Earlier this month at the SSE Arena at Wembley, there was a battle of heavyweight contenders, with Martin Bakole (16-1, 12 KOs) winning a ten round unanimous decision over Sergey Kuzmin (15-1, 11 KOs). The scores were 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94.
Kuzmin's promoter, Andrei Ryabinsky, felt the contest was very close and could have easily gone to his boxer.
“The fight turned out to be good, but I don’t think he lost decisively. I think the victory could have been given in favor of Sergey. But the judges decided the way they did. Now we should not get upset, but we need to go forward. Yes, we have rolled back a little (in the rankings)," Ryabinsky said to Vasiliy Konov.
After an even first round, Bakole came out firing hard in the second round. Bakole was letting his hands go, throwing a lot of shots with both hands. Kuzmin was hanging back and timing his counters.
Bakole was outworking Kuzmin in the next few rounds - until Kuzmin began to switch up his game plan in the fifth, as he was more active and took away Bakole's jab by standing in close to trade.
The action continued to be close in the sixth, with both boxers landing shots. Bakole went back to his boxing in the seventh, as he was outworking Kuzmin. In the eight, Kuzmin rallied again by pressing Bakole against the ropes and let go with hard punches. It was a closely-fought encounter in the remaining two rounds.
Kuzmin felt there was no way he could have lost the contest.
“In this fight it was possible to at least have it a draw, but in no way should Martinez get the victory. This victory is very dubious. Even after the fight, his coach went into the locker room and began to express regret about what the judges thought. His trainer also said: 'there is nothing you can do it, but we know we lost the fight.' Then Martin himself went into the locker room and was surprised that I was so strong. Given what had happened, the public and boxing fans want us to have a rematch. I think it can be done, and organized in a neutral location - either in Germany or the United States," Kuzmin said.