Home Featured One to Watch: Tony ‘La Conquete’ Yoka

One to Watch: Tony ‘La Conquete’ Yoka

Tony Yoka returns to action this Friday against Christian Hammer with one eye on Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce

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Tony Yoka stopped Johann Duhaupus inside the opening round in France Photo Credit: Boxing Scene
Tony Yoka stopped Johann Duhaupus inside the opening round in September. Photo Credit: Boxing Scene

This Saturday all eyes will be on the heavyweight division, as Daniel Dubois takes on Joe Joyce. However, should people be watching another rising star in the heavyweight division this weekend?

Friday night in Nantes, Tony Yoka takes on ring veteran, Christian Hammer, as the Frenchman continues to forge his path to the pinnacle of the sport.  

Yoka is best remembered for beating ‘The Juggernaut’ Joe Joyce at the 2016 Rio Olympics to claim the Gold Medal, where he also defeated highly rated Filip Hrgovic in the semi-final, before facing the Brit.

Under the radar, the 28-year-old is quietly going about his business claiming wins against the likes of Dave Allen, Johann Duhaupas and Alexander Dimitrenko. Over eight professional bouts Yoka has dispatched seven opponents inside the distance, including the aforementioned three.

Christian Hammer has fought the likes of Tyson Fury, Alexander Povetkin and more recently Luis Ortiz.

Christian Hammer facing off with Luis Ortiz. Photo Credit: boxing scene

With a record of 25 wins and six losses, the Romanian should be a good, durable test for Yoka who is having his second fight in two months. 

Hammer, 33, lasted the distance with heavy hitters Povetkin and Ortiz and rounds are valuable to any fighter, but especially to a young pro. 

You have to go back to February 2015 for the last time Hammer did not hear the final bell when he retired on his stool against one Tyson Fury. Should ‘La Conquete’ finish this bout early, he will be sending out a real statement to the rest of the division.

Yoka is rated as high as tenth in the IBF rankings and will have the likes of Hrgovic and Joseph Parker in his sights next, who are both ranked sixth and seventh respectively.

Filip Hrgovic saw off Rydell Booker in five rounds on Saturday Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing
Filip Hrgovic saw off Rydell Booker in five rounds in his last outing. Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Investment from Top Rank in his career at this stage shows not only the potential, but also the ability this young man has in his arsenal. 

Bob Arum has guided the likes of Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler and currently Tyson Fury, which would indicate the Parisian is in very good hands for the foreseeable future. 

Arum, even at the grand age of 88 still has the flame burning within to promote the very best.

Fury dramatically halted Wilder in seven rounds in February Photo Credit: Pro Boxing Fans
Fury dramatically halted Wilder in seven rounds in February Photo Credit: Pro Boxing Fans

Fury is the perfect example, as Bob recently guided the Briton to the top of the sport building Fury into a worldwide, household name and arguably the biggest draw in heavyweight boxing.

Four years Fury’s junior, Yoka could be the man to take over from Tyson when he calls time on his career.

Should both Yoka and Joyce emerge victorious by the end of the week an Olympic final rematch could be on the cards, but would it be repeat or revenge?

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