By Craig Daly: Former heavyweight world title challenger Carlos Takam (40-7-1, 28 KOs) showed that he still has a lot left in the tank with a decisive 10 round split decision victory over 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka (11-2, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at the Zenith de Paris-La Villette, Paris XIX.
The scores were 96-94, 96-94 for Takam, and 96-94 for Yoka. Boxing News 24 scored it for Takam 100-90.
This has to be viewed as the end of Yoka’s career because this loss was a clear-cut sign that he’s not cut out for the pro game.
It’s one thing getting dominated by a highly ranked contender like Martin Bakole, as we saw last May in Yoka’s defeat against the British fighter, but getting easily beaten in the same one-sided manner by the 42-year-old Takam, that could be all she wrote.
After the fight, Yoka looked like he was about to cry. Takam walked over and tried to console Yoka, but it was useless.
The Frenchman was deeply upset and couldn’t be cheered up. How Yoka lost, the fight hit home, likely making him realize that he doesn’t have what it takes to fight professionally.
Yoka was booed loudly by the crowd after the fight when he raised his arms as if he’d won the contest. The crowd saw the 6’7″ Yoka as the loser, and they weren’t going to indulge him by giving him praise for his poor performance.
Yoka looked extremely timid the entire fight, as he was still haunted by his loss to Martin Bakole last year. He lost that fight by a 10 round majority decision, but the judges were generous in scoring the contest close as if it had been competitive.
Like tonight, Yoka appeared to lose all 10 rounds against Bakole, yet the judges had it close. Tonight, Yoka stayed on the move, flicking jabs and dodging the wide swings from the shorter 6’2″ Takam.
Considering how defensive Yoka was, he did a fairly good job of avoiding many of Takm’s best shots, but the only way he could do that was to give up the rounds by failing to throw punches. It was as if Yoka was playing dodge and was intent on not getting clipped by Takam so that he could finish the fight on his feet.
Yoka was cut over his left eye from a big shot in the rounds, and he seemed to fight even more defensively after that, not wanting to take further damage.
Whatever chance Yoka had of winning the fight, he wasted it by running & holding for the entire 10 round contest. Even in the final round, Yoka stayed on the move and tied up Takam when he would get near enough to land his big shots.