By Huck Allen: Joseph Parker has turned down the IBF heavyweight title eliminator against Filip Hrgovic for the #1 mandatory. Next up in the IBF’s rankings is #6 Tony Yoka, who twice beat Hrgovic in the amateur ranks, including in the 2016 Olympics.
The unbeaten 6’7″ Yoka (11-0, 9 KOs) is fighting this month on January 15th against Martin Bakole in Paris, France. Yoka’s team will need to quickly decide whether to accept the IBF eliminator against Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs).
This is a bad match-up for Hrgovic if his old nemesis Yoka accepts the fight against him in the IBF title eliminator. Yoka had Hrgovic ‘s number in the amateur ranks, outboxing him and making it look easy.
The guy that gave Yoka problems en route to his 2016 Olympic gold medal victory was Great Britain’s, Joe Joyce. That was a tough fight for Yoka, and many boxing fans felt that Joyce was robbed. Nevertheless, Yoka vs. Joyce was a thrilling fight to watch, with both guys throwing bombs nonstop.
Dan Rafael says Hrgovic’s team reports that former WBO heavyweight champion Parker (30-2, 21 KOs) is the latest fighter to reject the fight with ‘El Animal’ to determine the IBF mandatory for champion Oleksandr Usyk.
This week, Luis Ortiz turned down the IBF title eliminator due to the hand injury he suffered in his fight last Saturday night in his sixth round knockout win over Charles Martin in Hollywood, Florida.
Initially, boxing fans assumed that the 42-year-old Ortiz (33-2, 28 KOs) turned down the fight with Hrgovic out of fear of fighting the big 6’6″ 2016 Olympian, but it turns out that the hard-hitting Cuban knockout artist suffered a hand injury in his victory over Martin.
“Per Team @Filip_Hrgovic, Joe Parker has also passed on the IBF eliminator for No. 1 and mandatory. #boxing,” said @DanRafael1.
Fabio Wardley reacts to Fury vs. Whyte ruling
“I think it’s a big slap in the face. Twitter was going crazy pulling out the WBC’s rulings and own regulations. They were saying the lowest they could go to is 30, and then to put something out for 20 is ridiculous,” said Fabio Wardley to Boxing Social in reacting to the WBC’s rulings on the 80/20 split for Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte.
“The highest they [WBC] could go to is 45. To offer 20, especially for someone like Dillian, who has been chasing and staying loyal to the WBC for so, so long, for them to offer 20 pieces, it’s a slither with the pie. It’s a massive, massive slap in the face.
“Nothing really surprises him anymore,” said Wardley about Whyte. “He almost like shrugs his shoulders like, he almost half knew stuff like this would come. But he’ll go through the right processes and do it the right way and get it sorted,” said Wardley.