Bakole Dominates Takam in Explosive Showdown
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, heavyweight action took center stage as Martin Bakole and Carlos Takam squared off. Bakole, weighing in at an imposing 299.4 pounds, showcased his power by stopping Takam in the fourth round. The turning point came when Bakole landed a thunderous left hand to Takam's body, visibly hurting his opponent. Bakole followed up with another midsection shot and a final right hand to the head, prompting the referee to intervene. The fight concluded at 2:15 of the fourth round, with Bakole improving his record to 20-1, including 15 knockouts. On the other hand, the 42-year-old Takam, facing a crossroads, saw his record drop to 40-8-1, with 28 knockouts.
Bakole initiated the bout with a low left-hand jab and pursued Takam, who adopted a defensive stance and rarely threw punches. The early rounds unfolded at a measured pace. Although Bakole absorbed a few shots, Takam primarily found success with right hand punches to the head.
Round three witnessed a shift in momentum as the heavyweights engaged in a thrilling slugfest. Bakole landed significant blows, revealing Takam's age. However, Takam exhibited resilience and fought back, forcing Bakole to weather the storm with his back against the ropes. Bakole retaliated with powerful punches, destabilizing the veteran, but Takam kept coming. The round ended with Bakole connecting a powerful left uppercut to Takam's chin.
The fourth round opened with a fierce right hand from Bakole that marked the beginning of the end for Takam. Bakole relentlessly pressed forward and unleashed a devastating left body shot that visibly hurt Takam. The fight concluded rapidly as Takam absorbed another body shot and a final right hand to the head, resulting in a TKO victory for Bakole.
Despite a sluggish start and the weight he carried into the ring, Bakole delivered a commendable performance. While Takam might be past his prime, he had recently secured a victory over Tony Yoka and went the distance with Arslanbek Makhmudov, who also featured on the same card.
Notably, Bakole entered the bout with a reported back injury, possibly explaining his initial lack of movement. The question that lingers is how far Bakole can go in the heavyweight division. The Congolese giant boldly states he's prepared to face "anybody."