Another victory for Tony Yoka, but it was long in taking shape. The French boxer, winner two months ago of Johann Duhaupas in the 1is round, had more trouble overcoming Christian Hammer. It was finally at the points unanimously by the judges, that he won Friday in Nantes during a fight behind closed doors. The Olympic champion (2016), now undefeated in nine fights, immediately seemed much superior to his 33-year-old opponent but he fell on a very big collector. The experience of Hammer, who had in the past crossed the gloves with some big names of the premier class, like the WBC champion Tyson Fury (retirement at 8e round in 2015) or the Russian Aleksandr Povetkin (loss on points in 2017), weighed and thwarted the speed and precision of Yoka.
Hammer had assured the day before that he wanted to test the resistance capabilities of the French and push him to his limits. Without going so far as to worry him, he kept his word, constantly advancing and preventing Yoka from finding the right distance to pick an 8.e success before the limit.
“He was a tough, robust opponent, reacted the French. This test had to be passed with flying colors. We knew it wouldn’t be obvious, that he was going to bump into me, spoil the fight. But I answered present. It was complicated, but it did me good to do ten rounds, I know I have the distance. I am satisfied with the performance tonight. I needed to test myself in hardness and duration. The conquest of the world title passes through this type of fight. “
Top 10 goal
The victory was therefore not as spectacular as against Duhaupas, but Yoka sees his horizons continue to brighten a little more. He must now face much tougher opponents than Duhaupas and Hammer to one day become a contender for the world crown, his ultimate dream. He who has hardly ever been put in difficulty during his nine appearances in the pros must put himself in danger and learn to suffer to aim for the top. The road is therefore still long, but at least the Frenchman has partly made up for the time lost by his one-year suspension, from 2018 to 2019, for anti-doping rule violation and by the Covid-19 crisis.
The objective being to climb upmarket as quickly as possible, its manager and promoter Jérôme Abiteboul is thus in negotiations for a fight from December against the Croatian Peter Milas for the winning of the European champion’s belt. In case of victory, Yoka will be able to target boxers of the world top 15 in 2021 and take even more rank. “I hope to get closer to the top 10 by the end of the year to offer big fights in 2021,” he explained.
During the same evening, Tony Yoka’s wife Estelle Mossely won her 8e success among professionals by also dominating in points the French Emma Gongora. The 2016 Olympic champion (lightweight) did not have it easy against her compatriot, who came from boxing foot-fists and who replaced at short notice the Bosnian Pasa Malagic, unavailable at the last moment due to a positive test for Covid -19.