Carlos Takam Upsets Tony Yoka; Dan Azeez Grabs EBU Title

Tony Yoka vs Carlos Takam: Card Recap

Carlos Takam, Dan Azeez and Naomi Price win on Takam vs Yoka card
(clockwise from left) Carlos Takam, Dan Azeez, Naomi Price

Carlos Takam Upsets Tony Yoka To Lead Azeez & Price Undercard Wins

Tony Yoka (11-2, 9KO) entered this fight in a must-win situation after taking an unexpected loss in his last bout against Martin Bakole. He fought like this was at the forefront of his mind. A very cautious Yoka allowed a 42 year-old Takam (40-7-1, 28KO) to bully him around the ring for the majority of the fight!

Takam is no “spring chicken!” His game-plan was simple; come forward and land bombs to test Yoka’s will before your muscular frame causes you to tire out! However, instead of winding down, Takam gained more energy through confidence as the fight wore on. Yoka had the right thought process, for what it’s worth. He did elect to use his six-inch height and two-inch reach advantage from the outside behind a stiff jab. The problem was his volume was way too low. This allowed Takam to maneuver his way inside with relative ease.

Trainer Virgil Hunter pleaded with him to dig deep. However, the body work and repeated overhand rights had the former Olympic gold medalist sounding dejected. By the final round, Takam was teeing off on a bloody-faced Yoka. It was clear the aging former title contender had done enough to pull off the upset!

This was a debilitating loss for Yoka. Takam was brought in to be a confidence booster but it became a case of Yoka losing that “it factor” he once had before losing to Bakole. Of course, boxing wouldn’t be “boxing” without controversy. For some reason, all three judges had it 96-94 in a split-decision victory for Takam. Although, the right man won, the decision should have been unanimous!


WBA #2, WBC #5, WBO and IBF #7 ranked light heavyweight Dan Azeez (19-0, 13KO) took the EBU title away from Frenchman Thomas Faure (21-5-1, 2KO). To say each round of this contest was “repetitive” would be an understatement! Faure would stay on his back-foot trying to create distance. Meanwhile, Azeez would follow his opponent around the ring behind the jab.

There were moments when the two would plant their feet and wing shots at one another. Surprisingly, these moments were some of the Frenchman’s best. Azeez is not defensively sound and is willing to take a shot to land his own. He is also a bit stiff when chaining punches together. Faure actually looked like the more skilled combination puncher. It would be these moments that prompted trainer Buddy McGirt to plead with Azeez to “stop fucking around” several times between rounds.

Regardless, Faure’s game-plan was more geared towards fighting off the back-foot in an attempt to tame the pressure. As an economical puncher with only two knockouts to his 21 victories, it’s safe to say he didn’t have the “pop” or “volume” necessary to keep Azeez from walking him down. He was nearly TKO’d in the sixth round as fatigue started to set in and Azeez pinned him against the ropes.

Despite avoiding a knockdown, Faure took major damage in the second half of the fight. The result, a swollen face, bloody nose and a TKO loss due to a big right hand in the final round! As he is ranked in the top ten by all four major sanctioning bodies, Azeez should be targeting another top ranked opponent to pull himself closer to a title shot.


2020 Olympic Gold medalist and the first Welsh woman to achieve that feat, Lauren Price (3-0, 1KO) returned for her third professional bout. The southpaw used her lightning-quick jab to dictate the pace of the fight throughout against former EBU welterweight title challenger Naomi Mannes (6-2, 4KO). While she displayed the hand-speed and footwork that won her Olympic Gold, she was exploited for a particular flaw.

Price can be caught with her chin in the air when throwing combinations as she stands upright to do so. In the process, Mannes caught her a few times with clean overhand rights. Although, only two of her six victories went to decision, the German didn’t have enough power to do real damage. Furthermore, the few landed shots were not enough to overcome the dominance the former Olympian displayed as all three judges had the bout a sweep. Price has the tools offensively but needs to work on being more defensively sound.

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