Tony Yoka kept his unbeaten record with a fairly dominant win today over Joel Tambwe Djeko, stopping the Belgian in the 12th and final round of their fight from Nantes, Frances.
Yoka (10-0, 8 KO) had it mostly his way in this fight, winning every round on our unofficial card before unleashing a flurry that ended with a stiff jab, Djeko (17-3-1, 8 KO) turning his back and saying he’d had enough at that point.
The 31-year-old Djeko gave a real effort here, and has the size to fight at heavyweight after spending most of his career at cruiser, but he didn’t have the skills to really trouble the 28-year-old Yoka, who won a rather controversial gold medal at the 2016 Olympics and is one of the top up-and-coming heavyweight prospects in the sport right now.
Djeko mostly had trouble finding a range that suited him, and Yoka was able to maneuver the underdog to the ropes pretty much as he saw fit. It was an efficient, relaxed performance overall from Yoka, who wasn’t lackadaisical at all, but also didn’t press too hard at any point. He dictated the terms of the fight and had things pretty much his way, and now the 6’7” Frenchman will continue his search for a better, bigger name opponent.
Yoka told us he wants to fight a top 10 sort of heavyweight, and has mentioned his old amateur rival Joe Joyce as well as Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora. Those guys are all busy at the moment — or seem to be, anyway — and Yoka doesn’t quite have the stroke to pull them away from their other plans at the moment, so he’ll have to just keep plugging away. His upside remains a bit of question, but the tools seem to be there.
- Estelle Yoka-Mossely UD-10 Verena Kaiser: Kaiser (14-2, 6 KO) is an OK pro, a 28-year-old German, but came up well short here, rather handily out-boxed by Yoka-Mossely (9-0, 1 KO), the 2016 Olympic gold medalist from France. Yoka-Mossely’s pro upside really seems to be a fight with Katie Taylor, whom she was getting the better of at the end of Taylor’s amateur days, but Taylor seems to be much more suited to the pro style than Yoka-Mossely has so far. Taylor’s no monster puncher but she’s a lot more physical and has obviously achieved a lot more.
- Farrhad Saad UD-8 Borislav Ivanov
- Warren Essabe UD-4 Suleiman Kartoum