James Toney was a very naturally talented boxer who from an early age fought often and against the best fighters at his weight. I was reading his interview in this month’s Ring Magazine and as usual he is very outspoken about how poor fighters are today in particular Wilder and how he would beat him easily.
In the interview he said he weighed 205lb and had to drain himself to make middleweight. In the week of the fight he had to starve himself and not eat to make the weight limit. That cost him hugely against Roy Jones but also his “win” against Tiberi.
Toney said he sparred every day and watched films of older fighters, like Mike Tyson, and learnt the skills needed to be the best boxer at the time.
When he fought Nunn he said he had not fought a top southpaw before but was blowing the fight because he was trying so hard top knock him out with one punch. He said mid-way he was landing body punches and that he knew he was getting to him. Toney knocked Nunn out in and was way behind on points at the time.
When he drew with McCallum he said that he became a better boxer from the experience and that was the reason why the body snatcher was not wanting an immediate rematch.
Toney said he busted up Barkley because he had his stamina and was strong at the weight.
Toney said Charles Williams was strong and would keep coming back after being hit hard. He said he talked “smack” to all boxers in the ring about their “momma” but Williams never replied back in their fight. Toney said to his trainer he was going to knock him out in the last round but his trainer said to play it safe as he had the fight won. Toney knocked him out in the last round.
James said he admired Holyfield and was a fan but when Evander said he considered Toney a stepping stone it gave him the extra motivation to not only beat him but knock him out.
What would James Toney have been like as a heavyweight? He said he weighed naturally 205lb, if he stayed at the weight, could he have developed at the weight to be a champion?
James started his pro career late 1988 and fought for a world title 1991 after 26 fights. His path as a heavyweight would have been different but he would have had to fight Holyfield, peak Bowe, Lennox at that time.