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Articles of 2006

Toney-Peter Fight Predictions

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Live Saturday night from the Staples Center in L.A. (Showtime), James “Light Out” Toney meets Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” in a WBC heavyweight eliminator to determine who gets the first shot at the new WBC king Oleg Maskaev. Peter has youth, size and strength on his side, but he’s a raw, unproven work in progress. By contrast, Toney is old and overweight, but he’s probably forgotten more boxing than Peter will ever know. This is a crossroads fight for both men. The winner goes on to bigger and better things. This is how The Sweet Science writers see James Toney vs. Samuel Peter.

Conventional wisdom dictates that the 25-year-old Peter will knock out the 37-year-old veteran. He's bigger. He's stronger. And he's younger. But James Toney is no ordinary 37-year-old heavyweight and, despite a body that appears to be falling apart on him, he is still a force in a division that he's not suited for. The experience “Lights Out” has built up over a 76-fight career is staggering. However, Toney will have to be in shape to pull this one off. The guess is that he will be, and he will take a comparative pup like Peter to school. Toney looks his best against one-dimensional punchers, and Peter fits the bill. Toney by unanimous decision.
Matthew Aguilar

It is tough to bet against James Toney, even a 38-year-old Toney whose heavy weight suggests an aversion to proper training. The veteran of 77 fights is a natural in the ring, relaxed enough to go the distance even if he isn’t in the best shape. While Sam Peter may have the biggest punch in boxing, his flawed skills and low punch output won’t allow him to land a clean blow on the slick Toney. Toney will pick his spots and win enough rounds to beat Peter by decision.
David Berlin

I’ve seen James Toney scoring a unanimous decision over Dominick Guinn and I got bored after a few minutes. The two guys stayed so close to each other that a casual fan could have thought it was a sumo match. If Toney fights like that against Samuel Peter, the Nigerian will knock him out soon. Peter won’t accept a fight on the short distance because he doesn’t need to: he will have to jab for a while before launching a large hook to the face, like the one who crushed Jeremy Williams. The Nigerian Nightmare is more powerful and hungrier than Toney. I would give him a chance against everybody in the heavyweight division. On the other hand, I consider Toney overrated. He wouldn’t stand a chance against IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko. He is not fast enough to dance around WBA champion Nicolay Valuev and hit him at will, like Larry Donald did. WBO champion Sergei Liakhovich is too hungry to refuse anybody’s challenge and… to let them survive. WBC champion Oleg Maskaev KOed twice Hasim Rahman against whom Toney just got a draw. I say Peter by KO in five rounds.
Luca De Franco

How do you pick James Toney to lose? The guy has beaten the odds most of his career. Still, he hasn't faced a fighter with the heavyweight power of Peter. That includes Rahman and Holyfield. I can't see either one of these guys getting stopped, so I'm picking Peter to win by decision. I'm going with my heart instead of my head.
Rick Folstad

My original prediction was Peter by decision thinking that Toney would show up in terrible shape like he did against Rahman. After seeing Toney at the Pechanga Casino where he looked in pretty good shape, I have to change that prediction to a Toney victory by UD.
Ralph Gonzalez

Two pachyderms butting bellies on Saturday night is really an exciting thought. This could wind up on 2006's “Yawners of the Year.” The pick here is the fat heavyweight Sam Peter by unanimous decision over the fat cruiserweight, even fatter light heavyweight and obese middleweight named James Toney. This one gets TIVO'd…I'll watch it after the wife and I get back from a movie!
Randy Gordon

Toney is just too smart for Sam Peter, and will win by unanimous decision. Like it or not, Toney for all his profane ways, will come out on top.
Amy Green

James Toney, like one of my favorite writers, will not miss a meal. He shall frustrate peter until such time as gets a hankering for some good cheese Danish, at which time he will invite the Nigerian Nightmare out to his favorite snack bar. There, they will not fight over the tab and an otherwise lackluster evening will end in a Dutch treat – a draw – and everyone shall say that if Toney were only in shape….nah, Toney on points.
Michael Katz

This one shapes up as another Nightmare for the Nightmare. We'd be shocked to see Toney go down once, much less thrice, and the last guy the Nigerian put down that many times STILL won the fight. Peter is inarguably the stronger of the two, but in virtually every other aspect we can think of he's the runner-up. James might not stop him, but unless something is terribly wrong he should convincingly outpoint the Nightmare. Toney in a comfortable decision.
George Kimball

