Ahead of their blockbuster showdown on October 13th, top-class heavyweights Martin Bakole (11-0-0) and Michael Hunter (14-1-0) came face-to-face for the first time at Wednesday’s Cyclone media day.
Both men were in good spirits before a packed media presence, as they offered their thoughts ahead of what should be a bumper night of action at York Hall on October 13th.
Though full of respect for his American counterpart, Bakole insisted he ‘wasn’t playing games’ ahead of what is undoubtedly the toughest test of his career.
“I am so happy to get this chance to show everyone how good I am on October 13th,” Bakole said. “Michael Hunter is a tough fighter who will come to win, and I am grateful to him for taking this fight. I am ready to prove I am one of the best heavyweights in the world with a victory, and I promise I will put on a good show for the fans at York Hall.”
“Training has been very good, and I am not playing games anymore. This is my job and this is business. I have been doing many rounds with Anthony Joshua, and there is no fighter out there that can scare me. Learning from top fighters like Anthony will help me with my own journey, and my coach Billy is very happy with my progress.”
The super-slick Michael Hunter (14-1-0) – who pushed pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk all the way in their competitive Cruiserweight world title showdown last year – admitted he hadn’t seen too much of Bakole, though the former-Olympian believes that top-level experience could be a decisive factor. He said:
“I’m grateful that this fight has been signed, and I didn’t think twice about taking it. I took one look at who Martin has fought and that was enough for me. Everybody says he’s the next best thing in the heavyweight division, but he hasn’t fought at that top level yet. The heavyweights are putting each other to sleep right now, and I don’t see this going the distance at all. Expect fireworks on October 13th!”
Having amassed eleven consecutive wins in the paid ranks, Bakole has been touted as a potential star of the future. A convincing victory over a proven world-level operator could springboard him towards the top of the heavyweight scene, and former-Olympian Hunter could be just the man to provide the stern test that many feel Bakole needs.
After spending time training in both his native DR Congo as well as South Africa, ‘Big Martin’ first came over to the United Kingdom to watch older brother Ilunga Makabu square off with Tony Bellew for the WBC World Cruiserweight title at Goodison Park. Though that trip ended in defeat for the Ilunga family, Bakole enjoyed his experience on British shores and would eventually relocate to Airdrie to link up with now-manager and trainer Billy Nelson.
Bakole has since garnered a reputation as a serious threat on the heavyweight scene after engaging in competitive sparring sessions with some of Britain’s biggest names in gyms up and down the country. The 26-year-old is currently sharpening his tools at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield alongside unified heavyweight world champion and global superstar Anthony Joshua.
The hard-hitting pair have shared dozens of world-class rounds of sparring as they prepare for their respective upcoming heavyweight bouts. Bakole believes that training alongside the best out there will stand him in good stead for his tough October 13th test – a fight he believes he will win inside the distance.
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