Former amateur star Tony Yoka (11-2, 9 KOs) suffered an embarrassing one-sided 10-round split decision at the hands of the 42-year-old Carlos Takam (40-7-1, 28 KOs) on Saturday night at the Zenith Paris in Paris, France.
The 2016 Olympic gold medalist Yoka fought well enough to deserve no rounds, but the judges were kind to him, scoring it 96-94, 96-94 for Takam, and 96-94 for Yoka. Boxing 247 had Takam winning ten zip.
No words describe how bad the 6’7″ Yoka looked in the fight, as he didn’t appear even to attempt to win. He was running from Takam for the entire fight, trying to keep from getting nailed by hit big shots, and not even trying actively win by throwing punches or coming forward against his much older and shorter opponent.
This was supposed to be a showcase fight for the 30-year-old Yoka to give him a confidence booster after having lost his previous fight against Martin Bakole by a 10 round majority decision last year in May. However, Yoka couldn’t hold off the shorter, older Takam using his jab and was getting worked over by powerful shots to the head and body on the inside.
What was surprising was how much success Takam had from the outside with his big looping power shots, which landed at a great frequency.
The taller Yoka looked afraid to use his height and reach by throwing anything with power when he had Takam on the outside, as he was getting countered by him.
For the most part, the only punches that Yoka had any confidence in throwing were his jabs, but they weren’t even close to being effective in keeping Takam off him. Repeatedly, Takam ducked Yoka’s jabs to get in punching range to nail him big shots.
In the tenth round, Yoka came out aggressively for the first time in the fight, throwing some nice power shots that seemed to get Takam’s attention. However, late in the round, Takam clipped Yoka with a huge right hand to the head that hurt him, causing him to run & hold for the remainder of the round. Yoka put up the white flag of surrender at that point, choosing to give up on the idea of scoring a last-round knockout.
With the defeat, Yoka has lost his last two fights, and his career is on the rocks. If had any ideas of one day capturing a world title, this loss likely made it clear to him that it was not going to happen. With the success that Yoka had in the amateur ranks in winning a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics at super heavyweight, he’s not going to be able to duplicate that success as a pro.
Dan Azeez defeats Thomas Faure
In the chief support bout, unbeaten light heavyweight Dan Azeez (19-0, 13 KOs) defeated an overmatched Thomas Faure (21-5-1, 2 KOs) by a 12th round knockout to win the EBU 175-lb title.
The referee halted the fight in the 12th round to the one-way punishment that Faure was taking. You can make an argument that the fight should have been stopped a lot earlier in the sixth round because Faure was taking a huge beating by Azeez, and he had no power to keep the 33-year-old British fighter off of him.
After the fight, Azeez made it clear that he was ready to fight for a world title. It might be a good idea for Azeez to get more experience before he considers fighting for a world title because he was getting hit by everything that Faure threw at him, and he won’t do well against a big puncher like IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion or the highly skilled WBA champ Dmitry Bivol.