Trainer Don Charles Believes Tony Yoka’s “Resurrection” Could Lead To Olympic Final Rerun Against Joe Joyce

Trainer Don Charles is hoping the future might hold a rematch from the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight final.

Charles coaches French heavyweight contender Tony Yoka, who won a controversial decision over Joe Joyce at the Rio Games, with many believing Joyce unlucky on the scorecards.

Yoka is 11-3 (9 KOs) and has lost his last three fights, to Martin Bakole, Carlos Takam, and Ryad Merhy. Bakole beat Yoka via a majority decision, while the other two verdicts were split decisions. 

Yoka linked up with Charles before the Merhy bout, but now the trainer is hoping Yoka will box for the first time in the U.K. in May.

 “He’s always fought in France since he won the Olympics, he’s had 14 fights now, but he’s living in England now and we’re trying to get him to fight in England,” said Charles.

“He wants to resurrect his career, because it took a bit of a dip.”

Charles has had a long association with veteran heavyweight Derek Chisora, and he also trains heavyweight contender Daniel Dubois, who is coming off the biggest win of his career having stopped Jarrell Miller in Saudi Arabia in December.

While Charles is open to the idea of a Joyce-Dubois rematch (Joyce beat Dubois, who suffered an eye injury, when they boxed in 2020), Charles is also intrigued by a rerun of the 2016 Rio Olympic final.

“There’s a fight right there in the future for Tony Yoka, because he [Yoka] got given the gold in Rio, [and] so many, including myself, believe Joe won that fight in Rio,” Charles added. 

“That’s a great rematch right there; Joe Joyce and Tony Yoka. I think people will be interested in that, and that could be a great fight in the future.”

Yoka has already been written off by many in the pros after 14 fights and 91 professional rounds. 

The 6ft 7in 31-year-old from Paris is seen by Charles as a project, someone he needs to make plenty of improvements to as he continues to adjust to life as a professional. Charles still has high hopes for Yoka, too.

“Yes, because he’s over here now,” Charles continued. “He’s been with us for four-and-a-half months. We’re trying to restructure him. He’s never really made that transition, in my opinion, to fight as a pro. He’s beat [Joseph] Parker, he’s beat [Filip] Hrgovic and Joe Joyce in the amateurs. Guys he had success with in the amateurs, look where they are now. He’s far, far from where he should be as a super heavyweight gold medallist, so the aim is to get him to make that transition of fighting more like a pro than an amateur just scoring points, and people will see the changes that we are making stylistically.”