Paris, France (November 3, 2023) - On December 9th, Top Heavyweight Tony Yoka will face Belgium's Ryad Merhy at Roland-Garros as he seeks to erase his recent losses against Martin Bakole and Carlos Takam. The fight will be broadcast on Canal+.
Yoka, the 2016 Olympic champion, had hinted at this match during an interview on Canal+. Now it's official, he will be squaring off against Ryad Merhy on December 9th at Roland-Garros. His new coach, Don Charles, who recently posed a challenge to world champion Oleksandr Usyk while training Daniel Dubois, will be supporting Yoka. Tony Yoka aims to bounce back from his two recent losses, the first against Martin Bakole in May 2022 and the second against the experienced Carlos Takam last March.
As for Ryad Merhy, the 30-year-old Belgian boxer's most recent fight was in May, resulting in a points defeat against South African Kevin Lerena. This marked his second loss as a heavyweight, although he boasts an impressive record of 31 wins, including 26 by knockout. Tony Yoka, at 31 years old, has accumulated eleven victories but is currently trying to recover from two significant defeats.
After his bout with Takam, Yoka promptly declared his intention to return to the ring as early as June. However, he ultimately decided to take his time and explained his rationale, stating, "I didn't want to rush back too soon without a clear purpose. After losing two fights, there's no sense in charging headlong into another one. So, I thought to myself, 'I will postpone my return. I'll find a coach I work well with, take my time, and then make my comeback."
You can follow the Tony Yoka vs. Ryad Merhy fight here.