Hunter overcomes signi cant size disadvantages for a stoppage win
Heavyweight prospect Martin Bakole unravels against Michael Hunter
AMERICA’S Michael Hunter made light of disadvantages in height, reach and weight (over 40lbs), and sensationally halted Airdrie’s Martin Bakole in the 10th and final round at York Hall. The win deprived Congo native Bakole of his unbeaten record.
At the end of the eighth, Bakole told his corner he’d injured his right shoulder and wanted to pull out. Trainer Billy Nelson insisted he carry on – in the event, it would have been better if he hadn’t. Hunter landed light, point-scoring shots all through the fight, without seeming to bother Bakole. But in the 10th, a left and three rights to the head had Bakole staggering back into the ropes. Hunter followed up quickly with both hands, leading referee Phil Edwards to wave it off at 2-19.
EX-WBO cruiserweight title challenger Hunter seemed dwarfed by his huge opponent, but made his tactics clear from the outset – move in, land and get away before Bakole could respond. But the size difference always made it intriguing. Bakole opened up in the second to have Hunter holding on, and the Las Vegas resident grabbed for safety when caught by a right in the fourth. Hunter was cut in the corner of his right eye in the fifth, and his shots were having no effect. There was the feeling that the bigger man could swing it, but this didn’t happen.
Forced to come out for the ninth, Bakole stood off and did little. By the last, Hunter’s left eye was starting to close, but he came out aggressively. Bakole took stick in the corner then tried to rally. However, Hunter then landed a right, followed by the four-punch burst that effectively ended it.
This Cyclone Promotions show produced another last-round win in a vacant Commonwealth bantamweight title bout. Edinburgh’s Lee Mcgregor knocked out Cameroon-born Thomas Essomba after 1-38 of the 12th.
Southpaw Essomba – a former Commonwealth flyweight champion based in Stockton-on-tees – made a good fight of it. Seemingly unconcerned by Mcgregor’s body blows, he had the Scot down in the fourth, but his tank gave out first. Essomba was warned in the 11th after losing his gumshield (it had also happened in the eighth), and in the 12th Mcgregor was picking his shots effectively, with Essomba suddenly looking tired. A right and two lefts to the head had Essomba down by the ropes. The towel came in from the corner, but referee Ian John-lewis counted Essomba out.
Essomba was happy to take the fight to his rival, and in the fourth a left clip had Mcgregor over – he jumped up at once and was furious to be given the eightcount (correctly). Mcgregor hit harder, and Essomba was forced to hold at times, but the visitor was still in the fight until everything suddenly left him.
In a 10-twos, Northampton’s
Chantelle Cameron floored and outpointed Mexico’s two-time world title challenger Jessica Gonzalez. Judge Edwards scored it 100-89, while Olena Pobyvailo and Grzegorz Molenda had it 100-88. As soon as Gonzalez got close she held, with referee John-lewis finally docking her a point in the ninth. In the seventh, a right to the chin dropped her for ‘eight’.
Chris Billam-smith (Bournemouth) won his Commonwealth cruiserweight title eliminator when Dagenham’s Robin Dupre retired after five rounds (set for 10). The end of the fifth saw Dupre under pressure. At the bell, he walked over to Billam-smith and embraced him in a gesture of surrender. Lee Cook refereed.
Grant Dennis (Chatham) knocked out York’s Harry Matthews after 48 seconds of a scheduled six. A big right to the head had Matthews down. He jumped up quickly, then dropped to one knee to take referee Cook’s count.
Jack Hillier (Southampton) stopped Poland’s Kamil Jaworek in the third of a slated four. Jaworek was decked for ‘two’ in the third by a left to the body. Then a combination to the head floored Jaworek once more. Again, he was up quickly, but Mr Cook completed the eight-count and signalled the end after 1-47.
Wimbledon’s Louis Adolphe outscored Atherton’s William Warburton 60-54 for referee Chas Coakley. The same official awarded 40-36 wins to Orpington’s Martin Hillman over Russ Midgley (Leeds); Aaron Collins (Fleet) over Braintree’s Dylan Draper; and Lenny Fuller (Maidstone) over Stourbridge’s Kevin Mccauley.
THE VERDICT Hunter proves that size isn’t everything.
LONG WAY BACK: Bakole is taught a cruel lesson by the inspired Hunter