Via Jim Calfa: 2016 Olympic superheavyweight gold medalist Tony Yoka has agreed to face boxer Filip Hrgovic in an IBF world title elimination match to decide Oleksandr Usyk’s required place.
Hopefully the supporters of Hrgovic have their feet on the ground and are making the right decision about having their boxer fight the 6’7 ″ Yoka.
Given the uproar that Hrgovic promoter Kalle Sauerland has made about 43-year-old Luis Ortiz and Joseph Parker’s rejection of a fight against him, it could lead him to have the false belief that he’s good. than him.
If Hrgovic loses the match against Yoka, it could enhance his professional career before having a chance to start. There are more accessible paths to title-winning for Hrgovic than going through Yoka, and it would be wise for his promoters to consider them before he suffers his first loss.
Hrgovic was a good fighter, but he was was exposed many times by Yoka in his amateur days and was said to be robotic, slow and one-dimensional.
Yoka facing Boogeyman
“Filip Hrgovic has an opponent in that IBF knockout against Tony Yoka,” says Chris Mannix on Boxing. “They are engaged in negotiations. For the past six months, we’ve let Michael Hunter turn down the opportunity to take on Filip Hrgovic.
“Hrgovic in our meeting with our boxer a few weeks ago was called Hunter, a coward. He’s pretty strong about that.
“Recently it was Luis Ortiz who quickly refused to enter the negotiations there [with Hrgovic]and Joseph Parker himself refused [next].
“There are a lot of reasons why these guys didn’t play Hrgovic, especially the last two games because Ortiz and Parker could get something economically viable in the next six months against Hrgovic.
“Does it surprise you that we will be dropped from the list in the IBF elimination, and we end up with Tony Yoka, who did nothing to secure an IBF chance?” Mannix said.
“It’s not because Filip Hrgovic is a high-risk, low-reward proposition, is it?” Keith Idec said. “Luis Ortiz will not be playing against Filip Hrgovic. That doesn’t make sense, does it?
“I mean, he [Ortiz] could get closer to the world championship title, but he was knocked out twice by Charles Martin [on January 1st]. Apparently, he came back and landed successfully [in the sixth] to win the war.
“But actually he has signs regardless of age. He won’t fight Hrgovic, and I don’t blame Joseph Parker either [for not agreeing to fight Hrgovic].
“Joseph Parker has been through a lot of tough games and wants to get back in position to fight for a title. Now, he has to go through this guy? I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t do that either. “
Hrgovic’s so-called reputation as a heavyweight junkie was built on his victories over a fluff opponent, which is why fans might be surprised when saw him defeated by Yoka.
Filip Hrgovic’s best wins as a pro:
- Eric Molina – 39 years old
- Rydell Booker – 40 years old
- Kevin Johnson – 42 years old
- Amir Mansour – 49 years old
- Gregory Corbin
- Mario Heredia
- Sean Turner
- Tom Little
- Raphael Zumbano
If you know anything about boxing, you’ll realize that Hrgovic’s opposition as a professional has been intense from start to finish, making it difficult to understand how he developed his career. developed a reputation as a petty thief.
To be a boxer in the weight class, you have to fight quality opponents, and this writer doesn’t see a boxer that fits that description on his 5-year professional résumé. Hrgovic.
Hrgovic & Yoka have history
“There is some history. I think you have 11 and 14 fights, Hrgovic and Yoka,” said Idec. “So there is history between them. They fought three times in the amateur world. Yoka beat him, and you were offside for the semi-finals of the 2016 super heavyweight tournament in Rio. [Olympics].
“So there’s a lot of history there, and it’s an interesting fight. I highly recommend Tony Yoka because I have seen Hrgovic as a much more professional person than Tony Yoka.
“So to me, he seems to be better prepared for the fight. So it speaks to Yoka’s confidence that he is willing to take on a fight like this in his twelfth battle.
