Tony Yoka in negotiations with Top Rank, expected to sign with them
By Mark Eisner: 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka (7-0, 6 KOs) is in negotiations with Top Rank Promotions to sign with them potentially, according to RMCSport. If the 6’7″ Yoka joins Top Rank’s stable, it would give promoter Bob Arum a key heavyweight to build on for the future.
Despite huge expectations after turning professional in 2017, Yoka’s career hasn’t taken off. Part of the reason for that is Yoka was banned for a year from 2018 to 2019 by the French Anti-Doping Agency after missing several drug tests between 1916 and 1917.
Yoka would give Top Rank’s heavyweight stable a big boost
Yoka is reportedly close to signing with the American promotional giant Top rank. If Yoka inks with Top Rank, he would join lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Kubrat Pulev as part of their stable. A fight against Fury would be a likely possibility in the near future for Yoka, and there would be a lot of interest worldwide in that match. Arum is also looking to sign Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller to his Top Rank stable.
“We are here to speak to our good friend Tony Yoka. A manager we know well and who works with us, James Prince, has just signed Yoka. He would like us to take care of promoting Tony to bring it up to the world championship, “said Arum to RMC Sport.
If Yoka signs with Top Rank, he’ll be fighting in the U.S in his next contest in the spring. This would be the first fight for Yoka as a professional in the United States, as his previous bouts as a pro have all taken place in his native France.
Arum is upbeat about the possibility of signing Yoka, and he feels that he’ll be able to get it one. He’s not saying who he’ll match Yoka against in his U.S debut, but it’ll likely be someone with respectable talent that the American boxing fans are familiar with.
Arum planning on having Yoka fight in U.S in spring
“Tony is an incredible young boy, very intelligent and we hope to see him fighting in the United States in the spring under the banner Top Rank,” said Arum on Yoka.
In Yoka’s last fight, he stopped Michael Wallisch in the 3rd round last September in France. Before that, Yoka stopped Alexander Dimitrenko in the 3rd round last year.
In the 2016 Olympics, Yoka defeated Filip Hrgovic and Joe Joyce to win the gold medal. Yoka’s narrow 2-1 win over Joyce was controversial, as some boxing fans felt that Joyce had done enough to deserve the victory.