Early last month, trainer Billy Nelson announced that Martin Bakole had accepted an offer to face Tony Yoka on December 11th in Yoka’s native France, but the 2016 Olympic gold medalist wound up signing to face Carlos Takam on January 15th. News broke yesterday that Takam had injured his wrist, and now Bakole has officially stepped back into Takam’s place.
Bakole (17-1, 13 KO), who famously lost his unbeaten record to Michael Hunter in 2018, now gets his own chance to play spoiler. Yoka (11-0, 9 KO) has a handful of decent wins under his belt, but not enough to eclipse the controversy that’s plagued his career, from his potentially fixed gold medal win over Joe Joyce to his lengthy suspension for skipping drug tests.
Bakole’s definitely the sort of opponent Yoka needs right now, a proven and dangerous heavyweight in his own right. The winner could very easily find himself among the IBF and WBC’s top contenders.