Heavyweight Tony Yoka Returns
Against Christian Hammer This Friday
Tony Yoka, the dynamic heavyweight punching Parisian, aims
to impress in his ESPN platform debut. Yoka, who won a super
heavyweight gold medal for France at the 2016 Rio Olympics,
will fight veteran Christian Hammer in a 10-rounder Friday
at H Arena in Nantes, France.
Yoka-Hammer will stream live and exclusively this Friday,
Nov. 27 in the United States on ESPN+ beginning at 2:55 p.m.
ET/11:55 a.m. PT. The ESPN+ stream will also include the
return of unbeaten 2016 French Olympic gold medalist Estelle
Yoka-Mossely against Pasa Malagic in an eight-round
lightweight bout. Yoka and Yoka-Mossely, who have been
married since 2018, welcomed their second child in May.
Earlier this year, Yoka inked a promotional agreement with
Top Rank, which will co-promote him with Ringstar France.
“Tony Yoka’s potential is limitless, and he is a grounded
young man who is motivated to be a great professional
fighter,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “France has never
had a world heavyweight champion, and I believe Tony is the
one to bring the sport’s biggest honor home.”
The 28-year-old Yoka’s stellar amateur run included a berth
at the 2012 London Olympics and gold medals at the 2015
World Championships and 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Before his
triumph in Rio, he’d already defeated the likes of former
heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker and current
undefeated prospects Joe Joyce and Ivan Dychko. At the Rio
Olympics, he defeated Croatian standout Filip Hrgović in the
semifinals and edged Joyce in the gold medal match.
As a professional, Yoka (8-0, 7 KOs) made his debut in June
2017 with a second-round stoppage over the previously
undefeated Travis Clark. Apart from a decision win over
Jonathan Rice in his second outing, Yoka has stopped every
foe, including durable Englishman David “White Rhino” Allen
and former European champion Alexander Dimitrenko. He made
his 2020 debut Sept. 25 and stopped former world title
challenger Johann Duhaupas in one round.
Hammer (25-6, 15 KOs) has fought many of the leading
heavyweight names during his 12-year career, falling short
against Tyson Fury, Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin. He’s
notched myriad upset victories, including a highlight-reel
knockout over David Price and a 2016 split decision over
Erkan Teper for the WBO European belt. In March 2019, he
went the 10-round distance against Ortiz and has not been
stopped since Fury forced him to retire on his stool after
eight rounds in their February 2015 clash.