Tony Yoka, back on Saturday against German Alexander Dimitrenko, is eager to find the rings: "the suspension has hardened me," he says after being ruled out for a year for three "no-show" to unannounced anti-doping checks.
Q: What is your state of mind before you return to the rings?
A: "I'm happy to come back to the competition, we did a good job this year, and since December I've been back in the States and I'm just waiting to see what's going to happen in the ring."
Q: Is there a desire to open a new page after this year of suspension?
A: "Not necessarily, we continue what we put in place last year.There were complicated months but there, on the contrary, there is excitement and rather a lot of desire. me, the suspension came to an end when I resumed training ".
Q: What were the different phases of this year of suspension?
A: "Until the end of October-beginning of November, I took the opportunity to take a vacation, to take care of my wounds, to take advantage of my son and to make other projects." I went back to training at Insep in November with the Olympic team and in December I went back to the USA From December to April, we worked a lot on the physics, but also the technique We worked on things we did not work on It was a habit when we were preparing for the fight, and from April we put the gloves on with different sparring partners. "
Q: Are not you afraid of running out of competition after a year of absence?
A: "I certainly have not boxed for a year and I'm not going to come up with all the benchmarks I could have had if I had continued boxing, but boxing is still boxing, at some point you do not have to ask questions and go in. But you can not imagine, I do not know what state of mind I'm going to be: if I'm going to go in or if I'm going to build my fight with different tactics. "
Q: What do you think of Dimitrenko?
A: "He is a very good boxer, he is a world top, he has boxed world top, it is a course to go in the ranking.This summarizes a little ambition that we have for this year."
Q: Do you feel like you've lost a year in your progress with this suspension?
A: "No, not at all, otherwise it would have been problematic, but I went back to the United States in December and worked a lot, I feel better than last year when I was last fight. "
Q: In which aspects do you feel better?
A: "In all pugilistic areas: technically, tactically, physically, at the level of professional experience, this year of suspension hardened me, made me hungry, and now I am focused on other goals because I missed being in the ring. "
Q: Why did you choose Antibes for your return?
A: "We wanted to change, I fought five times, five times in Paris, I was a French Olympic champion, not a Parisian, we wanted to meet the French public, and in September we'll go to Nantes. we'll do other cities after, it's always nice to box in Paris but for having spent a few weekends in the provinces, I could see that there were fervent supporters, who wanted to have big boxing meetings at home " .
© 2019 AFP