Connect with us

Articles

Are the 'Lights Out'

Published

on

From 1991 to 1994, James Toney was arguably the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound. This self described 'old-school' fighter mowed down everyone in his path from 160 to 168 pounds.

Whether he was catching up to the then unbeaten Michael Nunn, surgically taking apart Iran Barkley, knocking out Tim Littles on a rounds notice with a cut threatening to halt his bout, or his patient
display of body work off the ropes against Prince Charles Williams, Toney was putting together a Hall-of-Fame career.

That is until one November night in 1994, when a grossly out of condition Toney would get easily out-boxed by an upstart named Roy Jones. Jones would go on to become boxing's next superstar and ascend to heights that many thought were reserved for Toney. As for the brash Toney, well, he'd scuffle around in the ensuing years losing two controversial decisions to Montell Griffin at light heavyweight and then finally bottoming out when he would get out-hustled by journeynman Drake Thadzi in 1997.

By 1998, Toney, who was once a sleek and athletic middleweight/super middleweight was walking around in
the high (and I mean high, 280's). It was the most grotesque public weight gain since Anna Nicole Smith. How something that was once so beautiful and functional could go to waste, was appalling. You'd see him at various club shows around Southern California and he'd be unrecognizable. His career was put on hold; and in addition to that, he would have numerous personal issues to work out, including a well-publisized lawsuit against his own mother.

Well, fast forward to 2002 and Toney is on the brink  of returning to the big-time. If he should beat Jason Robinson this Sunday night, he'll be in line to take on IBF cruiserweight champion Vassiliy Jirov. He sure sunk a long way down in 1998 from his best days in the early 90's, now he's miles from the abyss he was in
just four years ago. Toney says he's now re-focused on boxing.
” It wasn't a point where I got burnt out, I had a lot of personal things in my life that was going on,” explained Toney, after his workout at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club last week.” Boxing, was not my main priority, it was just something I did to try and stay in shape because boxing's natural to me. Boxing, is natural, boxing, you just can't learn to box. Boxing's like a natural ability, it's been in my family. Eddie Futch trained my daddy, I didn't know that till recently, so I know where all my skills come from.”

Toney, has always been one of boxing' colorful characters and one of it's best interviews. Don't expect him to pull his punches with any reporters, tired cliche's aren't in his arsenal. He was and still
is, a reporters best friend. But many of those reporters in recent years had forgotten about him (and some would say with good reason) and his name long ago stopped appearing on pound-for-pound listings.

” You know what?,” asked Toney rhetorically, when asked if his exclusion from those lists bothered him.”
People that bring up certain names , that don't bring up my name, they don't know what the hell they're talking about in boxing. Like I said, 95-percent of the people who write about the game of boxing, they've never done it before or they played around with the game but they never knew what it's like to be inside the ring. When it's life and death situation. People like Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman's sorry ass, a lot of people in the game who call boxing matches on TV, they've never done the game before. So if you never have lived it, you can't talk about it.”

So are you saying James that guys like us need to get in the ring and go a few rounds?
” They need to get their ass in the ring with a real world-class fighter and see what it's like to be on the short end of the stick,” asserts Toney.” And what I mean by that, like you're tired, your arms are heavy, you ain't got nowhere to go. That's what a reporter has to do in order to learn the game of boxing. You can't just go,' Ok, I watched a couple of
fights with my dad in the 40's and 50's and all of a sudden I'm a boxing expert.'

” I know so much more about the game of boxing, I can out-match anybody in wits as far as back in the day, anytime, anywhere. If you want to get in the ring with me talking about the history of boxing, come down, sit with me and I'll be I win everytime- everytime.”

Hey, maybe doing some color commentary after he's done fighting is in his future?
” Well, I don't think people would like me too much because I tell the truth,” states Toney, the former IBF middleweight and super-middleweight champion.”
That would definitely be a problem because as you know, Jim Lampley and everyone else on HBO and Showtime, they kiss a lot of ass, try to keep people happy. Not me. I'm gonna tell it like it is, if a fighter sucks, I'm gonna say it. If a guys trainer is terrible, I'm gonna say it.

” And if you look at the game of boxing today, you don't have too many good trainers out there. Emanuel Steward? He's an OK trainer, but he's not a great trainer.
He's a highly paid cheerleader.

You got the real trainers like Freddie Roach, you got Teddy Atlas, he's a good trainer, you got Tommy Brooks, he's a good trainer and I think Buddy McGirts a good trainer because he's a fighter. He knows what it's like to be a fighter. Being in that ring he knows how to train his fighters for certain fights.”

Hey, so maybe training is in his future?
” Nope,” said Toney.” I have no patience. Once I'm done with the game, I done with the game. I'm not the kind of person that likes to holler at people. If they don't do things my way, I don't have the patience for it and I'm not going to sit up here and embarrass this kid, like some trainers be doing- I'm not going to do that. If I do become a trainer, I'm gonna be laid back like Freddie. But right now, I don't have the mentality to do that. I'm gonna sit back and be a fan of the game.”

In that case, we better enjoy him while he's here.
It's good to have him back.

Articles

2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

Published

on

The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

 

Continue Reading

Articles

Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

Published

on

This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Continue Reading

Articles

2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

Published

on

On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Continue Reading

Trending