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Boxing Results: Tony Yoka destroys Johann Duhaupas in 1st round TKO

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By Charles Brun: 2016 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Tony Yoka (8-0, 7 KOs) did quick work of former world title challenger Johann ‘The Reptile” Duhaupas (38-6, 25 KOs) in knocking him out in the first round on Friday night in a scheduled 12-round fight at the La Defense Arena, in Nanterre, France.

Yoka, 28, knocked the 6’5″ Duhaupas down twice in the round before referee Jerome Lades waived it off. The fight was halted after Yoka dropped Duhaupas with a nice right-hand uppercut to the head that dumped him on his backside.

Even if Duhaupas had been allowed to continue, he was too hurt to carry on. When he did get back up, he looked shaken and not in the position to continue.

Yoka chose to fight in close

What was odd about the fight was how the 6’7″ Yoka stayed on the inside and fought Duhaupas at close quarters rather than using his slight height advantage to fight outside.

It worked well for Yoka to stay inside, as he was able to pound Duhaupas with repeated right hands to the back of the head. Duhaupas had no defense for the rabbit punches that Yoka was hitting him with during the round.

The first knockdown came from a right uppercut, followed by a right to the back of the head by Yoka. Duhaupas got up on shaky legs and walked over to his corner and was given the green light by the referee to continue fighting.

After the action resumed, Yoka went right hand crazy, hitting Duhaupas with nonstop right hands to the head. Although he was nothing but right hands, Yoka did an excellent job of mixing up the angles on the shots.

In what was a cheap shot, Yoka hit Duhaupas with an uppercut after he’d gone down an gotten back up. It was blatant, and the referee failed to address the clear foul on Yoka’s part.

But then again, the referee wasn’t stopping the rabbit punches that Yoka was hitting Duhaupas with, so it wasn’t surprising that he failed to warn or penalize him for the foul after he’d been knocked down.

It looked terrible on Yoka’s part to foul Duhaupas, but it didn’t have any bearing on the fight. Duhaupas had zero chance of winning the battle even if the referee had taken a point off from Yoka.

Not an impressive performance by Tony

All in all, Yoka looked decent, but not great and not even close. The way he was fighting, he wouldn’t stand a chance against any of the quality heavyweights in the division. Yoka is too one dimensional with his offense.

For some reason, Yoka only throws right hands, and he’s not a massive puncher like Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua. Also, Yoka will be vulnerable if he tries some of the shorter heavyweights on the inside. They’ll be able to reach him with their shots, and they’re capable of using both hands, not just their right.

It’s unclear why Yoka failed to use his left during the fight, but he didn’t need to in this case. Duhaupas was overmatched completely in this fight.

The loss for the 39-year-old  Duhaupas was his second in his last three fights and a clear sign that he’s not the fighter he once was. While some boxing fans will point out that it took former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 11 rounds to knockout Duhaupas in 2015, but that was a younger version of him.

Additionally, Wilder wasn’t hitting Duhaupas with the rabbit punches the way Yoka was tonight. A lot has changed with Duhaups in the last five years since his loss to Wilder.

Top Rank can get Yoka some big fights

With Yoka now signed with Top Rank, maybe they’ll be able to plug him in with guys Otto Wallin. I’m sure Yoka would like a title shot against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. That’s not going to happen anytime soon, as Fury has a busy schedule facing Deontay Wilder next, and then Joshua twice in 2021.

From what this writer saw of Yoka tonight, it would be a good idea to keep him away from some of the British heavyweights like Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois, or Dillian Whyte. Yoka would likely lose to all of them, including Dereck Chisora. I’d favor Filip Hrgovic to beat Yoka s well.

As an amateur, Yoka was a pretty decent heavyweight, but those were short duration fights. Yeah, Yoka won a gold medal in 2016, but it was a controversial win over Joe Joyce.

A lot of boxing fans felt that Joyce was robbed of a victory. I had Joyce winning that fight without any problems. Yoka ran out of gas and was worn out by the body, punching that Joyce did in the contest.

Yoka doesn’t look as good as he was in the Olympics. He’s gained weight and now has visible fat hanging on his midsection. Perhaps the lockdown weight that Yoka has put on.

Whatever it is, Yoka doesn’t appear to be the same fighter he once was four years ago, and he’s done nothing since turning pro in 2017. Yoka’s career is going at a glacial pace, and he’s wasted the last three years without fighting anybody of note.

Yoka has been brought along slowly

As an Olympic gold medalist, Yoka shouldn’t have been babied by his management the way they have because he doesn’t need to fight fodder opposition year after year without progressing.

When Yoka turned pro in 2017, his promoters should have put him in with Otto Wallin, Oscar Rivas, and Michael hunter right away. Instead, Yoka has burned through three years of his career fighting these guys:

  • Michael Wallisch
  • Alexander Dimitrenko
  • Cyril Leonet
  • Dave Allen
  • Ali Baghouz
  • Jonathan Rice
  • Johann Duhaupas
  • Travis Clark

Yoka had a hard time beating Jonathan Rice in 2017. I remember watching that fight and had Yoka barely winning four rounds to two.

He was given as six-round unanimous decision, but he looked terrible. The thing is, that was a better version of Yoka than what we saw tonight. Yoka wasn’t flabby back then, and he looked a lot better.

If Top Rank is careful with Yoka, they might keep him winning long enough to put him in with Fury to give him an opponent in a couple of years.

Fury is a much better fighter than Yoka, but it would give ‘The Gypsy King’ someone to fight once he runs out of top opposition. But if Top Rank puts Yoka in with a decent heavyweight like Whyte, Alexander Povetkin, or Dubois, I see him losing badly.


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