British boxer Martin Bakole has emerged as a challenger to some of the biggest names in boxing after a commanding victory over the previously undefeated Ihor Shevadzutskyi on Saturday night. Bakole stopped his Ukrainian opponent in just three rounds during the undercard for Alen Babic’s fight with Lukasz Rozanski in Poland. The result has led Bakole to call out Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte, with BOXXER Founder Ben Shalom urging the sport’s governing bodies to make Bakole a mandatory challenger to ensure that he gets the chance to climb the rankings.
Bakole, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, had to weather an early storm from Shevadzutskyi, who caught him off guard with a series of punches in the opening round. However, Bakole’s superior technique soon began to tell, as he landed a series of devastating blows on his opponent. Shevadzutskyi was floored by a thumping left hook in the second round, and was unable to stem the flow of Bakole’s attacks in the third round.
After the fight, Bakole made it clear that he is now targeting some of the biggest names in the sport, including Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte, Daniel Dubois and Oleksandr Usyk. Speaking to Sky Sports, Bakole said: “I call people out because I know I can stop them. I made a big statement against Ihor Shevadzutskyi and I believe I am ready for the big fights.” Meanwhile, BOXXER’s Ben Shalom has praised Bakole’s performance and called on the sport’s governing bodies to ensure that he is given the chance to challenge the top fighters in his weight category.
Away from the ring, Bakole has also been engaged in a war of words with Dillian Whyte, with the pair almost coming to blows on Saturday night following a furious exchange. As the incident was captured by IFL TV cameras, Bakole approached Whyte and asked for a fight, only for Whyte to dismiss him with a curt “don’t talk to me, bro”. The pair continued to exchange insults as their respective entourages kept them apart, with Bakole eventually challenging Whyte to a fight and claiming that he would “knock [him] out cold”. The altercation has added even more spice to a potential Bakole-Whyte clash, which could be one of the most eagerly anticipated fights in British boxing in the coming months.