Martin Bakole is open to a rematch with Michael Hunter as he works towards a world heavyweight title shot, says Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom.
The 30-year-old extended his record to 19-1 in April with a third-round stoppage victory over Ihor Shevadzutskyi in Poland, his first fight since beating Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka by majority decision in May 2022.
He currently sits at No 2 in the WBA rankings behind Deontay Wilder, but the leading contenders have been forced to wait until this week for unified champion Oleksandr Usyk to finally announce his next title defence against WBA ‘regular’ champion Daniel Dubois in Poland on August 26.
“It’s difficult when the other heavyweights aren’t fighting because it stalls the whole division,” Shalom told Sky Sports.
“When you’re No 2 in the governing body and you look up at No 1 and he’s not fighting, and the champion is not fighting and the regular champion isn’t fighting it’s hard.
“We like the Michael Hunter rematch, it makes sense.”
Hunter has been out of the ring since a split decision draw against Jerry Forrest in December 2021, having been scheduled to face Hughie Fury last summer before the bout was cancelled.
The American notably beat Bakole by way of 10th-round stoppage in October 2018, since which the latter has won eight straight fights.
“Joseph Parker is another good fight for him, whilst he waits for the heavyweight champions to start moving,” added Shalom.
“We can’t move if they aren’t going to fight.
“I wish sometimes the governing bodies went ‘bang’, but obviously there’s a lot of money involved.
“I know Michael Hunter wants that fight, I like Michael and I’d love to give him that opportunity.
“We’ll sit down with Martin and think look at a final eliminator for the WBA title and we’ll see.”