, but, if he doesn’t, there are confident contenders waiting to fight him.
Usyk is currently deep in camp for his much anticipated undisputed showdown with Fury.
The fight is set to take place in Saudi Arabia on February 17 and will be the first time two heavyweights have competed for all of the major world titles in 24 years.
Earlier in the year it emerged that while training in Dubai for his 2022 rematch with Anthony Joshua – a first defence of the three belts he took off the Brit in 2021 – the Ukrainian had sparred Congolese heavyweight contender Martin Bakole.
In response to that, Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk said at the time that it was untrue and that the opposite happened, with Usyk the one coming close to stopping Bakole.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Bakole’s trainer Billy Nelson claimed that his man will finally lift a world title next year, especially if the opportunity comes against the Ukrainian.
“2024, given the opportunity, he will win a world championship. He’ll beat Usyk, Usyk knows that he’ll beat him, he knows how to beat Usyk.”
Nelson then had praise for Usyk and pointed out that Krassyuk has also tipped his man for the top.
“What a fighter Usyk is but when were over in Riyadh, Alex Krassyuk jumped in and said [Bakole] would be the next world champion. They know how good he is. You haven’t seen the best of Martin Bakole yet, when he’s fit.”
Bakole’s last outing was an impressive fourth round knockout of Carlos Takam – despite having swallowed wasp midway through the fight. He’s expected to return on the undercard of Fury-Usyk.