Re: The all things technical thread.
James Toney's X's and O's.
- Toney's biggest strength was that he was a natural fighter. One of the most natural fighters i have EVER seen. He's as comfortable in the ring as the normal person is in the shower. This is the reason he has stamina and can fight with such pin-point accuracy late on in fights and hardly ever got tired even when he's obese. He's one of the best late round fighters ( He did it time and time again. Mike Nunn, Prince Charles Williams, Mike McCallum etc) in his era. He can stay so on point late on because of this natural ability to stay relaxed. Lights out was so natural he could do what he did just getting out of bed. All this ties in with his defence and ability to transition from defence to offence and vise-versa.
- Baiting and countering. Toney was a master at baiting. He understood that the easiest punches to counter are the ones you see coming so if you know how to force those punches then you're in for a field day. He forced his opponents to throw certain punches. This is why he loved fighting aggressive fighters who fought balls to the wall so much. Because the best way to beat those type of fighters is to bait and then counter them. As the aggressive fighter already likes punching a lot Toney didn't have to out punch him. He would just get him to throw the punches he wanted. His counter punching was effective because he controlled HOW his opponents missed. He would deflect rather than block.
- Body punching. Toney's body punching is actually underrated. His left hook to the body is one of the best i've seen. He made Evander Holyfield and Hasim Rahman lift their foot and wince in pain with that shot. He almost paralyzed Jirov with it in the 12th round of their fight.
- Confidence. James was so super confident to the extreme. Even VERY arrogant. It's sometimes a good trait to have in a fighter. It's interesting how the fighters with super confidence are also the most super relaxed in the ring. Everybody needs confidence and it's an important thing that fighters need more than anyone else. Toney was as confident of his abilities as anyone.
- Footwork. Toney only really had one glaring weakness in the ring and that was his footwork. He was slow and lazy on his feet and relied too much on his upperbody movement. That's why he didn't like movers. His foot placement wasn't the best and as a result he anchored his feet too much to the ground.
- Blinding himself. James fought wonderfully with great fluidity. But one weakness with his style was that he could blind himself when he dipped too far to his right. This coupled with his poor and slow anchored feet would mean if a fast opponent stepped around him to his blind side he wouldn't see anything. He also wouldn't get free of the position because his feet were not quick enough. This is precisely what Roy Jones did to him. Everytime James Toney dipped to roll with a punch, Roy Jones would step to his blindside and throw left hooks that Toney couldn't see.
- Gluttony, indiscipline and lack of focus. Because Toney was such a natural fighter he thought he didn't need to train like everyone else and look after his body. He would turn up to camps overweight. So in a sense his biggest gift, which was being a natural figher was also his biggest curse. That natural ability was a double edged sword. Like a brillient video game that is so enjoyable, challenging whilst at the same time easy to play and grasp. But erases the need to feel sympathy in people. Where the characters are just multiple and their distruction a matter of no consequence because hey, they're always available on reruns. That was James Toney's attitude.
Last edited by slip&counter; 03-05-2012 at 11:52 AM.