By Max Schramm: Eddie Hearn reports that Tony Yoka has accepted the fight with Filip Hrgovic for the IBF eliminator to determine the mandatory for champion Oleksandr Usyk. Talks have begun with promoters Top Rank for the contest to happen.
The Yoka vs. Hrgovic IBF title eliminator winner will be mandatory to champion Oleksandr Usyk and will be entitled to 35%.
It’s an excellent opportunity for Yoka to earn a title shot and a chance to make massive money against the winner of the Anthony Joshua vs. Usyk rematch.
That fight could come against Anthony Joshua if he defeats Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) in their rematch in April, and that would be a big payday for the Yoka-Hrgovic winner.
After two fighters turned down the IBF title eliminator against ‘El Animal’ Hrgovic (14-0, 12 KOs), the unbeaten 2016 Olympic gold medalist Yoka (11-0, 9 KOs) has accepted the fight.
Yoka beat Hrgovic twice in the amateurs, the last time coming in the 2016 Olympics. In a thrilling contest, the 6’7″ Yoka used fast hands, accurate combination punching, and quick feet to outbox Hrgovic.
Hrgovic was loading up on everything, looking to score a knockout with each shot, but he was missing badly and getting countered by Yoka.
Tony Yoka and Filip Hrgovic in talks
“Now, it’s Yoka. Hrgovic is a beast; he’s a tough fighter,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on Yoka, being next up for Hrgovic to fight in an IBF title eliminator.
“I keep saying that the guy that fights Hrgovic if they beat him, they’re going to have 35% in negotiations status with currently Usyk or maybe Anthony Joshua. So it’s a great spot to be in.
“Apparently, Yoka wants the fight. We’ve been speaking to Top Rank about that fight. It’s a brilliant fight,” said Hearn on the Yoka vs. Hrgovic match.”Hopefully, we can get that one made.”
Previously, Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz and Joseph Parker both declined the IBF’s offer to face the 29-year-old Hrgovic in a title eliminator.
Ortiz has a hand injury from his fight earlier this month on January 1st, and Parker’s management is going in another direction for a title shot.
To beat Hrgovic, you need boxing ability, size, speed, and a good chin. The 6’7″ Yoka ticks all boxes, which is why he’s gotten the better of Hrgovic in the amateurs.
Hrgovic will need to be a little less robotic than he’s looked if he wants to beat Yoka because he’ll outbox him again if he’s looking like the ‘Stone man’ that we’ve seen lately. That style is made to order for a boxer/puncher like Yoka.
Hearn reacts to Fury calling Usyk ‘Little steroid man”
“He was accusing [Oleksandr] Usyk of taking steroids or something like that?” said Hearn when asked if he’d listened to Tyson Fury’s rank on social media on Tuesday. “We had him[Usyk] under VADA testing. That’s not really a concern of ours.
“I think it’s good. He should be more vocal. I’d just like to see him talking more about Dillian Whyte rather than Usyk and AJ, but I think Fury is great when he goes on his rant. I follow him on Instagram,” said Hearn.
Fury isn’t talking a lot about his WBC mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte, and it’s unknown if he’s going to fight him next or vacate his title so he can swerve him.
It’s not good that Fury referred to IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk as “Little steroid man” because there are boxing fans that will believe what he says and lose interest in watching his fights.
Unless Fury has concrete proof of Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) having used PEDs in the past, he shouldn’t throw comments like that around.
Wladimir Klitschko, the former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion, took a shot over that comment, telling him he shouldn’t throw rocks in a glasshouse.