Tony Yoka is facing up to being the most significant Olympic champion to bomb in the heavyweight ranks after a second successive loss.
Social media lit up on Saturday night as Yoka was branded ‘worse than Audley Harrison’ after failing to put his career back on track.
Harrison, who won the Olympic super heavyweight gold medal in 2000, is famous for his career flop. However, the Briton fought for a world title whether he deserved it or not.
Olympic heavyweight disaster
That won’t happen for Yoka anytime soon as the 2016 Olympic ruler [controversially against Joe Joyce] is staring at a scrap heap career.
Yoka entered the ring as a heavy favorite against Carlos Takam (40-7-1, 28 KOs). The home native was younger, taller, rangier, and fighting in front of his home crowd.
However, that pressure from the crowd also came at a price. Yoka needed a big win after being dominated by Martin Bakole in his previous fight.
Still, the prospect of Yoka losing to his 42-year-old veteran opponent seemed unlikely on paper.
A dominant Yoka showcase was expected, so the Parisian crowd’s surprise was palpable as the fight turned round by round into the complete opposite of what they had come to see.
The usually effective jab of Olympic medallist Yoka proved entirely lame against Takam. The underdog continually breezed past it. He got himself inside to work the body and close-range power shots.
Incredibly, the pace of the fight was dictated by a fighter twelve years older than his opponent.
Yoka vs Takam
With Yoka’s confidence apparently shot, Takam was able to bring all his experience to bear on, making it a bad night for the home fighter.
With Takam given free rein to work inside the range he wanted to, Yoka was bloodied and on the back foot in the final round.
He needed a knockout, but it was nowhere near coming. Takam was untroubled on his way to the decision victory.
The only sour note for Takam was his anxious wait as the scorecards were read out. Two judges had it for him, but the other somehow had the fight for Yoka, resulting in a win by split decision rather than unanimous.
Anything other than a win for Takam would have been a severe black eye for French boxing.
It’s a disastrous result for Yoka, who falls to 0-2 in his last two outings, with bad performances in both. He’s now 11-2, with nine KOs in his career and firmly on the scrap heap.