Tony Yoka returns from ban vs Andy Ruiz Jr. victim Alexander Dimitrenko
French Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka will make his return from a year out when the 5-0 star battles Alexander Dimitrenko.
The contest will take place on July 13 at the Azur Arena in Antibes. Yoka is aiming to continue the rise when led to a world ranking before a suspension.
Yoka, who triumphed at Rio 2016, saw a one-year suspended punishment enforced for missing drugs tests in the past. The 27 year-old is now ready to get his career back on track.
Dimitrenko was a victim of Andy Ruiz Jr. in April, immediately prior to the Mexican-American shocking Anthony Joshua in New York.
As a result, Yoka will begin a big favourite next month.
Despite retaining his WBC rating for many months, Yoka was only recently removed from the list. A win over Dimitrenko should be enough to push Yoka back into contention for a shot at Deontay Wilder.
Johann Duhaupas was originally targeted was the opponent for what would have been an all-France affair.
But as ‘The Reptile’ and his representative Mehdi Ameur told WBN earlier this year, the clash was doomed from the start.
“Canal + and Tony announced that Johann will fight against Tony Yoka for his return in July,” Ameur exclusively explained to World Boxing News. “All I can say is I am communicating with the Yoka team, but no contract is in place. There is no validation of a fight made to make this announcement.
“I am surprised by the lack of professionalism on the part of Canal + and Tony Yoka. Particularly when no agreement is signed and there are several rumors of imaginary terms.
“Johann Duhaupas is the number one French heavyweight and deserves better than this. No announcement should be made until everything is agreed.
“He has fought against the greatest in the division. Johann has shared the ring with Deontay Wilder, Jarrell Miller, Robert Helenius and Alexander Povetkin. He has nothing to prove to Tony Yoka or anybody else.
“In any case, if this fight takes place one day, Johann will win a fight or fights before he trades blows with Tony Yoka. Even though Yoka is just a normal fighter who hasn’t fought against anybody yet.
“I know the TV are investing in him because he was Olympic champion but they have jumped too fast on this one,” he added.
Duhaupas himself said: “I am not happy about this announcement for a fight with Tony Yoka. Everything must be agreed before we fight. This time, there was no signed contract.
“We will fight when I am ready and not before when Tony Yoka is ready.”
It’s hoped Yoka v Duhaupas can be resurrected for later on in 2019.