France – apart from the gold medalists of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin dear to the film “L’As des aces” with Jean-Paul Belmondo – has two Olympic champions in men’s boxing: Brahim Asloum, crowned in the mid- flies in Sydney in 2000, and Tony Yoka, golden heavyweight in Rio sixteen years later. They are three if we add Estelle Mossely among women.
We asked Brahim Asloum to give us the keys to the Tony Yoka vs. Carlos Takam fight. Incidentally, the latter also knows the Olympic atmosphere well. In 2004 in Athens, before being naturalized French, he defended the colors of Cameroon, his native country, and fell in the round of 16. Decryption of this Yoka-Takam, this Saturday March 11 at the Zénith de Paris and live on Canal +.
Yoka must keep Takam at bay. “Me, if I’m Carlos, I stick to Tony as much as possible and I put as many sequences on him as possible during the first rounds. Chains of 5, 6 or 7 blows to the body and to the face. Tony is taller (2.01m against 1.87m), so he will have more trouble in clinch. Unless he learned to hang on, but that’s not Tony’s first quality. This is also a criticism that can be made to him. »
Pay attention to the first hit. “This fight can be played on the first punch. In Tony’s place, I don’t take any risks at the start. I analyze my opponent, his speed, his power, his possibility of chaining. I just do what is necessary to win the first three or four rounds without taking any risks. Tony must not fall behind in the count if ever he has a slack in the 5th or 6th round and needs to recover in order to be the strongest at the end of the fight. »
Yoka must “play” the KO. “If I’m Tony, my strategy is to keep my opponent as far away as possible. I have a longer reach, so I can hold it off without it touching me. There is no doubt that Carlos will go the distance of ten rounds. But Tony Yoka can knock him out at any time too. I’ve always thought he has an extraordinary technique. He goes fast, he has the eye but if it gets to the points, it will be undecided and hooked. »
Speed and precision. “But to get there, Tony has to adjust. It is precise, fast. It is its quality. Physically, he is on top. Tony must therefore keep Carlos at a distance with his straight right. And if Takam gets too close, he has to get his uppercut out. Tony must not leave Carlos in front of him either at the start of the fight, at the risk of him getting closer. Carlos will logically try to move forward to stick and hit. This is where Yoka has to be smart, tire Takam, take his time, put in a hook and let the ref step in to regain his distance and rework. This for me is the key to the fight for Tony. »
The ideal fight to revive. “Of course, Tony has pressure and it’s not easy for him but when he’s really good in his boxing, you’ll see that it will be something else. I am convinced that his first defeat made him grow and that he understood it. We’ll see this Saturday if it’s already enough for this fight but it didn’t become bad overnight. He had a day without. Carlos is the ideal opponent today for Tony. It’s a risk he takes because Carlos is an excellent boxer. But for yes it’s really time to take Carlos. It’s not a fight won in advance for but it’s also what we expect from Tony. It’s a long-awaited fight, a Franco-French fight, it gives both envy and rage. »