Filip Hrgović Awaits Yet Another Opponent as Tony Yoka Withdraws from IBF Final Eliminator

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL
Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

It’s been quite the last few weeks for Croatian boxer Filip Hrgović. After Tony Yoka accepted Hrgović’s offer for a big rematch, on Friday morning it was confirmed that there will be no fight, reports Boxing Scene and

The IBF ruled in favor of an appeal filed by Martin Bakole who rebelled because he felt Tony Yoka owed him a fight. He and Yoka were due in the ring in December in France, but that fight was postponed due to the pandemic. Since the French fighter owes him a fight, Yoka cannot make a deal with any other fighter.

Martin Bakole’s lawyers provided evidence confirming that the fight was only postponed to April this year and not completely canceled as claimed by the Yoko team.

This means that the IBF is searching for a new opponent for Filip Hrgović, who was previously rejected by Luis Ortiz and Joseph Parker.

Joe Joyce is expected to be next on the list, but he is still recovering from his injury. If he refuses the invitation, the IBF could contact Agit Kabayel, and next on the list is Chinese boxer Zhilei Zhang, who has already spoken publicly about the fight with the Croatian boxer and who again seems to be the most realistic opponent.

For now, Hrgović and his team will wait for one of the mentioned boxers to accept the IBF invitation. The boxers have three days to respond to the offer, followed by negotiations.

The winner of that fight will wait for the outcome of the upcoming rematch between Oleksandr Usik and Anthony Joshua, which should take place in the spring.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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