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Tony Yoka vs. Johann Duhaupas on September 25 in Paris, France


By Matt Lieberman: France’s Tony Yoka will be attempting to get his career back on track two months from now when he faces fellow countryman Johann Duhaupas in 12 round fight on September 25 in Paris, France. The venue is still yet to be determined for the clash.

The 2016 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Yoka (7-0, 6 KOs) is fighting for the second time since his one-year suspension by the French Anti-Doping Agency expired.

Yoka had missed three separate drug tests from July 2016 and July 2017. Although the 6’7″ Yoka appealed the subsequent suspension, it was denied by the French Council of State.

Yoka looked impressive in the last fight

Last year, Yoka, 28, returned to the ring and defeated German heavyweight
Michael Wallisch (20-4, 13 KOs) by a third-round knockout on September 28 in Nantes, France.

Yoka is currently ranked #10 by the IBF, and he needs to get his career going if he’s to live up to the high expectations that fans had of him when first turned pro.

The gold medal that Yoka won in the 2016 Olympics against Joe Joyce was controversial, seeing that a lot of boxing fans had the British heavyweight winning.

As a pro, Yoka’s best wins have come against David Allen, Alexander Dimitrenko, and Michael Wallisch.

The 39-year-old Duhaupas (38-5, 25 KOs) is coming off of a 2nd round knockout win over journeyman Luis Pascual last October. Before that, Duhaupas lost a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in April 2018. Duhaupas didn’t possess the work rate to keep up with the 304-pound ‘Big Baby’ Miller, who threw nonstop punches the entire 12 round fight to get the win.

Duhaupas challenged former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder for his title in September 2015 and lost by an 11th round knockout in a competitive fight. By no means was it an easy victory for the 6’7″ Bronze Bomber, but in the end, he turned up the head on Duhaupas and got him out of there in round 11.

The 6’5″ Duhaupas is an excellent fringe-level heavyweight, but he falls apart when he steps it up against the best. We’ve seen that happen in his losses to these fighters:

  • Alexander Povetkin
  • Deontay Wilder
  • Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller
  • Erkan Teper
  • Francesco Pianeta

Duhaupas fell apart against Povetkin

In easily the worst performance of Duhaupas’ career, he was stopped in six rounds by then 36-year-old Alexander Povetkin in December 2016 in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

Povetkin looked like he had found Ponce De Leon’s famed Fountain of Youth for that fight, as he fought like a guy in his early 20s and performed better than he had a decade earlier.

Against that version of Povetkin, Duhaupas stood no chance, and the same would apply for anyone in the heavyweight division. Povetkin looked like The Incredible Hulk that night and tore through Duhaupas like he was a speed bump.

Duhaupas’ best career wins have come against Manuel Charr and Robert Helenius. He showed power in stopping Helenius in the sixth round in April 2016 in a big upset.

Yoka is vulnerable against power punchers 

For Duhaupas to have a shot at beating Yoka, he’s got to take him into the deep end of the fight and look to stop him. Erislandy Savon brutally stopped Yoka in the second round in the 2011 World Amateur Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Also, Ali Eren Demirezen knocked Yoka out as well. There’s chin problem there that Yoka has, and it could be exposed by Duhaupas if he’s able to stick around long enough to land his shots.

Yoka’s chin problem may not keep him from beating Duhaupas on September 25, but it’s going to limit his success. If Yoka can’t take a shot without going to pieces, he’s not going anywhere in the pro ranks. Yoka needs to keep his guard up and stay out of range.

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