“So there is some conspiracy there. You want to watch this fight a little further, but kudos to both of you for being willing to do it. They have to come to an agreement.
“He is [Yoka] only agreed as of today to enter the negotiation, so they have to finish this deal and everything. But if the money is there, there’s no reason why they can’t fight.
CONFIRMED: @TonyYoka officially accepted tonight’s written battle challenge @Filip_Hrgovic in the IBF final elimination match for the World Heavyweight Championship – El Animal found a dance partner 🔥 pic.twitter.com/LB0datFo4H
– Kalle & Nisse Sauerland (@SauerlandBros) January 13, 2022
“It was an interesting fight between two very good young opponents. Joseph Parker can go up against someone else to try to get closer to the world title and the same goes for Luis Ortiz,” said Idec.
If Hrgovic doesn’t improve since three times before facing Yoka in amateur, he will lose again. Hrgovic is an excellent fighter, but he struggles with skilled fighters, and Yoka is gifted.
Perhaps Hrgovic should have gone in a different direction for a world title than facing arch-nemesis Yoka.
If Hrgovic loses this match, it could take him years to bounce back from the defeat, and he’s not young at 29.
Hrgovic’s promoters brought him in too slowly, resulting in him wasting the first five years of his professional career battling less than dedicated opponents with no contenders. .
Assuming Hrgovic loses to Yoka, it could be another five years before he returns to his current position, fighting in a knockout match. At that time, Hrgovic would have been 34 years old and most likely not the boxer he is today.
Winner Yoka-Hrgovic will need to wait
“One thing to remember in the big scheme of the discarders. Winner of this war [Yoka vs. Hrgovic] I would imagine not winning the world championship title this year,” Mannix said.
“The IBF lines up for the tournaments, and you will likely see a unified fight between Fury and winners Joshua and Usyk before the end of the year.
“So it’s not like you get this chance, and bam, the heavyweight championship is coming this summer. You will probably have to wait your turn for a while and do another fight or two in between,” says Mannix.
According to the best case scenario, the winner of the Yoka vs. Hrgovic will have to wait until 2023 before they get a title for the IBF belt. When that time comes, Tyson Fury could own the IBF belt and he could choose to leave the belt blank instead of facing the winner Yoka-Hrgovic.
Fury could face more Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk if he doesn’t fight them in 2023. Even if he does, there will be more money for Fury in a rematch with either guy. that’s rather than facing Yoka or Hrgovic.
“If you were Parker, he showed he could make some money,” Mannix continued. “If you’re Ortiz, you’re probably trying to go against Andy Ruiz or something. There are many more viable options.
“I thought it was a good match, Hrgovic against Yoka. I would probably prefer Hrgovic against someone like Zhilei Zhang because it’s probably a bit more of a US war.
“Perhaps we can do it in China in that area. Macao, or something similar. It was a big event. Eddie Hearn has had eye-catching fights with Zhang in China at some point.
“They’ve drawn Anthony Joshua into those talks, but I’m curious to know what kind of fan he has there in a big pro,” Mannix said of a fight that didn’t stand a chance. happen. due to Zhang’s low rank [#13] with IBF.
“And Zhilei Zhang is an older fighter  and was looking for this kind of opportunity,” said Idec. “He was stuck in the pandemic and stuck in China a few times.
“He trained here in New Jersey in a few towns from where I live. I’m very familiar with him and his story and everything. He [Zhang] can fight. It can be said that he is looking for the right dance partner.
“It would be great if he gets that chance, but it looks like Eddie has to find him another chance elsewhere. He lived in a few towns far away from me, and it wasn’t a town with many Chinese people.
“There’s a lot of Italians, and he’s 6’6″. A lot of people think he’s a basketball player because he’s so tall.”
Zhilei Zhang would be a good pick for Hrgovic in the IBF title elimination because he would be the clear contest winner. Zhang is 38 years old and recently fought a controversial 10-round draw against journey runner Jerry Forrest.