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Bakole stunned, McGregor Claims First Title

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Lee McGregor with his Commonwealth bantamweight belt. Picture: Getty
Lee McGregor with his Commonwealth bantamweight belt. Picture: Getty

The McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions put on a cracking card at The York Hall, Bethnal Green, which was topped by Heavyweight hope, Martin Bakole. Former WBO Cruiserweight Title challenger, Michael Hunter, was expected to be a decent step up for Bakole, but ultimately you felt the Scottish based Congolese man would have too much strength and power for the American. Unfortunately Hunter didn’t read the script, and upset Bakole, stopping him in the tenth and final round. It was an abject performance from Bakole, and a damaged shoulder clearly distressed him, to the point of verbally telling his trainer, Billy Nelson, at the end of the eighth round, that he didn’t want to continue. Bakole only really tasted success of his own at the end of thec seventh, a left hook that landed on Hunter, making him dip, and on wobbly legs. This was as good as it got for Bakole, and his pleas to withdraw from the contest fell on deaf ears, Nelson refusing to accept his retirement. This further fuelled Hunter’s fire, in a corner aided by former undisputed Heavyweight Champion, Hasim Rahman, and he closed the show in the final round with a barrage of punches that left Bakole defenceless, leaving referee Phil Edwards no option but to step in and stop the fight. Bakole will likely learn a hell of a lot in defeat, while Hunter will now hope to gate crash the Heavyweight scene even further.

“Lightning” Lee McGregor also produced a final round stoppage to pick up the Commonwealth Bantamweight Title against the teak tough Thomas Essomba. In a brilliant give and take contest, McGregor was knocked down in the fourth by a wild left hand, but it did have the look of a slip about it. McGregor came to the fore in the second half of the fight, and put the seal on a great performance by a lovely left to body then head, forcing Essomba to sit out the full count on the canvas. 21 year old McGregor becomes a Champion in just his fifth fight, and is certainly one to watch.

Chris Billam-Smith won his Commonwealth Cruiserweight Title eliminator, with his opponent Robin Dupre, retiring after five completed rounds while well behind. Billam-Smith moves on to potentially fight the winner of the vacant Title clash taking place in November between English Champion Irfan Iqbal, and Wadi Camacho.

Chantelle Cameron retained her IBO Lightweight Title on the card, widely outscoring Jessica Gonzalez, winning every round on the judges’ cards.

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