The Croatian giant Filip Hrgović, a true bogeyman of the top category, could finally have found an opponent willing to face him in the IBF final elimination. The Zagreb boxer has for many months been looking for a rival who would allow him to obtain, in case of victory, the role of official challenger to the world title which currently resides in the hands of Oleksandr Usyk. After the Cuban Luis Ortiz and the New Zealander Joseph Parker they had sent back the invitation from the IBF to sit at the negotiating table, but the French’s consent arrived Tony Yoka, gold medalist at the Rio 2016 Olympics and undefeated as a professional.
Filip Hrgović has so far played 14 shirtless matches, winning them all and closing 12 before the final bell. “El Animal” is characterized by a very considerable size being 198 centimeters high and weighing around 112 kilos. His brutal power, exploited above all through the direct right, allowed him to make his way through the rankings but at the same time made it increasingly difficult for him to search for prestigious opponents ready to cross gloves with him. Last year it was the American Michael Hunter to withdraw, considering the scholarship that had been proposed to him for elimination with the Croatian insufficient. The same reason given a few days ago by Joseph Parker, convinced that he has nothing to gain in fighting with a dangerous but medically weak boxer like Hrgović. Shortly before, it was Ortiz who called himself out, however, citing a reason for the great refusal alleged injury.
Yoka has a professional record similar to that of the Balkan athlete having easily passed 11 opponents and having stopped 9 before the limit. The French also has a amateur curriculum best having been world champion and Olympic champion in tank top. An interesting aspect to take into consideration is that to get to the bottom of the two tournaments, Yoka had to eliminate, among others, Hrgović, who was defeated in the quarter-finals of the Doha World Cup in 2015 and then passed again at the Rio 2016 Olympics, this time around. in the semifinal. It is therefore possible that the Frenchman has accepted to consider this match in the belief that he can repeat as a professional what he did brilliantly as an amateur.
The news of Yoka’s positive response was confirmed by Nisse Sauerland, co-promoter of Hrgović who declared on social media:
“Tony Yoka formally accepted tonight the challenge of facing Filip Hrgović in a final round for the IBF world heavyweight title. ‘El Animal’ has found a partner for the dance ”.
Now the federation will order the match and from that moment the teams of the two athletes will have fifteen days of time to find an agreement. Should they fail, we will proceed with the auction.
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