Heavyweight Martin Bakole stung in mouth by wasp during TKO win

October 31, 2023, 8:29 PM

Martin Bakole said he suffered multiple stings as he swallowed a wasp during his fourth-round TKO victory over Carlos Takam on Saturday in Riydah, Saudi Arabia.

Bakole, ESPN's No. 9 heavyweight, began coughing during his interview with IFLTV on Saturday as he discussed the bizarre incident. Despite the stings, Bakole battered Takam, a former heavyweight title challenger, until the referee halted the Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou undercard bout.

"Can't believe it. Oh, I'm surprised," said Bakole, 30. "Still coughing until now and it just disturb me in the ring and I was surprised it's in my mouth. ... I was vomiting in my changing room. I kept vomiting for one minute. I think [the wasp] is still here."

Bakole (20-1, 15 KOs) upset Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka last year in Paris. Bakole's only pro defeat came against Michael Hunter in 2018 via 10th-round TKO.

He's the younger brother of former cruiserweight titleholder Junior Makabu. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bakole now fights out of the U.K, as he inches closer to his first heavyweight title shot.