FIGHT OF THE WEEK 10- James Toney vs Vassiliy Jirov

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by PhillyPhan69, Apr 25, 2021.

  1. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    Well we are back for the 10th installment of Fight of the week, where we review, rescore and remember some historic fights of the past. This week the FOTW time machine takes us back to April 26, 2003 at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut. This is our first: trip to the Cruiserweight division as we revisit James Toney vs Vassiliy Jirov.

    The champion IBF Cruiserweight Champion Vassiliy Jirov, 1996 Olympic Gold medalist (beating Antonio Tarver who had in turn beaten him a year prior at the world championships) and winner of the Val Barker trophy faces off against challenger James Toney whos career basically lost traction following his defeat to RJJ 9 years earlier, scored a KO over Jason Robinson to become the mandatory challenger.

    James Toney and Vassiliy Jirov give as a timeless great fight, as Toney would go onto claim Fighter of the year in 2003....and while this was not Fight of the Year....I prefer it to the eventual winner of that honor Gatti vs Ward. Either way, fasten up your seatbelts as the time machine takes us to 2003! Enjoy

  2. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    So did anyone watch this live? Where were you at? Who were you with? Who did you pick? Got any stories to share?

    anyone care to watch or rewatch it and/or rescore it. If so do you think the judges got it right? Or do you side with Ledderman’s draw scorecard? Was it as close as the HBO team called it or not?

    looking forward to hearing some responses.
  3. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    Anyone got any suggestions for great fights between April 25 and May 2 that could have been considered?

    I almost went with Kid Gavilan vs Danny Womber or Rosario vs Ramirez I....sorry if you would have preferred them or another. I had 15 or so fights for this week that would have been fun to relive together but this one won out for this time.
  4. Pat M

    Pat M Active Member Full Member

    Jun 20, 2017
    I don't remember who won the fight, so it's like a new fight to me. I am half way through it now. Jirov has an unappealing style, but he is tough for Toney because he is in great shape, busy, and doesn't let Toney rest. Toney, aesthetically, looks much better as a boxer, but his conditioning won't allow him to stay as busy as Jirov. I doubt the southpaw stance of Jirov makes much difference at the distance they are fighting. Toney is landing pretty punches, Jirov is landing A LOT of punches that aren't pretty but they are landing.

    Toney was composed, a lot of fighters can't take the constant pressure of someone like Jirov, but Toney took his time, tried to take the steam off of Jirov's punches, and landed clean punches that might impress the judges. So far, I've got Jirov ahead. Toney needs to either get off the ropes or he needs to hurt Jirov and make him tentative. Jirov needs to continue what he is doing and hope his face doesn't bust up.

    I'll edit this post with my score when I finish the fight.

    The judge's decision was a shock to me! But they had better seats and were closer to it than I was. I scored for the more aggressive and busier fighter, but it might have looked completely different from ringside. I much prefer Toney's fighting style and I might have given Jirov some close rounds to make sure I wasn't penalizing him because of his style.

    I scored the fight for Jirov 115-112 (7-3-2), giving him 1,2,4,5,6,9,11, I had round 8 EVEN, giving Jirov the round, but he lost a point for a low blow, and I scored round 7 EVEN. I scored 3,10,12 (2 Points for the knockdown), for Toney.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  5. fists of fury

    fists of fury Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Oct 25, 2006
    Really good fight. I didn't watch it live but only years later, as I had lost interest in Toney by this point.
    Jirov was one tough SOB. I was chuckling at how this guy just didn't blink. He was so focussed it's scary.
    James was so good here. Quality over quantity.
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  6. 88Chris05

    88Chris05 Active Member Full Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Love this fight - as a great Toney fan it's naturally amongst my favourites. Watched and scored it again relatively recently. To this day, I still have no idea how Lederman had this one a draw. This fight is a great example of the difference between aggressiveness and effective aggressiveness and Jirov was a little outclassed, particularly from the mid rounds onwards when Toney really started to take over for me.

    Jirov was good at making room for punching on the inside and positioned Toney well at times, and needless to say he was extremely tough and well conditioned. But Toney was so much more accurate, had the far better variety of shots and the better defence. Jirov had a better time of it when he targeted Toney's body rather than head - Toney did look tired at times, taking occasional breathers and hanging his gumshield out of his mouth at times. But no shame in needing a little rest now and then in a fight of this nature and pace, and each time he looked spent he roared back with a great round, such as in ten and of course the twelfth in which he almost closed the show.

