Veteran light heavyweight Rodney Toney has a famous last name, several disappointing outcomes against world-class opponents, and a master's degree in boxing experience from his 14-year pro career.
Friday night in a rematch against Anthony "The Rowdy One" Russell, Toney starts what will likely be his final run towards a high-profile fight and lucrative payday.
Undefeated USBA super bantamweight champion "Machine Gun" Mike Oliver headlines "Battle Zone 3" in a 10-round non-title fight against Vernie Torres on Friday evening, May 4, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
"Battle Zone 3," promoted by Alpha Omega Entertainment Group in association with Sprint, Mohegan Sun and NESN, will be taped live and shown on NESN on Thursday, May 24th at 8:00 PM/ET.
The 10-round co-feature is a rematch between 39-year-old Toney, cousin of future Hall of Fame boxer James Toney, and former Canadian Under-19 amateur champion Russell for the vacant IBA Americas light heavyweight title belt. Boston-native Toney (29-5-5, 17 KOs), rated No. 36 by the WBC, won a unanimous 10-round decision from the Canadian-born Russell (15-2-1, 4 KOs) last October.
"I didn't really know who Rodney was, in or out of the ring, until he fought on our last show (vs. Russell)," Toney's new promoter Hank Tuohy (Tuohy Sports & Entertainment) explained. "I was impressed by his boxing ability and he still has a lot of punch left him in. We're going to maximize all his years of experience and make at run at getting him a title shot. Friday night, the IBA Americas title will be the first step."
Back in 1994, Toney upset future IBF super middleweight title-holder Charles "The Hatchet" Brewer (23-4) by 10-round split decision, setting up Rodney's first title fight on January 1, 1995 in Las Vegas against NABF middleweight champion Quincy Taylor (23-3), who won by 12-round technical knockout.
After a pair of tune-up wins, Rodney ran into some bad luck in a few tough 1995-96 fights, 12-round draws with future WBA middleweight champ, William Joppy (19-0), for the NABF middleweight title belt in Las Vegas, and future WBA light heavyweight title-holder, Silvio Branco (27-2-1), for the WBU super middleweight championship in Italy.
Toney's career was derailed when he lost a 12-round decision by majority decision in another NABF title fight to Otis Grant, who won the WBO middleweight crown the following year. Toney has won his last seven fights dating back to 1998.
Oliver (18-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Harford, presently is rated No. 8 by the International Boxing Federation. He captured the USBA title last October with a 12-round unanimous decision against Adam Carrera at Mohegan Sun and is coming off of a close title-defense 12-round decision victory against Gary Stark, Jr. on February 16 in Oklahoma.
Torres (27-9, 15 KOs), a Philippine southpaw now fighting out of Pensacola (FL), is the former USBA and WBO super flyweight champion, as well as IBA bantamweight title holder.
Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Tony Grano (8-0-1, 7 KOs), the 2005 U.S. Nationals amateur champion from Hebron (CT), heads the undercard versus tough Jay Sweetman (7-5, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Also scheduled to fight on "Battle Zone 3" is exciting Stoughton (MA) cruiserweight Chris McInerney (7-0-1, 4 KOs), whose 2005 draw with Anterio Vines earned ESPN2 Fight of the Year honors, against veteran John Battle (14-18-1, 7 KOs) in a six-round match;
Vietnamese featherweight Dat "Be Dat" Nguyen (8-0, 5 KOs) tangles with Cuban-born Jorge Ruiz (5-1-1) in another six-rounder; Boston light welterweight Anthony LaMonica (3-0, 2 KOs) meets Ken Yon Kellum (0-1) in a four-round match. All bouts and fighters are subject to change.
"Battle Zone 3" is sponsored in part by Mohegan Sun, Everlast, DavidoffMadison.com, Sprint/Nextel (Data Link Communications), KitchenSales.com and SearchHelp.com.
Tickets, priced at $25.00, $40.00 and $75.00, are available at the Mohegan Sun box office by calling 800.226.7711 or at www.mohegansun.com. For more information call 617.842.8661 or go to www.tuohysports.com.