Tony Yoka vs Martin Bakole Preview May 14th, 2022
Unbeaten heavyweight hopeful and former Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka of France takes on Martin Bakole of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Yoka’s hometown of Paris, France this Saturday, May 14th. The 10-round bout is supposed to air live on ESPN+ in America. Yoka last fought in September when he stopped Petar Milas in the seventh round while Bakole stopped Haruna Osumanu in the first round in his last outing, which was also in September.
Yoka vs Bakole Betting Odds
Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook BetOnline.ag (full review here).
- Martin Bakole +260
- Tony Yoka -350
The 30-year-old Yoka has basically flown under the radar since turning pro in 2017 but has been perfect in the ring so far with a mark of 11-0 including 9 Ko’s. He fought in the 2012 Olympics in London and then beat Joe Joyce of England for the super heavyweight gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also defeated Croatia’s heavyweight hopeful Filip Hrgovic at the Games.
Yoka had also beaten Hrgovic and Joyce at the 2015 World Amateur Championships in Qatar on his way to the gold medal. There’s no doubt Yoka was a fine amateur but he’s fought just 61 rounds as a pro against limited-quality opposition. The reason for his lack of rounds is the fact he’s stopped everybody he’s faced other than Jonathan Rice and Christian Hammer. Rice took him the six-round distance in Yoka’s second pro outing in 2017 and Hammer went 10 rounds with him in November, 2020.
All 11 of Yoka’s opponents have had winning records at least and he’s also stopped Travis Clark, Ali Baghouz, Cyril Leonet, Dave Allen, Alexander Dimitrenko, Michael Wallisch and Johann Duhaupas. He hasn’t taken on the elite of the division by any means, but has gradually been stepping up in class. Yoka’s got more than enough power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 81.8 per cent and also has the size to be successful at 6-feet-7-inches tall with an 82-inch reach.
The 28-year-old Bakole fights out of Airdrie, Scotland and is also one of the new bigger breed of heavyweights at 6-feet-6-inches tall with a an unlisted reach. He owns an impressive mark of 17-1 with 13 Ko’s and also has better-than-average average power with a current knockout ratio of 72.2 per cent. Bakole made his pro debut in 2014 and has boxed just 63 rounds since and is the younger brother of WBC Cruiserweight Champion Ilunga Makabu.
The lone defeat on Bakole’s record came at the hands of Michael Hunter by way of a 10th-round TKO in 2018 in a shot at the vacant IBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight Crown. Bakole injured his right shoulder in that fight before it was halted. Since turning pro he’s captured the IBO Inter-Continental Heavyweight Title by beating Ali Baghouz by first-round KO and the vacant republic of Poland International Heavyweight title with an eighth-round stoppage of Mariusz Wach in 2019.
Like Yoka, Bakole hasn’t taken on a legitimate heavyweight contender as of yet but also has victories over Kevin Johnson and and beat Sergey Kuzmin via a 10-round unanimous decision for the vacant WBC International Heavyweight Belt in December, 2020. At this stage of his career, Bakole’s opponents have been at about the same level as Yoka’s foes.
Bakole has the size and power to cause some problems for Yoka but so far Yoka has displayed a pretty good chin. On paper at least, this could be the stiffest test of Yoka’s slow-moving pro career and it’s one he needs to pass if he ever hopes to earn a world title shot somewhere along the line. I’m expecting Bakole to give Yoka all he can handle but believe Yoka will do enough to remain unbeaten for now.
Yoka’s power should do the trick.
Play: Yoka -350 @ BetOnline.ag
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Martin Bakole betting • Tony Yoka betting