‘The Artist’ Tony Yoka on big stage in Paris

AIBA Pro Boxing has once again been featured on a major event. This time it was Paris as one of the traditional homes of pro boxing that hosted the bout between local favourite and AIBA World Super Heavyweight Champion ‘The Artist’ Tony Yoka and the talented Croatian Marin Mindoljevic. 4500 spectators came to witness the event in the sold out Palais des Sports.

Jointly organised by Groupe Canal+ and Univent Production, the evening was televised live on pay-per-view and the stage was set for what turned out to be an exciting contest that electrified the arena with Yoka knocking out his brave Croatian opponent.

Much like the other 42 APB boxers already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Yoka has been focussed on his Olympic preparations since earning the gold medal in 2015 Men’s World Championship in Doha last October. Determined to leave nothing to chance, he arrived in marvellous shape and did not disappoint.

Mindoljevic brought great stamina and fighting spirit to the opening exchanges of the match. Yoka was rocked by a well-timed uppercut and plenty of early pressure, before starting to find his rhythm. As the footwork began to click, the World Champion found his range with some rapid-fire counters and gradually wore down the Croat’s defences. Sensing a possible KO, his thousands of fans began cheering his name.

Yoka responded, and a hard right uppercut reached its target cleanly in the fourth round before a right cross sent Mindoljevic crashing into the ropes and forced the referee to halt the bout to the delight of the French boxing fans. After a few months out of the limelight, Yoka will no doubt take confidence from his latest APB victory as he sets out to once again step into the ring with the stars of AIBA Boxing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.