Tony Yoka, the French heavyweight who won gold at Rio 2016 in the super heavyweight division, has signed a promotional contract with Richard Schaefer’s Ringstar Sports.
The 24-year-old Yoka has a “lucrative television contract” with French TV network Canal+, and will make his pro debut on May 20 in Paris.
“Tony's skills in the ring speak for themselves, and combined with his tremendous charisma, he will transcend boxing and become a global superstar and ambassador for our sport in short order,” Schaefer said. “I am pleased to work with Tony and his team to make his dream of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world a reality.”
The 6’7” Yoka didn’t win the gold medal without controversy, as he won a disputed split decision against Great Britain’s Joe Joyce in the championship bout. His fiancé, Estelle Mossely, also won a gold medal in the women’s lightweight division.
Yoka will train under Virgil Hunter to start his pro career, and is saying all the right things.
“I am committed to hard work and dedicating myself to the sport as I have done in the past and achieve my ultimate goal of becoming undisputed and unified heavyweight world champion,” he said on Monday. “With Ringstar, I have the best promotional company, and with Virgil Hunter, I have the best trainer in my corner. We will work as a team to get these belts and become the new face of boxing.”
Do you think Yoka has what it takes to be a top professional after his standout amateur career?