Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter has denied claims that Martin Bakole knocked out his fighter in sparring.
Bakole is looking for a big year on the heavyweight scene, and recently tried to spark the beginnings of some rivalries by telling Sky Sports he had ‘stopped’ both Usyk and Daniel Dubois in sparring.
The 18-1 fighter with 13 KOs claimed that he would struggle to get the fights he wanted after making the mistake of showing his counterparts how good he was in the gym.
“Even Usyk, I don’t think he’d say yes [to fighting me] because I stopped him in Dubai in sparring. He knows how good I am. I don’t know if he’ll say yes again to fight me as well. I am telling the truth.”
“Bakole is a great kid. He was Usyk’s best sparring partner within last three training camps. But I heard him stopping Usyk just once, and he stopped him from knocking Bakole out.”
Such is the nature of sparring stories, and the true events may never be known – one of the many reasons why most fighters like to keep quiet about what goes on in training camp.
If Bakole has given Usyk his best work though, it might be worth mending the relationship and getting the gloves on again.
The unified heavyweight champion has agreed terms to face Tyson Fury to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion, and he’ll be looking to push his training camp to the limit against some big men.