Alex Krassyuk, promoter of Oleksandr Usyk, believes one sparring partner of the champion is next in line for the world title.
Usyk holds the WBA, WBO and IBF belts and is now in camp for the contracted undisputed fight with Tyson Fury in an attempt to pick up the WBC.
It was originally scheduled for December 23 but after Fury’s more bruising-than-expected encounter with Francis Ngannou, it has been pushed back to an as-yet unconfirmed date in early 2024.
The Ukrainian southpaw is staying busy in the gym as always. Whilst his sparring partners for the Fury fight are as yet unknown, one man he’s shared rounds with in the past is Martin Bakole.
The Congolese puncher fighting out of Scotland on the Fury-Ngannou undercard in Riyadh, where he knocked out the always-tough Carlos Takam in the fourth round – even despite having swallowed a wasp during the fight which left him vomiting in the changing room afterward.
During a pre-fight interview with BOXXER, Krassyuk interrupted Bakole with to offer his praise.
“Guys trust me, this is the future world champion in heavyweight, trust me. I’ve seen him in sparring. He’s a beast.”
It’s perhaps a surprisingly friendly relationship given Bakole has claimed, on countless occasions, to have dropped and stopped Usyk in sparring with a body shot.
Bakole, who is on a solid run right now and presents a very real challenge to the top heavyweights, has been calling for a fight with American Deontay Wilder, ranked just about him with the WBC, but would settle for any top contender to advance his position.