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Filip Hrgovic vs. Martin Bakole being finalized for April 17/24

Joseph Parker

By Allan Fox: Heavyweights Filip ‘Stone Man’ Hrgovic and Martin Bakole have a match in the works for April 17th or 24th. Dan Rafael reporting the Hrgovic vs. Bakole fight is being finalized.

This would be a  match-up for the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight bronze medalist Hrgovic (12-0, 10 KOs) to give him his first test since turning professional in 2017.

There was talk recently of Hrgovic and Michael Hunter potentially fighting, but nothing came of it.

That’s a match that Eddie Hearn was interested in. It would have been a tough one for the 6’6′ Hrgovic, who has looked very robotic in many of his fights.

Bakole to test Hrgovic

Dealing with an athletic heavyweight like Hunter would show whether the Klitschko-esque Hrgovic has the talent to do anything in the division.

Joseph Parker

Hrgovic is a robotic version of Wladimir Klitschko once you take away the fluidity the former heavyweight champion had.

Bakole (16-1, 12 KOs) is coming off a 10 round unanimous decision win over Sergey Kuzmin last December.

The big 6’6″ 260+ lb Bakole has won his last five fights since losing to Hunter by a 10th round knockout in an upset loss in 2018.

You can’t rule out a victory for Bakole against Hrgovic, as the Croatian fighter can be hit, as we saw in his loss to Tony Yoka in the amateur ranks. Hrgovic lost a couple of times to Yoka, and Ivan Dychko and Roberto Cammarelle also beat him.

Hrgovic is ranked #6 IBF, #8 WBC, #12 WBA, #12 WBO, and he’s coming off a fifth-round stoppage win over 39-year-old Rydell Booker last November. That was easily the best win of Hrgovic’s young five-year professional career.

Hrgovic’s other notable victories:

  • Eric Molina
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Amir Mansour
  • Pavel Sour
  • Tom Little
  • Sean Turner

Despite Hrgovic’s extensive amateur career, his management chosen to match him like a fighter with little experience.

It’s a waste because Hrgovic appears to be gaining noting from these mismatches, and he should have been fighting world-class opposition right out of the gate in 2017.

It’ll be interesting to see how Bakole stands up to Hrgovic’s power and can avoid the rabbit punches he throws at times.

If Bakole can take away the punches to the back of the head that Hrgovic tends to throw, he’s got a chance of winning.

Joseph Parker: I’m going to take out Junior Fa

“It’s a fight that I must win to fight the top opponents and to fight for a world title again, it’s a must-win for us,” said Joseph Parker to iFL TV about his February 27th match against Junior Fa.

Joseph Parker

“He’s going to be coming with everything,” Parker continued about Fa. “I’ve seen recently where he’s gone up to #5, which is the highest he’s been with any sanctioning body.

“So he’ll be coming with the experience of his team, and he’ll be well-prepared. But I know what I have to do, and I know I’m going to take him out on February 27th.

“After we have this fight against Junior Fa on February 27th, there might be a possibility in bringing fighters down from the UK,” Parker said.

“It’ll be a big “possibility. We have to take care of this fight, and hopefully, we can bring some big names down here. We’re welcome to fight everyone and anyone,” Parker said.

Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (27-2, 21 KOs) and Junior Fa (19-0, 10KOs) will battle it out next month in a 12 round fight on DAZN on February 27th at the Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

These two have fought in the amateur ranks, and it’s a match that New Zealanders are interested in. Parker, 29, will be gunning for his fourth consecutive win since losing to Dillian Whyte in 2018.

He says he plans on throwing a lot of punches in this fight with the 31-year-old Fa, which is an excellent idea. Parker lost to Anthony Joshua and Whyte because he didn’t let his hands go the way he needed to.

Parker wants Dereck Chisora 

“Looking ahead of me, you got the likes of Usyk and Joe Joyce,” Parker continued. “There are fights out there like Dillian Whyte, Chisora; there are other names that we really do want to fight.

Joseph Parker

“I feel like it’s unfinished business,” said Parker about Dereck Chisora. “It’s one of those fights where I was forced to phone a doctor and pull out of the fight due to health issues.

“But it’s a fight that can still happen, and I know I can beat him. First, we have to take care of Junior Fa, and after that, we’ll fight anywhere to fight.

“I didn’t know that I was on his list, but it shows that’s another big fight that can happen,” said Parker when told that Deontay Wilder has him on his list of possible opponents he wants to fight. “That’s another big fight for us. There are a lot of possibilities and options.

“I guess Charles Martin, and he was a world champion,” said Parker when told that Wilder could face Martin next. “He [Deontay] hasn’t been in the ring for a long time.

“If he looks good against Charles Martin and makes another statement and name for himself again about someone that people have to be serious about.

“Training is going good,” said Parker. “In New Zealand, it’s hard to find sparring partners, but we’ve found a few that have been helpful within our camp, and we think they’re going to give us some good work.

Winning by points doesn’t interest Parker

“I feel like winning a fight on points is not exciting. It’s not attractive, and people don’t see it as interesting,” said Parker.

Joseph Parker

“And I want to go out there, and my goal is to throw a lot of punches and throw a lot of combinations. When I do, I can really hurt someone,” Parker said.

Parker and Chisora were supposed to fight a little over a year ago, but David was bitten spider and fell ill. Whether it’s worth it now for Parker to fight Chisora now at this point is up for debate.

Chisora lost his last fight to Oleksandr Usyk by a 12 round decision last October, and there might not be much for Parker to gain in fighting Dereck.

Fighting Chisora would be a big step in class from the guys that Parker has been facing in his last three fights. His management has taken his career backward in matching him against these fighters since losing to Whyte:

  • Alex Leapai
  • Shawndell Winters
  • Alexander Flores

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