ZAGREB, 13 January 2022 – After two opponents turned him down, Filip Hrgović finally has found an opponent for the IBF final eliminator.
The Croatian will fight Tony Yoka in the IBF final eliminator after the Frenchman accepted the challenge, it was confirmed on Thursday.
“It’s on! Tony Yoka has formally accepted the challenge to fight with me in a IBF Final Eliminator for the Heavyweight World Championship. Let’s roll,” Hrgović said on social media confirming the news.
The winner of the fight becomes the IBF heavyweight mandatory challenge and will earn a fight for the belt held currently by Oleksandr Usyk.
An official IBF letter was first sent to Cuban Luis Ortiz but he quickly turned down the offer. A letter was then sent to Kiwi Joseph Parker but he also was not interested in fighting the Croatian.
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Hrgović, who is 14-0, has faced Yoka three times before. At the 2010 Youth World Amateur Boxing Championships, Hrgović beat Yoka in the final to win the title. Yoka got his revenge twice, including in the semi-final at the 2016 Olympic Games as he went on to win gold with Hrgović settling for the bronze medal.
Yoka has held the European heavyweight title since 2021 and as an amateur he represented France at the 2015 World Championships and 2016 Olympics, winning gold medals in the super-heavyweight division. In his pro career he has had 11 fights, winning all 11 and 9 by TKO.
No date or venue has been set for the fight yet.