Boxing’s ultimate in-ring power couple is prepared to get back to work.
Tony Yoka and Estelle Yoka-Mossely appear in separate bouts on the same show for the second straight time since the pandemic. The pair of Olympic Gold medalists from Bagnolet, France will look to further their respective pro careers this Friday from H Arena in Nantes, France.
Headlining the show—which airs live on Canal+ in France and ESPN+ in the United States—Yoka (8-0, 7KOs) faces Germany’s Christian Hammer in a scheduled 10-round heavyweight bout.
Yoka checed in at 239 ¼ pounds, nearly three pounds lighter than his last fight when he stopped countryman Johann Duhaupas in the 1st round this past September in Nantarre, France.
Hamburg’s Hammer (25-6, 15KOs) tipped the scale at 258.8 pounds, more than five pounds heavier than his last fight when he stopped 99-fight veteran Saul Farah (71-24-3) in the 1st round last December in Wolgast, Germany. The weight also represents the heaviest for Hammer since May 2017.
Yoka has been the distance just once in his pro career, coming in his 2nd fight when he went six rounds in a points win over Jonathan Rice. The 28-year old, 6’7” heavyweight—whom represented France in 2012 London and 2016 Rio, capturing Olympic Gold in the latter—enters riding a six-fight knockout streak.
Hammer has been stopped three times in his career, though the last such occasion coming in a controversial 8th round TKO loss to England’s Tyson Fury in his final fight before challenging for—and winning—his first heavyweight championship. Fury tested positive for a banned substance afterward, though the result not learned until well after the fact and resulted in a backdated two-year suspension which coincided with his 30-plus month exodus from the sport.
The visiting Hammer is 8-2 since that night, having extended Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz in points losses while also scoring knockout wins over David Price and Michael Wallisch along the way.
Yoka-Mossely (7-0, 1KO) joins her husband in fighting for the second time since the pandemic, and also her second fight since giving birth to the couple’s second child. The unbeaten lightweight faces countrywoman Emma Gongora in a scheduled eight-round contest.
The bout come two months after the 28-year old Yoka-Mossely soundly outpointed unbeaten Aurelie Froment over eight rounds this past September.
History was made in 2016 by the couple, who were engaged at the time when they both captured Gold medals for France. Yoka outpointed England’s Joe Joyce in the super heavyweight final round, while Yoka-Mossely turned away China’s Yin Junhua to become the first-ever female boxer from France to claim Olympic gold.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox