Even after not being in the ring for an actual fight in a full calendar year, Tony Yoka didn't look like he missed a beat.
In his first fight of 2019, unbeaten prospect Tony Yoka cruised to a third-round stoppage win over former title contender Alexander Dimitrenko in France. With the win, Yoka's pro record improves to 6-0 with five of those wins coming by knockout.
It was an easy night for Yoka, who traded jabs in the first round to start establishing a rhythm and quickly went to work soon after. Yoka first dropped Dimitrenko in the third round thanks to a right jab/uppercut combination. Dimitrenko was slow to get up, but was able to beat the count. Once the fight resumed, Yoka quickly unleashed a flurry of punches that nearly sent Dimitrenko out of the ring and the referee decided to stop the fight at that point.
The Frenchman won gold in the 2016 Olympics as a super heavyweight and promptly turned pro the next year, winning three times that year. The 27-year-old Yoka has not fought since stopping Dave Allen in June 2018. The reason for Yoka’s absence was due to a lengthy suspension by the French Anti-Doping Agency as a result of missing multiple drug tests in a number of months. It should be noted that Yoka never officially failed any drug tests, but was not present at the time when he was required to.
During his absence, Yoka has gone on to spar with multiple notable boxers, most recently with former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in the United States.