Tyson Fury has given his reaction to claims that Oleksandr Usyk was knocked out in sparring by Martin Bakole.
Earlier this week, Bakole – who is in Saudi Arabia to fight Carlos Takam on the undercard of Fury versus Francis Ngannou – told Seconds Out that he knocked Usyk out with a body shot in sparring during the lead-up to the Ukrainian’s rematch with Anthony Joshua.
“I said it in the Sky Sports studio which is a big platform and Usyk never came back to say I’m lying.
If you watch the Usyk-Johsua weigh-in, Joshua asked him ‘how was the body shot’, watch that video closely. Because there was Okolie and American boys that were in the gym when I was sparring Usyk and after that knockout they called Joshua maybe to tell him that I stopped him in the sparring..
First or second round, he took about one, two minutes and they start again, but from that day his coach told me not to spar, they just used some other guys, for him to recover.”
Fury, who is set to face Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship after his fight with Ngannou, told FightHype that he can believe Bakole’s version of events.
“I can believe it, Bakole is a bit giant man who can punch and a very good fighter. Heavyweight boxing is heavyweight boxing.”
If ‘The Gypsy King’ comes through unscathed against Ngannou this weekend, it’s widely expected that the date for the undisputed fight will be announced in the ring, with Usyk expected to be in attendance in Riyadh.