Tony Yoka was compared to Anthony Joshua after the Olympics, but is now forgotten heavyweight | Boxing News


Yoka 7-0 but lost momentum

“I don’t want to take four years like Anthony Joshua,” said Tony Yoka. “It’s too long. ”

Joshua took four years after winning an Olympic gold medal to add a world heavyweight title, a remarkable speed that Frenchman Yoka insisted he could improve on.

This time has already passed for the Olympic gold medalist in super heavyweight, a talent compared to Joshua who has become the forgotten heavyweight of today.

Joshua won Olympic super heavyweight gold in 2012

Joshua won Olympic super heavyweight gold in 2012

Yoka defeated Briton Joyce to win gold in 2016

Yoka defeated Briton Joyce to win gold in 2016

“Lomachenko did it after two fights,” said Yoka. “Everyone has their own way. I am not Lomachenko and I am not Joshua. I think I am like them.

“I don’t want to waste my time fighting guys, I know I’m going to fight. I need a challenge. I’m not saying I’m going to fight the champion now or tomorrow, but I have to challenge myself. I have to fight for something and move up the rankings. ”

The excitement around Yoka was understandable when he made these bold proclamations in 2018, but since then he has been left behind by peers of his own generation.

The athletic Frenchman was a Rio 2016 wellness story, apart from beating Briton Joe Joyce in the fight for the gold medal.

He and his wife Estelle Mossely each won gold medals in boxing. Their firstborn is called Ali, of course, already endowed with the perfect genetics to have its own impact in a few decades.

Yoka was suspended for a year by the French anti-doping agency from the summer of 2018 to 2019 for missing three screening tests. He maintained his innocence but, since his discreet return to the ring, has not been able to generate the same hype as his potential once warranted.

He had impressed in a fifth professional victory, a 10th round and a unilateral setback by the popular British Dave Allen. Allen had previously been beaten by Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz, so Yoka, by doing such clinical work, had reason to believe that he belonged to a reputable company.

Yoka had immediately dived into the bottom of the heavyweight pool, as had his Olympic rival Joyce. In his professional debut, Yoka beat Travis Clark who was unbeaten in 12. His seven opponents have so far had a combined record of 116-22-7 – at least he has kept his promise not to “lose my time fighting the guys I know I’m going to beat. “

Yoka is part of an exciting young generation of heavyweights

Yoka is part of an exciting young generation of heavyweights

Yoka, 28, still young enough to make an impact

Yoka, 28, still young enough to make an impact

But the year on the sidelines had an impact.

The man whose similarities to Joshua saw him hired as a training partner for Joseph Parker when he faced the world heavyweight champion in Britain is now fighting for attention.

A new era of heavy forces has emerged, of which Yoka is a part, but the tastes of Joyce, Daniel Dubois and Filip Hrgovic are progressing faster.

Yoka defeated Hrgovic and Joyce at the 2016 Olympics (he also lost to the two in amateur fights).

Joyce and Dubois will face off in an exciting battle of undefeated advances this year, but will first face two opponents with whom Yoka has a history.

Joyce’s next enemy, Michael Wallisch, was beaten by Yoka in three rounds last year. Dubois’ next opponent, Erik Pfeifer, beat Yoka among amateurs.

The Frenchman who is trained in California by Virgil Hunter, former trainer of Amir Khan and Andre Ward, tweeted on May 31 that he planned three fights in 2020. This seems too optimistic given that this one, planned for March 14 on a top card like his American debut and his first outside of France, were canceled.

But it shows that the fire remains in his belly – his record of seven fights is much better than the average for a young hope who finds his feet.

The forgotten heavyweight when compared to Joshua was named by Tyson Fury recently on a list of nine men of potential future enemies. There is a serious competitor to Yoka who is still waiting for his entry.


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