Barely enough time to step into the ring that Tony Yoka came down to raise his arms.
The Olympic heavyweight champion beat Johann Duhaupas in the first round by referee stoppage this Friday at the Paris Defense Arena.
An expeditious victory rich in lessons for the one who pursues his conquest of the title of world champion.
Did you expect such a quick victory?
I worked a lot to prepare for this evening.
I was expecting a very, very hard fight.
I know that against Johann Duhaupas, I passed a first big test and I did not expect to win in the first round.
The tactic was to test him from the start by throwing very heavy blows to see how he reacted.
In the end, I found the opening.
Are you fully satisfied?
I'm happy with the fight, happy to have been able to beat Duhaupas in the first round, which no one has ever done.
Johann is a great champion whom I respect enormously.
Did you have time to give it your all?
Yes, it was maximum power.
Johann, if he gets up and motivates himself, it's another fight.
I didn't want to give him that chance.
Are you not frustrated with winning so quickly?
Yes, because we are doing three months of preparation.
I ran a mess of 400 meters, I did lots of prep rounds but that's also how I won on the first round.
So this has all been very helpful.
What do you learn from such a speedy fight?
I learn that I hit hard, that I am able to take down an opponent like Duhaupas, which even Deonté Wilder failed to do.
I gain confidence in myself as the battles go on and I think it's time to step up a gear.
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Critics will say you beat a 39 year old boxer ...
But it was a big fight.
In France, we don't know boxing, we only know football.
When Klitschko boxed Joshua he was 41 years old and who had cried foul?
Foreman was 45 when he became world champion, so what?
In heavy, we reach maturity late.
I am only 28 years old.
Whistles greeted your entry into the room: did you hear them?
I didn't pay attention to it.
I know the public, they are tough, they expect a lot from me and it's nice to have support for a Franco-French fight.
Another French heavyweight came to challenge you in the ring, Raphaël Tronché.
How did you receive it?
Pfff… I don't calculate it.
We have been trying to mount this fight for two years.
Johann (Duhaupas) is a great champion, he has traveled.
Cheated, he did nothing.
Me, I tried to grow boxing in France to give everyone a chance and they spit on me.
I boxed Johann, I'm not going to come down to box Tronché.
What can you promise for the coming months?
Lots of fights if sanitary measures allow.
If we have to box in camera, we will box in camera but I must continue to box by doing 5 or 6 fights before next summer to be able to aim for something else next year.
In France or in the United States?
The Covid-19 forced us to stay in France but the borders will reopen.
I will also be able to box in England.
You just have to wait.
Do you have targets?
Several: now I can look ahead to aim for world tops.
I'm gaining strength and gaining confidence.
Although I would have preferred to test my limits.
I am asked all the time if I cash in, if I am fragile.