Tony Yoka blasted out former WBC Heavyweight title challenger, Johann Duhaupas inside a round of their meeting inside La Defense Arena in Paris, as he fired out a warning to the division on Friday.
2016 Olympic Gold medallist, Yoka (8-0, 7 KOs) was making his first appearance in almost a year since he stopped recent Joe Joyce foe, Michael Wallisch in three last September, and it was a step up in class against Duhaupas.
However, Duhaupas (38-6, 25 KOs) had seen better days at 39-years-old.
He had taken Jarrell Miller the full twelve rounds as recently as April 2018 and Deontay Wilder eleven in a WBC title challenge in 2015, as well as holding wins over respected contenders in Manuel Charr and Robert Helenius.
He was no match for Yoka though in this one, as the 28-year-old Frenchman tore through his countryman in less than 90 seconds.
With just over 30 seconds gone in the opener, Yoka landed a sharp right to the side of Duhaupas’ head and a rapid, solid uppercut followed by a short right hand crumpled him to the canvas.
He rose groggily and returned to the corner to face the count, where he survived, but a measured follow up attack, consisting of mainly chopping right hands, again had Duhaupas in trouble.
Yoka landed an overhand right that dipped Duhaupas’ knees and, as he bounced back up, Yoka connected with a perfectly timed uppercut that dumped the the Somme native on the deck, with the referee immediately waving the fight off.
There was much protestation from Duhaupas himself, but it was the right call and surely saved him from further punishment. It’s now seven knockouts in eight straight wins as a professional for Yoka.
The win now catapults him into the mix at world title level, but it’s obviously a congested picture at the present time with so many issues with the belt holders and their challengers to be resolved.
A rematch of the Rio Olympic final against Joe Joyce could be a good contest down the line and there are plenty of other contenders to occupy Yoka should he be willing to take further risks to get to the top.
The undercard saw Yoka’s wife, Estelle Yoka-Mossely, score a unanimous points win over Aurelie Froment in their eight round contest at Super Lightweight.
Estelle had only given birth to the couple’s second child just four months earlier, and moved to 7-0 (1 KO) as a result of her latest win.