Heavyweight foe knocked out by Olympic champion after weigh-in slap
Joel Djeko made a big mistake at the weigh-in for his heavyweight clash with undefeated 2016 Olympic champion Tony Yoka. He duly paid for it.
The 31-year-old Belgian was hoping to pull off the shock of his career in Yoka’s native France in a fight that was beamed around in the world in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
Attention was already on one of the biggest heavyweight battles of the year so far but took a turn following the weigh-in.
— Star Boxing (@StarBoxing) March 4, 2021
Djeko aimed what, at first glance, looked to be a punch or slap at his superior opponent. Yoka attempted to retaliate but got held back from doing so.
Forced to bide his time, Yoka made sure Djeko got punished for the full twelve rounds. In the end, Yoka, 28, made Djeko quit as he turned his back to the ropes following a final round jab.
The onslaught had been continuous, though. The writing was already on the wall for a one-sided points win for Yoka anyway.
.@TonyYoka’s opponent wanted no more after this 😳
The Heavyweight contender gets the Round 12 stoppage 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/5twVRaDcea
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) March 5, 2021
Rio’s super-heavyweight star moves to 10-0 as he makes up for the lost time in his career. A rematch with Olympic foe Joe Joyce lies in inevitable wait over the next year or two.
Regarding Djeko, his run of victories came to an end as he dropped to 17-3-1.
TONY YOKA UNDERCARD RESULTS
On the H Arena bill in Nantes, Yoka’s wife Estelle Mossely, another medalist from the same Games, improved to 9-0 with a unanimous decision to win over Verena Kaiser.
In the process, she defended her International Boxing Organization lightweight title.
At middleweight, Farrhad Saad is now 8-0-1 after a points win over Borislav Ivanov through eight rounds. While super lightweight Warren Esabe made it three triumphs from three outings by defeating Mohamed Suleiman Kartoum.
Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.