Tony Joka, out of the ring since defeating Martin Baccole in May 2022 (his first match among the pros), will face veteran Carlos Takam in Paris on March 11 . Speaking to L’Equipe, the French heavyweight admitted he has “no room for error”.
He is back. Nearly ten months after his first professional loss, in which he was beaten ten rounds by Congolese slugger Martin Bakole after kneeling in the first round, Toniyoka is back.
The winner, who has 11 victories since his professional debut, including the first nine in limited play, will return to action in Paris on March 11 with veteran Carlos Takam A big battle. The 42-year-old boxer (39 wins, including 28 wins, 1 draw, 7 losses) and the 2016 Olympic champion will have a lot to prove. If he goes on to two losses, one to Russian Arslanbek Makhmudov and one to Briton Joe Joyce due to a referee’s suspension, Takam still represents a danger to the heavyweights.
“I have to work three times as much”
He excelled against then-WBA and IBF champion Anthony Joshua in 2017, only to be defeated in the tenth round with only ten days to prepare. Yuka knew, he was looking forward to it. “I have no room for error. But I don’t want to talk about last chance or redemption,” he told L’Equipe in an interview in which he admitted the loss to Barclay was his trademark.
“I started doubting myself all over again. It’s hard for me to take risks. I’ve built a successful character. You trust the power of your fists, and then suddenly there’s a guy that doesn’t work for him. It’s complicated to have your mind. It took me a Months to regain confidence,” he admitted, while explaining that he should have “called off” the fight because preparations had been marred by a severe nose injury.
“When you lose, you shut up. No need to make excuses like David Haye, who showed his toes (in 2011, after his loss to Wladimir Klitschko). Damn !I should have called off the match, I didn’t so I assumed”, continued Yoka, who was sure he had enough weapons to win against Takam today. “The boxing talent I gained was not enough, I had to make sacrifices and try three times harder. This fight against Takam has to help me come back stronger,” Yuka insisted. At 30, he doesn’t want to waste any more time. Not to mention top 10 in the world.