Last week, Kalle Sauerland revealed his intention to pit Olympic bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic against once-beaten Martin Bakole after attempts to face Michael Hunter fell through. Two days ago, Bakole’s trailer, Billy Nelson, claimed the fight was “in the making.” Now, Dan Rafael reports that the two are “finalizing a deal” to meet this upcoming spring, “possibly April 17 or April 24.”
The 28-year-old Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KO) has treaded water somewhat since his 2018 knockout of Amir Mansour, though he’s definitely looked good doing so. His last five wins have come inside the distance, including a third-round wipeout of veteran Eric Molina and a similarly one-sided victory over Rydell Booker this past November.
He’s definitely due for a step up, and Bakole (16-1, 12 KO) fits the bill nicely. The Congo-born, Scotland-based slugger has rebounded nicely from a potentially derailing upset loss to the aforementioned Hunter in 2018, winning his next four by knockout and looking solid in a decision over Sergey Kuzmin in December.
This is exactly the sort of fight both men need at this point in their careers, and it figures to keep the division active while Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua figure out their present logjam at the top.