If anyone has ever deserved to be called a champion due to his service to the sport of boxing, Cameroon-born Frenchman Martial Bella Oleme is a prime candidate.
After winning his first tree pro fights, Bella Oleme transitioned into the near perfect journeyman, giving prospects and future champions a tough test. He was only ever stopped inside the distance once, and he also won fights here and there.
To name a few, former WBA World Champion Valery Brudov, future WBC World Champion Tony Bellew, and future WBA World Champion Youri Kalenga, all big punchers, had to settle for points victories when they faced Bella Oleme.
In May of 2013, he was rewarded with a shot at the vacant Universal Boxing Organization™ (UBO) International Cruiserweight title, in his home-town Noisy-le-Grand, against Georgian Giorgi Tevdorashvili (13-8-3, 8 KOs).
It was a scrappy, at times even messy, fight, but Bella Oleme was the busier man, and deservedly won a close unanimous decision. The journeyman had become a champion, after being a valuable part of the ring-education of so many future champions on the way up.
Bella Oleme retired after winning the UBO title, and he can forever consider himself a former champion. His 10-28-3 (1) record is by no means flashy, but he was much better than those numbers suggest. And the Universal Boxing Organization is proud to call him one of our champions!
(Kristian von Sponneck)
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