Announced: Tony Yoka vs. Carlos Takam on Jan.15th in Paris, France
By Matt Lieberman: Unbeaten 2016 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Tony Yoka will face former world title challenger Carlos Takam on January 15th in Parison, France.
The four-year professional Yoka (11-0, 9 KOs) had previously been scheduled to face Martin Bakole, which would have been a tough fight for the 6’7″ French fighter, but now he’s facing 40-year-old Takam.
Although Takam (39-6-1, 28 KOs) is up there in age, he could give Yoka problems with his power and experience. However, Takam is coming off a sixth round knockout loss to Joe Joyce last summer on July 24th in London, England.
Takam’s last win came a year and a half ago when he defeated journeyman Jerry Forrest by a 10 round unanimous decision in July 2020.
Takam landed some good shots before being worn down and stopped by the much bigger 6’6,” 248-lb Joyce. That defeat for Takam interrupted a four-fight winning streak that had stretched back to 2018.
This didn’t look like the same Takam that had given Anthony Joshua problems in 2017, beaten Tony Thompson in 2014, and fought to a 10 round draw against Mike Perez in the same year.
Takam can still punch as good as ever, but his ability to take punishment doesn’t look the same.
The 6’7″ Yoka, ranked #6 IBF, #11 WBC, #15 WBO, has been taking things slowly with his career despite having captured a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics.
It’s difficult to understand why Yoka’s handlers are moving him so slowly because he should have been fighting higher-level opposition by now. Is Yoka having a difficult time during his sparring sessions?
That would be a logical assumption to come to in trying to understand why Yoka’s management is moving him at such a slow glacial pace in his career.
Takam has seen it all during his 16-year professional career, having challenged former IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2017 in a losing effort, and faces Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora, Tony Thomson, Joe Joyce, and Alexander Povetkin.
At this point in Takam, Yoka can’t use him to compare how he’ll do against a fighter like Joshua because that fight took place a long time ago when Carlos was still fighting at a high level.
What we’ve seen from Takam lately suggests that he’s far removed from the form he had when he fought Joshua, Thompson, and Mike Perez many yesterdays ago.
Yoka has recent wins over these fighters: Joel Tambwe Djeko, Petar Milas, Johann Duhaupas, Christian Hammer and Michael Wallisch.
As I mentioned, Takam can still punch, and he’s not afraid to let his hands go. We don’t know how well Yoka can take a punch at the pro level because his opposition has been too poor and weak to test his chin.
Fighting for France, we know in the amateur ranks that Yoka was good enough to handle the power of Joe Joyce, Filip Hrgovic, Roberto Cammarelle, and Ivan Dychko.
However, when Yoka was tested by Cuban talent Erislandy Savon, he was knocked out in the second round, a fight that showed that his chin could be dented.
Yoka, 29, will be the favorite in this fight Takam for a good reason. He’s younger, bigger, and fighting at home in Paris, France. However, if Takam can land his shots on Yoka the way Erislandy Savon did, he could take him out in a similar fashion.
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