Tony Yoka beats Joel Tambwe Djeko – Boxing Results

2016 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Tony Yoka got the job done in stopping Joel Tambwe Djeko in the 12th round to claim the vacant EBU European Union Heavy title at the H Arena, Nantes, France.

The 6’7″ Yoka hurt Djeko with a big right hand to the head while he was backed into the corner. Yoka then followed up with a flurry of clubbing shots, some hitting Djeko in the back of the head. Finally, Yoka landed a stiff left jab that caused Djeko to turn his back to signal that he was done. The fight was then halted.

There must have been some bad blood on the 28-year-old Yoka’s part, as he stood stuck his tongue out at the hurt Djeko and taunted him. It didn’t look very sporting, but Yoka must have had his reasons for choosing to do this.

With the victory, Yoka is now 10-0 with 8 knockouts, but he still hasn’t fought anyone from the top 15 in the heavyweight division. It’s a good thing that Yoka hasn’t because he looked very average tonight, and not world-class.

It wasn’t much of a fight with the 31-year-old ‘Big Joe’ Djeko retreating around the ring nonstop for 12 rounds, trying to keep out of range of Yoka’s shots. Yoka slowly plodded forward, giving up his huge 6”7 height and throwing simple jabs with not much power, and clubbing right hands.

It was always one punch at a time from Yoka, and not impressive stuff. He showed no signs of power and just average hand speed.

It’s unclear why Yoka chose to smother his own power by fighting Djeko at close quarters the entire contest. He seems incapable of throwing power shots from long-range like normal taller heavyweights.  Occasionally, Yoka threw uppercuts when in close, but mostly was clubbing right hands that sometimes landed to the back of Djeko’s head.

Djeko fought like he was scared, and threw very few punches in the fight. His shots had no power and very little, which might explain why Yoka was so comfortable standing in front of him. The lack of power kept Djeko from keeping Yoka honest.

Yoka is well known for winning a questionable gold medal in the 2016 Olympics with his win over Joe Joyce. That was an unpopular decision that Yoka, as Joyce took the fight to him and worked him over the entire time.  As a professional, Yoka has been unable to duplicate the same success he did as an amateur.

Yoka showed flaws when he was in the amateur ranks, and you could tell he was going to have problems when he turned pro.

Thus far, Yoka has been doing alright against marginal opposition that he’s been matched again, but it’s obvious that he’s going to have problems when he eventually starts facing stiffer opposition. Yoka is 28 now, and his promoters can’t wait too much longer before putting him in against contenders.

What’s interesting is Yoka is ranked #8 WBA, #13 WBC without ever having fought a contender. What this suggests we may see him continue to face lesser opposition until he gets a world title shot, which will make him good money if he challenges the likes of Anthony Joshua.

Yoka won’t be ready for the type of fighter when the time comes unless his handlers start matching him against better quality fighters.