Tony Yoka vs Carlos Takam Preview March 11th, 2023
Heavyweight hopeful and former Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka of France takes on veteran Carlos Takam of Cameroon this Saturday, March 11th. The 10-rounder from Yoka’s hometown of Paris can be seen live on ESPN+ in America while those in the UK can catch it on Sky Sports Action and Canadian fans can see it on on the TSN+ streaming service. Yoka last fought in May when he dropped a 10-round majority decision to Martin Bakole while Takam lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Arslanbek Makhmudov in September his last time out.
Yoka vs Takam Betting Odds
- Carlos Takam +400
- Tony Yoka -600
The 30-year-old Yoka has basically flown under the radar since turning pro in 2017 but has been pretty impressive the ring so far with a mark of 11-1 with 9 Ko’s. He fought in the 2012 Olympics in London and then beat Joe Joyce of England for the super heavyweight gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also defeated Croatia’s heavyweight hopeful Filip Hrgovic at the Games.
Yoka had also beaten Hrgovic and Joyce at the 2015 World Amateur Championships in Qatar on his way to the gold medal. There’s no doubt Yoka was a fine amateur but he’s fought just 71 rounds as a pro against limited-quality opposition. The reason for his lack of rounds is the fact he’s stopped everybody he’s faced other than Bakole, Jonathan Rice and Christian Hammer. Rice took him the six-round distance in Yoka’s second pro outing in 2017 and Hammer went 10 rounds with him in November, 2020.
All 12 of Yoka’s opponents have had winning records at least and he’s also stopped Travis Clark, Ali Baghouz, Cyril Leonet, Dave Allen, Alexander Dimitrenko, Michael Wallisch and Johann Duhaupas. He hasn’t taken on the elite of the division by any means, but has gradually been stepping up in class and will arguably be doing so against Takam this weekend. Yoka’s got more than enough power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 75 per cent and also has the size to be successful at 6-feet-7-inches tall with an 82-inch reach.
Takam is now 42 years old and fought out of France for awhile but now resides in America. He made a name for himself in October, 2017 when he was stopped in 10 rounds by Anthony Joshua in an attempt to wrest the WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight belts from him. He was then stopped by Dereck Chisora in the eighth round in his next outing nine months later for the vacant WBA International Heavyweight Title. He’s boxed 255 rounds since his pro debut in 2005 and has built up a record of 39-7-1 with 28 Ko’s.
He also enjoyed a fine amateur career as he boxed at the 2004 Olympics for his homeland in Athens, Greece and competed at several major tournaments in Africa. Takam stands just over 6-feet-1-inch tall with an 80.5-inch reach which means he gives up six inches in height to Yoka bust just 1.5-inches in reach. Takam also possesses pretty good power with a current knockout ratio of 59.6 per cent with 28 of his 39 wins coming by stoppage.
His other pro losses have come to Joe Joyce by sixth-round TKO in 2021, Alexander Povetkin by10th-round KO in 2014, an eight-round unanimous decision to Gregory Tony in 2009 and a close 12-round unanimous decision to Joseph Parker in May, 2016. His lone draw was a 10-round majority decision with Mike Perez in 2014. He’s been stopped in four of his seven defeats so doesn’t really have the greatest of chins in the division.
The biggest wins of Takam’s career have been over the likes of Jerry Forrest, Senad Gashi, Marcelo Luiz Nascimento, Franz Botha, Michael Sprott, Tony Thompson and Michael Grant. He stopped Marcin Rekowski in the fourth round in 2017 for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight Belt and his unanimous decision over Thompson was for the vacant WBC Silver Heavyweight Title. He stopped Grant in eight rounds for the WBF Heavyweight Strap in 2013, halted Botha in 11 rounds in 2012 for the vacant WBF International Title and is also a former WBO African Heavyweight champ.
Takam has the style, energy and power to cause some problems for Yoka but so far Yoka has displayed a pretty good chin. However, he looked quite lethargic in his loss to Bakole last year. Yoka has had a slow-moving pro career up until now and a loss to Takam would be his second straight and that could seriously derail him. I’m expecting Takam to give Yoka all he can handle but believe Yoka will prevail in the end.
Yoka’s power should do the trick.
Play: Yoka -600 @ BetOnline.ag
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