Tony Yoka stops Petar Milas in seven to stay undefeated
Tony Yoka knows his biological clock is ticking, so the 2016 French super heavyweight Olympic gold medalist wants to move fast.
On Friday at the fabled Roland Garros tennis venue, in Paris, France, Yoka (11-0, 9 knockouts) kept his gears moving by stopping previously unbeaten Petar Milas (15-1, 11 KO) in the seventh round of the scheduled 10-round bout.
Yoka, 29, controlled the action almost from start to finish. In the first boxing match at Roland Garros since 1973, Yoka was unfazed by Milas’ early game plan of switching between an orthodox to southpaw stance.
Yoka established his jab in the second and began whittling down Milas, who was effective in spurts, using a volume punching and then backing away.
By the fourth, Yoka began exerting his dominance, again working well behind a consistent jab and measuring Milas, who tried offsetting Yoka’s superior skills with movement.
By the seventh, Yoka had Milas where he wanted him. Yoka gradually lured Milas into more meaningful exchanges and when Yoka connected on a left hook, Milas felt it.
Yoka followed with a right that dropped Milas for the first of two knockdowns in the seventh. Milas got up, though knew he was in danger. Yoka never let up. He pounced again catching Milas against the ropes, landing a body shot for the second knockdown.
Referee Ammar Sakraoui saw enough and waved it over.
Yoka has expressed he would like to face Joe Joyce (13-0, 12 KOs) next. Yoka outpointed Joyce in the Olympic super heavyweight gold medal match in 2016.
It marked Yoka’s third stoppage victory on his last four fights.
On the undercard, junior middleweight Souleymane Cissokho (14-0, 9 KOs) stopped Ismail Iliev (13-3-1, 3 KO) in the fourth round. Light heavyweight Mathieu Bauderlique (21-1, 12 KO) stopped Igor Mikhalkin (24-3, 11 KO) in seven rounds to win the vacant European light heavyweight title.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.