    My card from my most recent scoring...

    R1: Toney
    R2: Jirov
    R3: Jirov
    R4: Toney
    R5: Jirov
    R6: Toney
    R7: Toney
    R8: Toney (10-8, Jirov loses a point for low blows)
    R9: Jirov
    R10: Toney
    R11: Toney
    R12: Toney (10-8, Jirov down and almost out)

    116-110 to Lights Out. A fight and performance which temporarily revived his career after a few years in the relative wilderness.
  7. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    I didn’t realize the punchstats (not my go to tool) were so lopsided in Toney’s favor although Jirov certainly threw more.

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    I also didn’t realize that while Gatti Ward 3 won Rings 2003 FOTY, that this fight won from the boxing writers association of America for FOTY. I would definitely put this above Gatti Ward so I would side with the BWAA over Ring.

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  8. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    The best I ever faced:

    Toney does not even mention Jirov but also does not give any props or very little to RJJ, but he clearly respects the hell out of McCallum

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    Jirov on the other hand “reluctantly” recognizes Toney multiple times.

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    awesome story about Jirov included in the link

    “In the gym we have a long hallway on the first floor,” said Jirov, estimating the length to be around 100 meters. “It was a very big building. I was standing at the end of the hallway with the German shepherd dog five-feet behind me.

    “They would let the dog go as I started to run. At the end of the hallway was a door and if I make it through the door before the dog attacked me, the door would be closed behind me. If not, I had to fight off the dog. I have a rope in my hand so I could put it in the dog’s mouth so it would not bite me too much.”

    Amazingly, the coach wanted to use a leopard but settled on the lesser of two evils because they didn’t have one.

    Apachinsky had different ideas on how to build endurance. He liked to take his fighters out to the middle of a lake and let them swim five or six miles back to shore.

    “It took me three or four hours to swim,” Jirov recalled. “One of the boxers said he wanted to be a champion like me. My coach said, ‘OK’ and took him to the lake with me and dropped us in the lake and said, ‘swim’.

    “He swam okay (at first) and then said, ‘I’m drowning and tired. I can’t do anymore!’ My coach said, ‘Nope, you want to be like Vassiliy, you have to finish swimming’ and left in the boat. I had to swim back with him to make sure he didn’t drown. When we got back to the shore, he started cussing and said he would never be back. He left and I never saw him again.”
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  9. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 16, 2018
    I remember watching this fight live on HBO. The undercard had Tarver vs Griffin and I remember hearing rumors of Tarver moving up to fight Jirov in a rematch of their Olympic battle from the 96' games. Going into the fight, I thought Jirov was going to win this fight with ease based on his swarming pressure style. I was definitely wrong with that prediction as I thought Toney fought a brilliant fight and would have stopped Jirov had he had 30 more seconds. Watch the body shot that Toney lands on Jirov right before he knocks him done in the 12th. Not many dudes get up from a shot like that especially that late in a fight after throwing that many punches. Jirov was one tough SOB but then again, Toney was even tougher.
  10. fists of fury

    fists of fury Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Oct 25, 2006
    @PhillyPhan69 A Leopard? Jirov's trainer sounds psychotic, haha.
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  11. THE BLADE 2

    THE BLADE 2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 14, 2009
    I thought Toney won, the 12th round should have erased all doubt. Jirov was supposed to come on in the later rounds, bit it was the other way around. But I have never seen any fighter putting so much pressure on James and making him so uncomfortable.
  12. Mario040481

    Mario040481 Member Full Member

    Mar 27, 2019
    Love this fight and I love the HBO commentary for it as well. I recently came across a UK version of the fight though and I was surprised at the marked difference in what they saw compared to HBO. They have Toney running away with the fight. It is not that I disagree with the opinion, I just find those sort of wide differences of opinion interesting. I put the UK commentary on top of the best quality of the HBO broadcast that I think exists (it's in 1080p but not 60FPS unfortunately), which was recently uploaded to the semi professional looking YT channel called boxing world weekly where you can find it with the HBO commentary.
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  13. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Great fight. Had everything.
  14. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    HBO:s Lederman is way too concerned with aggression in his scoring, it doesn't even have to be effective. That's probably what separated him from the UK commentators and the judges.
  15. MR_TUT

    MR_TUT Member banned Full Member

    Apr 25, 2021
    Only Toney took himself seriously that night, If Jirov had it would have been a different fight