Second fight for Tony Yoka, with a real opposition, or an opponent in cardboard?

Tony Yoka in his first professional fight won in the face of Travis Clark, June 3, 2017. — J. E. E/SIPA

  • Tony Yoka dispute his second fight among the professionals, Saturday in Paris.
  • The first, in June, had been quickly folded in the face of a very weak opponent.

“At least, he looks like an athlete “. The sentence is of Brahim Asloum and it pretty much sums up the popular belief on the eve of the second professional fight of Tony Yoka, in the face of Jonathan Rice. It is necessary to say that the only highlight of the first of the
olympic champion in Rio in its “conquest” of the category of the heavy, in June last, has been the pace of his opponent. Too old, too fat, too slow, too everything except hazardous, referred to as Travis Clark
had obviously not made the weight and was found K. O. after barely more than a round.

Everyone is hoping to see the-future-great-boxer-what-the-France-expected to do more on Saturday, facing Rice. It should be the case. A little. It is not necessary to dream, the opposition is tailor-made. The American, 30 years old, ten fights (7 wins, 2 losses, 1 no), has nothing of a monster. Powerful but not mobile (1.96 m to 118 kg), it is a jack-of-all-came late to boxing, after trying basketball and american football, turned in a few TV series and… obtained a license of real estate agent.

What (still) fall on Yoka and its opponents “cardboard” after his unlikely victory ? “It is hard with him, and that’s understandable, he wants to become a champion. But it should not be too demanding too soon, writes Asloum. We are not going to make him fight for a world championship immediately. A career, it is built. “This last well-known, to be spent there between his gold medal at the Sydney Games and his title of world champion of the mid-flies, in 2007.

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Determination is the key to success.🗝💪🏾
See you #14Octobre @zenith_paris and on @canalplus #TeamYoka #Gaining

— Tony YOKA (@TonyYoka) October 11, 2017

The companion of Estelle Mossely does that initiating a cycle which should allow him to challenge the big boss, Anthony Joshua, in four years and become the first world champion in the French heavyweight. Aware of what is said, it was defended in
in an interview with The Teamat the beginning of September : “there has been a lot of noise on Clark. But look at Mike Tyson, his first opponent [a certain Hector Mercedes in 1985] had three defeats in three fights. There is a lot of expectation and people want to see me boxer large hard. A little patience “.

Tony Yoka “I say to myself that nobody in the world is stronger than me”

— 20 Minutes (@20Minutes) February 9, 2017

That, we agree. The first steps in the pros of Joshua, the current owner of belts IBF, WBA and IBO, had not been of the most complicated. But in a sport that very show, the form should be above reproach. And the quickdraw Clark didn’t fit at the table. Brahim Asloum place :

These are details, but they have their importance. There above, they are a little planted. But they know and I’m sure they will change that with this second fight. This is not obvious to find, that balance. It should be an opponent which brings difficulties, to learn to overcome, to gain experience, to grow up, but you don’t have the right to be wrong either. If you lose from your first combat, it is complicated to make a career then “.

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If one will observe, therefore, with attention to the resilience of Jonathan Rice on the ring of the Zenith of Paris, the important thing is to detect in Tony Yoka signs of a boxing in the process of professionalization, more focus on the impact. And there needs to be a little more than a round to it.