2016 Olympic gold medalist and heavyweight contender Tony Yoka (11-1), hopes to get back into the winner's circle against Carlos Takam on March 11th following his maiden defeat to Martin Bakole in May of last year. Yoka was ultimately outclassed and outfought, losing a majority decision win to the Scottish-based Congolese heavyweight in Paris. Yoka admitted that he didn't prepare well for his fight with Bakole and had just concluded divorce proceedings at the time of the Bakole fight when speaking to Canal+.
"I was in a bad patch after my divorce (with Estelle Mossely, also a professional fighter), I found myself in the United States. I missed my children terribly. I experienced it very badly. I asked myself, 'why are you doing all this?', I trained without knowing why. Nothing was right. In the first round against Bakole, my nose broke. I was seeing double."
Now Yoka finds himself impatient and eager to put the defeat against Bakole behind him. (Speaking to cnews.fr)
"I am impatient. I've been waiting for this fight for a while. Initially, I was told it would happen in January, February and finally, March. So I stayed in the United States to prepare, but I was in a hurry to return to the ring. I want to come away with a victory. We will say that the last stage of this mourning (following the defeat to Bakole) is Saturday. I want to look back on a great victory."
Tony also insists that he has a point to prove following his defeat to Bakole. He aims to show that he has put the time in the gym with Virgil Hunter and was not interested in a minor comeback fight against a lower-level opponent.
"I want to show that I have worked hard. I have suffered a loss, but I want to show that i can bounce back. In boxing, it's complicated when you come out of a defeat like I had last year. But I had time to make the right preparations and improvements in the gym and with my coach. I didn't want to come back with a comeback fight, I wanted to come back with a tough meaningful fight."
Tony feels his fight against Carlos Takam (39-7-1) will encourage more French fighters to face each other while feeling the night will be memorable for French boxing.
"There will be my supporters, his, the public will be divided and not just for me. That's exciting. It's nice to have a Franco-French fight. Often French boxers avoid each other, I don't understand why. He knows the game, it is happening on Saturday and that's very good for the sport here (in France). We have to bring back big fights here along with big victories".