There was probably no other solution: according to information from L’Equipe that we are able to confirm, Tony Yoka’s next fight will not take place on January 15 at the Accor Arena in Paris. . The establishment of gauges for the public (5,000 spectators maximum outdoors, 2,000 indoors) in order to curb the spread of the Covid and its variant Omicron is for the moment stronger than the contender for the world heavyweight belt.
Confronting the Congolese Martin Bakole in front of only 2,000 spectators in the huge hall of Bercy no longer made sense. Death at heart, Jérôme Abiteboul, the promoter of the Olympic champion in Rio, had no other solution than to postpone the fight to a later date, for the moment not determined.
Difficult from an economic point of view
Two weeks before the fight, 5,000 tickets for the evening had already been sold and the promoter was faced with an impossible problem. Maintaining the fight in front of 2,000 spectators according to the gauge imposed by the latest government guidelines for sports halls involved reimbursing 3,000 tickets. It was above all the assurance of taking a big financial broth by maintaining the fight in front of so few people.
The only viable option was therefore postponement. The decision fell on Tuesday evening, just days before the fight when everything was ready. Tony Yoka will return to Bercy and he will face Martin Bakole for his 12th professional fight. Yes, but when ? It’s impossible to know as long as the audience gauges are maintained and, for now, they are imposed until January 23. But they could be prolonged. Then, it will be necessary to find a free date in the agenda of the Accor Arena. For Tony Yoka, this is a new brake on his world conquest.
But it was said that this fight would not go as planned. At the start, the Frenchman had to face his compatriot Carlos Takam. But he injured his hand and had to forfeit. Martin Bakole accepted the challenge. He was ready. Yoka too. But, patatras, Omicron has been there. It’s a postponement, but until when?