The bout was a rematch of the European Games semi-final in Baku earlier this year, where Joyce triumphed on points, before beating Russia's Gasan Gimbatov in the final of the inaugural Games to claim gold.
The 30-year-old Brit overcame Mohammed Arjaoui and Ali Demirezen to make it to the final-four stage of this tournament in Qatar, but will have to settle for a bronze despite seemingly dominating the last two rounds of the semi-final.
It was Joyce that came out firing in the early stages, with the Brit throwing more punches against his fleet-footed opponent. A close opening round saw both fighters land shots, but it was Yoka that won 10-9 on all three scorecards.
Joyce caught Yoka with a couple of massive shots early in the second, however, which shook the Frenchman to the core. Yoka managed to recover, but it was still a surprise when he was handed 10-9 across the board once again.
Joyce remained on the front foot in the third as he needed 10-8 from all three judges to turn it around, but Yoka survived to gain his revenge courtesy of a unanimous decision.
Yoka will now fight top seed Ivan Dychko, who beat Bakhodir Jalolov in the first semi, in the final on Thursday. Only the gold-medal winner in this particular category will automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.