Stop This Before It Happens

By Ted Sares on April 12, 2013
Stop This Before It Happens
“Everybody who doubted me," says Toney, "if you don't want to respect me, fuck 'em.”

James Toney needs to quit now. He is totally shot and took a terrible beating at the hands of Denis Lebedev in November 2011…

“The once-great Toney… hasn’t had a meaningful victory in the ring in years.”—Johnny Walker (Boxing Tribune)

“The only reason to be interested in a Toney fight now is the same reason why people rubberneck at car accidents: to see if this is the time that Toney has finally gone too far, if this is the night that a boxing tragedy occurs. Browne is already promising to turn Toney’s lights out for the first time in the American’s career, and that prospect now seems all too likely.”—Walker (Boxing Insider)

“Somebody needs to make him stop, and that obviously isn’t going to be Main Events. Toney is 43, in his 24th year as a pro, has fought 86 times, sparred thousands of rounds, gained and lost inordinate amounts of weight and been in some very violent fights. He is a cracked shell of what he once was.”—Dan Rafael (ESPN.com)

“Everybody who doubted me, if you don’t want to respect me, fuck ‘em.”—James Toney

Like many others, I’m sick and tired of watching former legends getting destroyed in the ring. Yes, I realize full well that owing back taxes can be an incentive to risk one’s health, but, at some point, more boxing writers need to get more realistic about this and say “enough is enough.” This is what reform is all about.

On April 28, James Toney (74-7-3) is scheduled to fight Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne in Melbourne, Australia. Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson is also on the card and is pitted against 37-year-old Solomon Haumono (20-1). Rumor has it, however, that 47-year-old Oliver McCall might fight Solomon instead.

The 33-year-old Big Daddy is 15-0 with all but one win coming by way of KO. He stands 6’4”, weighs 264 pounds, and has boxed 48 rounds vs. the 44-year-old Toney’s 646.

In a revealing and refreshingly candid article by Johnny Walker titled “BOXING MEDIA WATCH: Beware—You Are Now Entering The Toney Zone!,” a video is featured Toney slurring his way and, in Walker’s words,  giving “ the unavoidable impression that he is going to continue fighting until someone hurts him very badly: until an opponent turns out the lights for good.” Here is the link to the article and to the video: http://theboxingtribune.com/2013/04/boxing-media-watch-beware-you-are-now-entering-the-toney-zone/

Toney needs to quit now. He is totally shot and took a terrible beating at the hands of Denis Lebedev in November 2011. Browne is no Lebedev but neither is he a 40-year-old Bobby Gunn—Toney’s last opponent; he has heavy hands and if he lands on Toney, the result could be unsettling. Billed as a “torch passer,” Toney’s torch was passed years ago when he lost his second fight against Samuel Peter.

I have a bad feeling about this one; I hope I am wrong.

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Денис Лебедев - Джеймс Тони (бой полностью)



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  1. Ted 06:14am, 04/14/2013

    Thanks Con and welcome to Boxing.com

  2. Con Mitsinikos 09:34pm, 04/13/2013

    G’Day all. I am from Melbourne, Australia and I will be attending this ‘fight’. I share everyones concerns for Toney’s health and wellbeing. I am hoping James lands 1 bomb and ko’s Browne early!! This will be the only way that will save Toney from a terrible beating I fear!! He is an absolute great of our wonderful sport and doesn’t deserve to be remembered like this!! I will also be attending the weigh-in and will confront James and ask him this: In an ideal world, what would make you stop Boxing immediately???? I am very interested in his response! Lets all hope that nothing bad happens on the night. But then again, then there will be the next one, and the one after that and the one after that and so on…......I really do fear for this legends life!!!!!!!
    Cheers.

  3. kid vegas 09:08am, 04/13/2013

    Looks overweight big time

  4. Ted 08:38am, 04/13/2013

    Agreed, He owes about $350,000 back taxes to the State of California and the taxman takes no prisoners.

  5. David Ball 08:36am, 04/13/2013

    A cracked shell of his former self, sadly, even if he is KO’d he prolly won’t stop.

  6. Ted 07:54am, 04/13/2013

    Pug, losing weight and then regaining it at this rate is extremely dangerous. His skin coloring reminds me a bit of how Jones looked when he fought Tarver the first time. Also looks a bit like Bowe when he fought Golota. Like he is inside a shell.

    His reflex memory will be the only thing that might save him, but if his reflexes are gone, he will be a punching bag.

  7. Ted 06:13am, 04/13/2013

    Irish, Billy, It’s important that writers like Johnny Walker keep this stuff out there. Everyone is concerned with getting their writing awards—I get that—but I would also like to see some of these writers getting some awards for calling this stuff what it really is. Lots of these guys are being used as meat. They are used for whatever can be extracted from them and then cast aside.

    More writers need to call for situational reforms. Calling for across the board stuff reads fine but it is totally unrealistic. Pick your spots and go after it. One would be to ban a certain level of fighter from fighting.

  8. dollarbond 05:36am, 04/13/2013

    Why does this have to happen?

  9. NYIrish 04:56am, 04/13/2013

    Only takes one pounding to do permanent damage. He’s already had that and then some. Tough is not enough. Toney is another sad story in the making. Ted, thanks for shining the light on this latest episode of boxing roulette. If they were fighting old dogs they’d get locked up.

  10. pugknows 07:05pm, 04/12/2013

    Not a particularly flattering photo of James Toney. He lost 50 pounds and then regained them. That’s very dangerous. He looks bloated with no tone whatsoever.

  11. Tex Hassler 01:06pm, 04/12/2013

    I am a big James Toney fan, but he desperately needs to retire. I know a fighter can con himself into thinking he has one big fight left, but James does not have even one and has not for some time. Yes this needs to be stopped as Ted Sares so artfully worded it. As Diana Ross said, STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE!  James needs to stop fighting permanently.

  12. john coiley 12:08pm, 04/12/2013

    sad and scary, too, when one is unable to let go of what used to be…

  13. es 11:13am, 04/12/2013

    Toney is a sad case. But he never looked after himself and is a punk. Amazing that Hopkins is still going. And older.

  14. Ted 10:32am, 04/12/2013

    Sorry for the typos but my eyes are bad today but will be better soon after I have the slow retina tear fixed. I hate typos. I really honestly do.

    I will see if I can watch this one on a live stream somewhere. Down under comes in a day early. They should bill this as the “Battle of the Fossils.”

  15. Ted 10:22am, 04/12/2013

    Sad but true. And unnecessary. But what else does Toney to do? Another tragedy in boxing. At least Roy has kept his marbles and has a good job at HBO.

  16. Johnny Walker 09:53am, 04/12/2013

    Thanks for the kudos, Ted.

    I have a bad feeling as this one as well.  Toney can’t slip punches the way he used to.  You know he’s being brought down there to put a “name” on Browne’s resume.

    Toney’s motor skills are badly deteriorated.  That was very evident against Lebedev even before Toney picked up what was supposedly a very bad leg injury, though not bad enough to stop him from fighting Bobby Gunn a few scant months later.

    As for the Gunn fight, it was broadcast precisely nowhere, but the reports where that Gunn quit after breaking his hand early in the fight. 

    If Browne has anything going for him at all, he’s going to give Toney a beating that the old fighter surely doesn’t need.

  17. Jason 09:52am, 04/12/2013

    You’re not wrong about this one.

    I won’t watch it. What’s the point? If he wins, what does it really mean? If he loses, does it matter?

    If he is seriously hurt or worse, now that is the only thing of any importance heading into this fight. And no fight should be predicated on that.

    Quarry anyone?

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