Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will take on top heavyweight prospect Martin Bakole ahead of his rematch with Anthony Joshua.
The Congolese fighter helped Usyk prepare for his first fight with Joshua and again got the call to train with the undefeated Ukrainian.
“I have been contacted during the week regarding the Martin fight again,” Bakole’s coach Billy Nelson told Sky Sports.
“I knew it was going to happen anyway because they were super happy with him the first time around, I think Martin gave them the best fight he’s had.”
Nelson says Usyk and his team expect Bakole to become world champions soon.
“Usyk and his team respect his skills as one of his team members said that Martin will become world champion in the not too distant future,” he said.
When asked to compare the skills of Bakole and Joshua, Nelson claimed his fighter was much more complete than the former WBO, WBA and IBF champion.
“I would say Martin’s skills are better than Anthony Joshua’s. Joshua probably hits harder than Martin, but Martin’s output is much higher with his variety of shots,” Nelson added.
Bakole recently picked up the biggest victory of his career to take his record to 18-1. The 28-year-old traveled to France and put on a dominant display to beat Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka in his hometown of Paris.
Bakole, the brother of world heavyweight challenger Ilunga Makabu, has come a long way since his only career loss to Michael Hunter in 2018 and now looks set to do great things.
Usyk’s second fight with Joshua is expected to be officially announced this week. The fight will take place on July 23 in the Middle East, but the exact location of the long-awaited rematch is yet to be confirmed.
Joshua was upgraded by Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September. ‘AJ’ lost his world heavyweight titles for the second time but will once again have the chance to win them back immediately like he did against Andy Ruiz in 2019.