James Toney in Britain v USA Prizefighter – Can “Lights Out” Shine?
By Niall Doran
With the exciting next instalment of Prizefighter coming up that will pit heavyweight protagonists from the USA against Britain, I was delighted to hear that the always colourful and legendary warrior James “Lights Out” Toney will be taking part.
Toney has always been a bit of a character, right back to his lighter days, when he was devastating the middleweight division and calling out the likes of Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank at the time saying “all fighters in England are bums”. Ah good ol James, how ironic that he now finds himself fighting on British shores for the first time in his illustrious career in York Hall on November 14th.
I’ve always being a big fan of his fighting style. An almost more exciting and bigger punching version of Floyd Mayweather, while if not having quite as good as a defence. His defence nonetheless is superb and often likes to play a little possum with his foes lulling them into a false sense of security and when they least suspect, crack with a right hand or left hook, and as the nickname suggests – lights out.
Although many interpret Toney’s rough and rugged persona as being a little bit too much sometimes, I think this has indered him to many loyal hardcore boxing fans, as there is something about genuine personalities that draws us to them, their charisma and in Toney’s case, blunt candour, lets us know that if nothing else they are real.
His trash talking is legendary and it will be no doubt entertaining TV on Sky in the week leading up to this Prizefighter tournament when someone puts a mic in the hands of Toney. Funnily enough, I’ve seen enough interviews and documentaries on the man to know that this in fact is mostly an act. He’s actually quite a clever and more well thought out fella behind the scenes that some people don’t actually know about. Boxing is a sport where you have to sell yourself if you really want to make the big grade, the big cheese, to become an international pay per view superstar across different countries. Toney has done this for sure during his career.
The real question is, does he have enough left to make one more run? As a massive fan it almost pains me to say that I’m not sure he does. Then again, he could still have enough talent left in his baby finger to do a job on some of the opposition. A lot will depend on what shape James comes into the tournament in as in recent years he has been carrying a bit too much excess baggage in my opinion. If he’s trained hard and taken this serious, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he won the tournament.
One thing is for sure, with the 3*3 minute rounds format and Toney’s established knock out record (45 out of his 75 wins coming by way of KO) there could certainly be some fireworks from the fists of James “Lights Out” Toney!
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