“ I don’t understand“, he admitted on the microphone of Canal+, while he was stunned standing, staring into space. Clearly marked for this new defeat – the third in a row – Tony Yoka could not hide his disappointment at the end of his fight against the Belgian Ryad Merhy, winner on points Saturday evening at Roland-Garros.He’s a good boxer, that’s why we chose him. But I thought I did enough to win. I don’t necessarily understand. But it’s the boxe,” he had already thrown into the ring.
Depressed, Tony Yoka was noted as rarely seconds after learning the decision of the three judges. The latter unanimously gave victory (96-94, 96-94, 96-94) to the Brussels boxer, who was only competing in his third heavyweight fight. And the Rio 2016 Olympic champion was amazed. “ With the team, we thought we did enough to win. He did some good combos but I thought I controlled most of the fight with my jab. I don’t necessarily understand“, he explained again on Canal+, on the verge of tears.
We aimed for victory, even if it wasn’t a big victory, to move forward
For this new meeting at Roland-Garros, Tony Yoka knew he was playing big. Very big even. After his two defeats against Martin Bakole and Carlos Takam, he decided to change everything. His coach, his team and his place of life. Now trained by Don Charles in the United Kingdom, he wants to make this fight the beginning of his reconquest. “ There was so much pressure around this fight, with a new coach and a new team. he explained. But now he seemed to be under just that pressure.
Faced with a lesser opponent, Yoka never managed to start the evening. Mehry placed powerful shots against the Habs’ less-than-impeccable guard. And the 2016 Olympic champion ultimately failed to change pace to really gain the upper hand over his opponent. “ It’s hard. I thought it was going to be different. We aimed for victory, even if it wasn’t a big victory, to move forwardsaid.
And now ?
Seeing his protégé on the ropes even as he took stock of this missed meeting, his coach Don Charles tried to help him on Canal+ by deploring the evening’s refereeing. “I am very confused by this judgment. That’s not how we judge in boxing,” declared Daniel Dubois’s trainer, who recently put world champion Oleksandr Usyk in difficulty. .
But now the damage is done. And while Yoka can blame himself for failing to truly take control of this fight, the question now inevitably arises: what will he do after this extra slap? The one too many? “ We will discuss it with my team. I don’t think that’s the question to ask now. “, he said. But with this reconquest operation which is nipped in the bud and a record now of 11 victories for 3 defeats, this new disillusionment is a new setback which can be definitive for the 31-year-old Parisian.