Panama City, Panama (January 16, 2024) - The World Boxing Association (WBA) has mandated a high-stakes heavyweight eliminator between Martin Bakole and Cassius Chaney. Both fighters, highly ranked by the WBA, now have a 30-day period to reach a deal for the showdown.
The winner of this top heavyweight clash will emerge as the WBA mandatory challenger, setting the stage for a potential title bout. The target could be either the full WBA heavyweight title held by Oleksandr Usyk or the WBA “regular” title currently in the possession of Mahmoud Charr.
Martin Bakole, who has long expressed frustration about top heavyweights avoiding him, welcomes the chance to prove himself in the ring. Boasting a record of 20-1 (15 KOs), the formidable Bakole, often weighing close to the 300-pound mark, combines physical prowess with serious punching power.
In his recent notable victory, Bakole, based in Scotland, halted the experienced Carlos Takam in just four rounds. The 30-year-old fighter, born in Congo, suffered his sole loss in October 2018 against Michael Hunter. Since then, Bakole has enjoyed a nine-fight winning streak, including a significant majority decision over the previously unbeaten Tony Yoka.
Cassius Chaney, at 36 years old, brings a 23-1 (16 KOs) professional record to the ring. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Chaney's lone defeat came at the hands of George Arias, who secured a split decision victory in December 2021. Standing at 6’6” like Bakole, Chaney is known for his fast hands and, despite being slightly lighter, poses a substantial threat.
In his latest performance, Chaney showcased his skills with a devastating knockout of Trevor Bryan, leaving Bryan injured and stretchered out of the ring in November 2023.
Bakole-Chaney promises to be an intriguing matchup, not only in terms of the stylistic clash but also regarding the potential location of the bout. Chaney has predominantly fought in the United States, while Bakole has displayed his talents on a global stage, participating in matches held across various countries, including Saudi Arabia, Poland, Dubai, the UK, South Africa, Luxembourg, and Belgium. The clash between Bakole and Chaney would add another layer of excitement to the ever-evolving world of top heavyweight boxing.