Monday, March 27, 2023  |


Schaefer signs heavyweight gold medalist Tony Yoka


Richard Schaefer sure has been making a lot of announcements lately.

His latest involves the signing of 2016 French Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Tony Yoka, who has signed with Schaefer’s newly formed Ringstar Sports, the company revealed on Monday night. The 6-7 Yoka also announced he will be working with trainer Virgil Hunter in Oakland, and he plans to make his pro debut in late May in France.

“With Ringstar, I have the best promotional company and with Virgil Hunter, I have the best trainer in my corner,” the 24-year-old Yoka said in a press release. “We will work as a team to get these belts and become the new face of boxing.

While Schaefer refuted rumors he had been personally scouting talent in Brazil during the Games, he’s certainly made it a priority to scoop up as many boxers from the Olympics as he sees fit. Schaefer has now added U.S. Olympian Carlos Balderas, Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis and Mexican Olympian, Misael Rodriguez, a bronze medalist, to his stash of young talent. It all coincides with Schaefer, a former CEO of Golden Boy, partnering with heavyweight David Haye in an intriguing promotional venture in the UK, which he announced last week.

Yoka was one of the feel-good stories of the Rio Games; his fiancee, female boxer, Estelle Mossely, also captured gold for France in the lightweight division, as Yoka became the first super heavyweight champion for the country. The two embraced after Mossely won her gold-medal match in a fairytale moment. “It is a great pleasure for me to welcome our first Olympic gold medalist, Tony Yoka, to Ringstar,” Schaefer, who has now signed six fighters, said in a prepared statement. “Tony’s skills in the ring speak for themselves and combined with his tremendous charisma, he will transcend boxing and become a global superstar and ambassador for our sport in short order. I am pleased to work with Tony and his team to make his dream of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world a reality.”