If both men come in lighter than their previous fights then we could have an exciting bout. Toney is as crafty and talented as they come, he just loses focus sometimes as his eyes wander to the buffet. Peter too can be a bit soft in the midsection so the weigh-in might be worth watching. Assuming they come in decent condition I expect Toney to control the pace of the fight with his accurate combinations and superior boxing ability. Peter will be looking to cripple Toney with his heavy blows but Toney can smother Peter in-close and block shots so that nothing lands clean. Peter will land the harder punches but James Toney will land more often and that will give him the decision win.
Joey Knish

At this point in his career, James Toney is too old and too heavy to compete with a monster like Peter. Eventually, the cigar smoking, partying, eating, and under-training will take its toll on the “round mound of the pound for pound.” Expect Peter to wear down Toney en route to a 10th round TKO victory.
Evan Korn

I like James Toney, always have. It doesn't bother me he spews more venom than a spitting cobra but when he starts looking like “Fat Bastard” from the Austin Powers movies, I draw the line. My guess is he'll literally roll in to the weigh-in wearing a Scottish Kilt and smoking a cigar. Call me old school but a fighter needs to be fit and going from middleweight to heavyweight is not a sign of the dedication or fitness needed to engage in combat. At least not in my world. Maybe Stanley Ketchel could hang with Jack Johnson (almost) but no one was calling him “Tubby” or “The Fat Man.” Nobody doubts Tubby's skill but the gig is up and Jenny Craig's is-a-callin. Peter is younger, bigger, stronger, faster and hits harder than John Luiz or Hasim Rahman. He doesn't have the skills Toney has but it won't matter – Samuel Peter surprises everyone, including Toney and blasts him out in 6.
Scott Mallon

It doesn't seem to matter how out of shape Toney looks, he always seems to be able to outpoint even the most dangerous heavyweights. There's no reason to think he won't do that again here. Toney W 12.
Robert Mladinich

Samuel Peter means to show people what Goliath should’ve done to David. It’ll be his undoing. Not that he has a choice; it’s the only thing he knows how to do, until he doesn’t have the energy to do it. But the sight of Toney without a robe should energize him.  So, from the opening bell, he’ll press and throw a metronome jab and load-up with everything. Initially, Toney’ll give ground and look sluggish – land sporadically (nothing eye-catching), making those anxious for his come-up pence rub their hands together, tasting his annihilation. But Toney’s as lethargic as Jim Brown after a gang tackle. He’ll turn Peter’s aggression into opportunities to counter. As fatigue sets in, he’ll land more cleanly, weather and roll with in-coming, and be a clear winner after 12.
Joe Rein

James Toney is smaller, older, and far less imposing looking compared with his younger, Herculean opponent, Sam Peter. Yet, his age and his seemingly unconditioned physique hasn't stopped him before and I don't see it stopping him in this fight. Peter's a helluva puncher, but he's raw and that inexperience showed against Klitchko and will be a major factor against Toney, who knows the ropes as well as anyone. Peter will oblige to Toney's trademark inside fighting, and in doing so, throw any chances of victory away. Toney by decision.
Benn Schulberg

James Toney’s competitiveness in the heavyweight division has given hope to fat, short men everywhere. However, he is getting too old and too big to continuously counterpunch for 12 straight rounds. It was evident in his bout with Hasim Rahman and will be further apparent in his upcoming fight with Samuel Peter. However, Toney’s strong chin matched with Peter’s poor defense will allow “Lights Out” to be competitive, but lose a close fight. Peter by decision.
Aaron Tallent

Puncher's chance aside, anyone with enough technique and durability to avoid Peter's heavy hands gives Samuel real trouble. Toney certainly fits that bill, so logic points to a slow-paced, sloppy points win for Toney. Still, it could get good and wild if Peter can land two big punches in a row, or if Toney really does try for a punishing finish… It turns out Don King will have Nicolay Valuev in tow around Staples to steal some thunder, but it will also show how much relatively low risk-high reward stakes exist in the heavyweight division these days. If Toney and Peter both come out and fight like they really want further spoils, it could be the big boy brawl of the season.
Phil Woolever

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch

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Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to allAfrica.com, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia

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There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9

Featherweight

Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4

Bantamweight

Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10

Flyweight

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1

Minimumweight

Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak

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LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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