PARIS (AP) – Undefeated French heavyweight boxer Tony Yoka claimed an 11th consecutive victory by stopping Croatia’s Petar Milas at the end of the seventh round on Friday.
Moments after his victory, Yoka held up a photo of the late French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, who died on Monday and was a huge boxing fan.
The fight took place on the French Open tennis court at Roland Garros in the west of Paris, with 8,500 fans on the Philippe-Chatrier court to see Yoka overthrow Milas with a left hook and then continue with a right hook. finally. seconds of Round 7.
Yoka won Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro five years ago, but was troubled from the start by the quick and mobile-footed Milas, who had won all of his previous 15 fights and pitted Yoka with a few smart shots.
Three other fights also took place at Roland Garros, which had last organized a fight in 1973 and will host tennis and boxing events at the 2024 Paris Games.
There was a moment of applause on Friday in memory of Belmondo died at the age of 88.
Belmondo was a huge tennis and boxing fan who was a regular spectator at Roland Garros and boxing events. The rugged Belmondo, whose crooked boxer nose and racy smile made him one of the most recognizable prominent men in the country, even played the role of a boxer in his acting career.
It was the 10th fight to take place on the field of Roland-Garros.
In 1946, the French Marcel Cerdan beat the American Holman Williams on points. Cerdan, a European middleweight champion, has won 110 of his 114 fights and is widely regarded as his country’s best boxer. One of his losses came against Jake LaMotta in what turned out to be Cerdan’s final fight.
Frenchman Jean-Claude Bouttier defeated Carlo Duran in 1971, but then lost in points to Carlos Monzon, who retained his WBA and WBC middleweight titles in 1973 – when Belmondo was in the crowd.
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