In the run-up to his fight with Francis Ngannou, Tyson Fury has chosen the Congolese Martin Bakole as his sparring partner. A decision that has divided Cameroonian fans, with some claiming it's a betrayal.
The world of boxing is holding its breath ahead of the fight between England's WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Cameroon's former MMA champion Francis Ngannou on October 28 in Riyadh. However, a new element has cast a shadow over this long-awaited duel: the participation of Congolese Martin Bakole as Tyson Fury's training partner. This collaboration has provoked mixed reactions from Cameroonians.
Martin Bakole, a "traitor"?
As the pressure mounts, some Francis Ngannou fans feel betrayed by Martin Bakole's involvement in Tyson Fury's training camp. In Yaoundé, some see this cooperation as a form of betrayal towards an African brother.
Alim, a Ngannou fan, expresses his dismay: "It's disappointing to see an African helping a foreign opponent to fight one of our own champions. Martin Bakole should stand by his compatriot, not become a tool for his opponent".Achille is even tougher: "It's an affront to our continent. Bakole should not side with the enemy. It's a betrayal of the worst kind".
A professional choice for BakoleOn the other hand, some Cameroonians have no problem with Bakole's collaboration with Tyson Fury. They see it as a professional opportunity for the Congolese athlete. Passy, a sports enthusiast from Bafoussam in western Cameroon, explains: "Martin Bakole has the right to earn a living and seize the opportunities that come his way. This has nothing to do with betraying his continent. It's about sport and business".
A trap for Fury?
Among Ngannou fans, another theory is emerging. Some see Martin Bakole's participation in Tyson Fury's training camp from a strategic angle. They believe it could be a trap for the English champion. Mballa, a Yaoundé-based sports analyst, shares this view: "Let's not underestimate Bakole's presence. He's African, he knows Ngannou's power. Maybe Fury thinks he can train against an African opponent, but that could backfire. Bakole has an important role to play here".
As the date of the fight draws nearer, the suspense remains. Cameroonians, like boxing fans the world over, are eager to see how it all plays out in the ring on October 28.