The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Boxing: for Tony Yoka, the end of the last illusions

2023-12-10T08:38:06.452Z

Highlights: Boxing: for Tony Yoka, the end of the last illusions. Helpless and powerless against Ryad Merhy, the Frenchman conceded a third defeat in a row on Saturday at Roland-Garros. Two gave his opponent a 94-<> victory while the third went in his favor by the same score. Yoka has lost his way for years in his boxing, in the management of his career and in the choice of his opponents. But it is the whole of French boxing that comes out with the losing this evening.


Helpless and powerless against Ryad Merhy, the Frenchman conceded a third defeat in a row on Saturday at Roland-Garros.


Sitting on a small chair at the foot of the ring on which he tries to fit his 110 kg and two meters zero one, with a blank look and a marked face around his right eye, Yoka whispers into the microphone handed to him by Canal+. "I don't understand. With the team, I thought we had done enough to win, even if he (Ryad Mehry, editor's note) had some good sequences. I thought I controlled most of the fight with my jab. I don't necessarily understand...

»

A few moments earlier in front of about 6000,96 spectators on the Philippe-Chatrier court, the Frenchman had conceded another defeat, his third in a row in the heavyweight category, against a Belgian who was well within his reach on paper and who came from the lightweight category. A setback on points, by decision of the judges. Two gave his opponent a 94-<> victory while the third went in his favor by the same score.

«

There was so much pressure around this fight with a new coach and a new team. I told myself that we were going to do enough to win and I really thought I had done enough. (...) There have been so many changes... We were aiming for the win, even if it wasn't a very big victory, to get back on track. I don't even know what to say," the Rio 2016 Olympic champion whispered, lost.

A hot analysis that preceded his coach's intervention on air. Don Charles came to challenge the judges' decision at the microphone of the speaker. "I'd like to know what the judges are looking at. Do they count the shots that are blocked? I'd like to know? 95% of the blows were blocked by Tony's arms. I've been in boxing for a long time and I'm very embarrassed by this count. We need an explanation," lamented the Briton, who felt that Yoka's jabs had made the difference.

However, there was no photo. The verdict is relentlessly logical as Yoka showed almost nothing during the ten rounds. "From the first round, you're going to understand what's going to happen," the Frenchman warned just before stepping into the ring. The public quickly understood that nothing or almost nothing had changed in Yoka's boxing despite the arrival of this new trainer, even though he was a heavyweight specialist. Troubled by the explosiveness of his opponent's small frame, the Habs were all too rarely able to assert their reach by relying on his direct left and a right that never destabilized Merhy when it touched.

Falling back, not daring to take risks and totally lacking initiative (and desire?), Yoka never managed to accelerate, even being regularly countered by the Belgian who likes short sequences and advanced like a battering ram towards his opponent. In the corner, the trainer kept asking Yoka to be less wait-and-see as the rounds went by. "Come on champion, the heart of the lion," he even shouted before the last round, appealing to the pride of his colt, who was then without a solution with the gloves. To no avail.

Regardless of the verdict, in the end, victory would have changed almost nothing. On Saturday night, Yoka (11 wins, including 9 before the limit and 3 defeats on points) showed too many shortcomings to be able to claim a leading role in the premier class. This setback seemed to sound the death knell of a career. Maybe not that of the professional boxer who could continue for many more years (he is only 31 years old and the heavyweight maturity is late) but of a contender for a world belt, certainly, even if anything is possible in boxing.

We've already seen improbable turnarounds, boxers who have reached the highest level when they didn't necessarily have the skills. Others also came to the top much later than expected, but at a time when the heavyweight division was much less dense with very high-level boxers. "We're going to talk to my team, I don't think that's the question right now," Yoka said when asked about his future and possible retirement.

On Sunday, the Frenchman's detractors were jubilant. Some, who praised him after his promising triumph in Rio seven years ago, boasted on social media, singing the same refrain of "I told you so!" Yes, Yoka has lost his way for years in his boxing, in the management of his career, in the choice of his opponents. But it is the whole of French boxing that comes out losing this evening with the fall of this flag bearer who had managed to turn on the light around his sport cruelly lacking promoters of stature and media support in France, television in particular. The champion's future seems uncertain, even if he still has a fight to go with the contract linking him to Canal+. It is highly likely that at the end of it, the encrypted chain will stop the fees with the noble art.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-12-10

Similar news:

You may like

Sports 2023-12-08T22:18:40.116Z

Trends 24h

Latest

© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.