Yoka accepts IBF eliminator against Hrgovic

Promoter Kalle Sauerland has confirmed that on Thursday night heavyweight Tony Yoka (11-0, 9 KOs) formally accepted in writing the challenge to fight Filip Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs) in a final IBF final eliminator for the heavyweight world title. Yoka accepted the fight after Luis Ortiz and Joeseph Parker passed on the opportunity.

Yoka won a split decision over Hrgovic in the 2016 Rio Olympics en route to winning the gold medal. The Yoka-Hrgovic winner will become the mandatory challenger to Oleksandr Usyk, who is slated to meet Anthony Joshua in an April rematch.

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    • Yup… two young hungry fighters not afraid to take a tough opponent. I’ll pick Hrgovic, but no argument against anyone taking Yoka.

      • Relatively untested and unknown Hrgovic has a list of 14-opponents that reads like a “Who’s He” rather than a “Who’s Who”, with 39yo, 8-times kayoed Eric Molina the only VERY faintly-known name. Hrgovic’s people, tried to attract some interest in the bout by offering dangerous come-backing Heavyweight World Champ, Joe Parker, and the highly-regarded, experienced and capable Luis Ortiz, a no-interest, no-win offer for paltry buck$. Understandably, Parker and Ortiz rejected it, citing injuries.
        But Parker vs Ortiz, definitely.

  • Good for you Tony! No reason not to accept it in your position if you have confidence in yourself. According to boxrec, he went 2-1 against Hrgovic in the amateurs and there’s no reason for him to think he won’t beat him again. Good fight.

    • Don’t know if you watched the Olympic match between these two, but Hrgovic beat the hell out of Yoka and got robbed by two of the judges.
      Yoka seemed a bit unsteady from Hrgovic’s punches too, so my money is on a late TKO by the Croatian.

      • I have not seen it, I just found it on YT though, so I’m going to watch it. My point was that Yoka is familiar enough with Hrgovic to know whether or not he should be confident enough to take this fight – that is presuming that they’re not paying him crazy money to do it.

      • I hadn’t seen the Olympic match between Hrgovic & Yoka either until just now. Looked like Hrgovic won all 3 rounds IMO. Don’t know how they saw that any other way. Still a very interesting match-up between these two.

        • I had the sound down and after the first round noticed it was all three judges for one fighter, didn’t realized that they had all voted for Yoka until the last round. The second round was competitive but it looked like Yoka faded towards the end, I’d give Hrgovic all three rounds as well.

      • I just watched the 2016 fight. Yoka was down in the final round and they gave him extra time to recover and didn’t call it a knockdown. One of the worst most crooked decisions I’ve ever seen…in other words exactluy the same as most olympic and pro boxing judge decisions.

    • “Chickened out” is a silly comment.
      The arrogant Hrgovic’s challenge was a cheeky one, and a no-win option for no reward for the proven and experienced ex-world champ Joe Parker, and the experienced and respected Luis Ortiz. Both men would have been heavily favoured against Hrgovic.
      I hope Tony Yoka kayoes the Croat!

  • Alright! If this fight does not get done you can bet it was Yoka that skuttles it. Hopefully, this fight comes off as it seems a good event on paper.

  • Between boxing politics, slimy promoters and Covid scariants I am not sure this fight happens. Boxing will usually shoot itself in the foot.

  • Good fight. As pros Hrgovic and Yoka will have 12 rounds to sort out who is actually the better fighter.

  • At last the arrogant Filip Hgrovic has found an even greener fellow novice in Tony Yoka to fight after Joseph Parker and Luis Ortiz both understandably rejected the cheeky Croat’s no-win offer.

  • Very very very interesting fight between two young and unbeaten heavyweight contenders. I will not miss it !!!

  • I hope Tony Yoka wins. Not sure he can stand the pressure from Filip Hrgovic over the rounds.

    Tony Yoka has developed more as a professional I think and the competition he has faced has more quality. Hopefully that will be decisive in his favour.

    Interesting fight.

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