Rising heavyweight threat Tony Yoka systematically worked over Joel Tambwe Djeko before halting the Belgian in the final round to clinch the vacant European Union title at the H Arena in Nantes, France, on Friday night.
Rio 2016 Olympic Gold medallist Yoka (10-0, 8 KOs) dictated the proceedings throughout and, after a stiff jab drove Djeko into a corner in the final round, unleashed a sustained barrage of blows.
The late assault proved too much for the Belgian who turned away when his right eye swiftly closed after a final, punishing jab, prompting the referee’s intervention.
Djeko (17-3-1, 8 KOs) remained on his feet throughout, but was unable to put a dent in the Top Rank promoted Frenchman. Yoka’s jab was a dominant weapon and he regularly trapped the dogged Djeko in a corner, before hammering him with brisk combinations.
The Belgian’s energy levels dipped in the championship rounds and he was stunned by a right hand in the penultimate session. Eventually, the thudding impact of Yoka’s punishing jab proved too much in the final stanza.
On the undercard, Yoka’s wife and IBO lightweight champion Estelle Yoka Mossely (9-0, 1 KO) clearly outpointed German Verena Kaiser (14-2, 6 KOs) over 10 relatively one-sided rounds. Scores were 98-92 (twice) and 97-93.
Mossely could be a marketable rival for Irish star and undisputed champ Katie Taylor down the line.
Main image: Top Rank.