CAR CRASH: Joe Joyce manager on Martin Bakole / trainer furore

Sam Jones

Joe Joyce manager Sam Jones has spent ample time on social media recently addressing the possibility of a fight with Martin Bakole.

Jones has consistently responded to Bakole’s trainer Billy Nelson on Twitter stating his belief that the Nigerian born fighter needs to prove himself before facing Joyce.

Nelson had claimed Bakole was second only to Anthony Joshua in terms of British heavyweights. The Scot had also said Bakole was a future champion of the world.

Last Saturday night, Bakole had his chance to begin the groundwork. Live on UK terrestrial TV, Bakole faced a predominant cruiserweight in Michael Hunter in London.

Struggling to get to grips with Hunter, Bakole suffered a shoulder injury during the fight and questioned whether he should be pulled out after eight rounds.

Trainer Nelson, obviously wanting Bakole to prove him correct in his public assessment, urged his man to continue.

Bakole was eventually saved in the tenth round after taking unnecessary punishment.

Jones, currently in camp with Joyce and Tyson Fury at Big Bear, has since revealed his dismay at watching events unfold.

“Saturday night was a car crash, plain and simple,” Jones exclusively told World Boxing News.

“If you look at it, Bakole’s biggest win to date – amateur or pro, is against DL jones.

“Billy Nelson was trying to get a fight with Joe. But Joe is someone who’s proven in my eyes as he’s got wins over Filip Hrgovic, Tony Yoka and Frazer Clarke from his amateur days and you don’t beat men like that if your not going to be a good pro.

“Nelson has been absolutely relentless on social media harping on about Martin. Saying he’s this, he’s that and he’s sparring this guy and that guy.

“What I would ask is why is he sparring Joshua and Dubois to prepare for a slick cruiserweight? That alone in my eyes is madness!

“But it was all for publicity as Bakole has zero profile. Sparring is sparring and it’s not the same as being under the lights with 10-ounce gloves on.

“It was actually hard to watch as he was broken from the get-go. He wanted a way out and Billy wouldn’t give him one but people shouldn’t criticize his decision to make him fight on.

“All jokes and banter aside. I take no pleasure in seeing someone’s downfall and hopefully he can come back from this damaging loss.

“From what I saw, his conditioning was horrendous and his footwork and head movement was none existent.

“If we would have put joe in with bakole we’d be under investigation as Joe would have badly hurt him…very badly.

“They need to go back to the drawing board and get rid of the sparring partner mentality he brought to the ring on the night.

“That is if Bakole decides he even wants to box again,” he added.


For his part, Bakole has since stated he was asking for ‘help’ in the corner for his injured shoulder, not because he wanted to be saved.

This statement was met was some scepticism, although Nelson is not being blamed in most quarters.

At the end of the day, Bakole was hurting and you can’t blame the trainer for a fighter wanting out.

Vowing to return, Bakole has a lot of rebuilding to do, not least for his reputation. But he still needs that chance and hopefully, he’ll get it soon.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay