Hayemaker Ringstar signs Tony Yoka
By Gav Duthie: Super heavyweight Olympic gold medalist Tony Victor James Yoka is one of the first big names to sign with the newly formed promotional company Hayemaker Ringstar developed by David Haye and Richard Schaefer. Yoka who recently signed a TV deal upon turning professional with Canal+ for four years is said to be only the first of many big names to join this new venture.
Tony Yoka: Boxing Bio
For those who don’t know him Yoka is 24 years old won the Olympic gold medal in the Super Heavyweight division defeating British fighter Joe Joyce by split decision. He made history in France as his fiance Estelle Mossely had previously won a gold medal in the women’s lightweight division only days earlier. Yoka has been considered won of the best amateur boxers for a long time despite his young age. He first came to prominence in the Singapore youth Olympics in 2010 where he also won the Gold medal beating Joseph Parker, a current world champion, in the final. Yoka also won Gold at the amateur world championships in Doha in 2015.
Yoka is a big deal in France especially with his relationship with Mossely. France doesn’t have a huge pool of boxing talent so Yoka won’t have many to compete with. They have never had a heavyweight world champion with Jean Marc Mormeck coming closest as a cruiserweight champion. France’s biggest name boxer is probably Marcel Cerdan who died tragically in 1949. If Yoka can redeploy his amateur skills to the pro ranks the sky is the limit for him. This could be a good signing for the new promotional company as it will show they can compete in all markets not just the UK and U.S.
Yoka usually weighs in at around 200-205lbs so it is feasible that he may start his career at Cruiserweight. Of course the best opportunities will be at the top weight though. Yoka has a very amateur style. He has a fast jab, moves well and is a counter puncher. Many top amateurs and Olympic champions like Audley Harrison don’t transfer well to professional. Yoka has a low punch economy and I would argue he could have lost both his Olympic semi final against Filipe Hrgovic and final against Joe Joyce due to being outworked. He has good speed and a nice punch selection but only time will tell whether he can dig in over 12 rounds in a tough contest.
I will watch his career and the reign of this new promotional company with great interest. Both have the potential to be great but also to not succeed. I hope its the former for both.