Tony Yoka capped a remarkable 12 months in Rio on Sunday afternoon by winning the Olympic Super Heavyweight title in Riocentro Pavilion 6. The top seed defeated Britain’s Joe Joyce in an engaging contest, which was the 273rd and final tie of the Rio 2016 Olympic Boxing Tournament.
The French World Champion went into the ring looking determined to add the Olympic title to his list of conquests, and he was quicker to establish his attacking intent. Two strong rounds gave Yoka the edge going in to the final three minutes, and while Joyce tried to find a way back into the match, it was Yoka who earned a split decision and Olympic gold medal.
“I can’t really explain how I feel yet, but I know it’s the hard work that pays off. Of course this achievement along with what Estelle did too is magnificent. With determination you can go a long way. Its very positive for French boxing, and we knew we wanted the gold medals. I want to thank everybody who has been with me since the beginning and the Paris United days of WSB. I’ve been working since I was six years old, and there have been a lot of sacrifices and work. This medal is for all of them, and especially Alexis Vastine. We wanted to honour his memory out here. The return to France is going to be special, i’m going to go back and soak it all in and then its holiday time,” said a delighted Yoka after his bout.
Britain’s Joe Joyce won the silver, with Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko and Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic winning the bronze.