Just how good of a boxer was James Toney?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Mendoza, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Some people here think Toney was a great boxer. I think that might be overstating it a bit, and decided to make a thread on Toney vs. the best boxers he fought in his prime @160 and @168. As we know he lost to lesser men in a pound for pound sense at light heavy in Griffin and Thadzi and cheated his way via PED's at heavyweight, so I'm omitting those fights. Fair enough?

    Was Toney dominant on the cards or often bettered? How about vs mere contenders?

    Before I do this, let's size up Toney. He's a broad man with wide shoulders and shoter than average arms meaning his reach at 72" is deceiving. He was out jabbed by the best he fought numerous times partly because bis jab wasn't that good, and due to lack of range with it. Toney was an excellent counter puncher, with good but not great power.

    I will be using the 2nd judge's middle scorecard for the purpose of this thread. Its not my data, its the official data, and I think a fair way to look at it, so to our resident fan boys, I am being fair.

    Mike Nunn 98-92, Nunn up by 6 rounds. Toney of coruse scored the stoppage late, but he wasn't in Nunn's league as a boxer. There was re-match. Not even when Nunn was the second best man ranked behind Toney.

    Reggie Johnson, ranked only for a breif period of time, He floored Toney and lost a split decision to him. 114-113 for Toney. Being up just one point vs. a fighter od Johnson's caliber suggests Toney just had enough skill to edge him. Johnson would go one to lose 7 more times to six different men. Like the Nunn fight, there was no re-match

    Mike McCallum ( Age 35 ) Mike was a solid guy for sure. He out-landed Toney and easily out jabbed him THe judge who sc credit for Toney gave him a 10-8 round, i no judge saw it for TOney. Middle judge saw it 114-114. Even. Given that Toney was 12 years younger, and McCallum was a bit stiffer and slower out of his prime, the logical conclusion here is if McCallum was in his prime, he would have edged it.

    Roy Jones. A highly anticipated fight, there were two two skill levels on display. Not only did Jones floor Tpney, Toney lacked the guts to press it late when he knew he needed a stoppage to win. Probably because TOy hit hard and he did not want to risk what he needed to win. The middle card here is 118 to 109, Jones by 9 points.

    So there we have it, Toney vs. the best four he fought. He's down 14 rounds vs these four. Only barley edging the least of the four in Johnson.

    This isn't a master boxer. It's a boxer that is out clased vs. the best and very competitive with just mere contender types.

    Okay what about Toney in other fights? He barely edged Sosa in a split decision with the middle card being 115-113 ( + 2 for Toney ) that saw Sosa lost a point for a low blow. Toney, should have hay lost to Tiberi say , 116-113 ( -4 for Toney ), bringing his total to -16 rounds behind vs. the 6 men mentioned. For those who never combined or looked at Toney's cards, this might come as a shock. I wasn't sure of the count either until I took time out to study it,

    Nunn, Johnson, Sosa, and Tiberi ceritnaly deserved re-matches in close Split decision losses and one clear robbery. Why was there no re-match in any of these fights? You can make a good argument that each man deserved one, especially Nunn and Tiberi. I think we all agree on that point.

    If I missed a match of Toney vs. an activity ranked ring magazine top 10 contender, which his possible, we can add him into the mix and adjust Toney's rounds won to rounds lost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
  2. greynotsoold

    greynotsoold Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Toney was "out jabbed" because a lot of guys won't throw a right hand unless they feel like their jab is working. Toney"s bread and butter was countering the right hand. So you give a little on the jab to draw the right hand. That is a strategy as old as boxing.
     
  3. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Yes, but he could not counter any of the guys I mentioned often. A counter puncher works best vs the older or slower guys, not vs the ones with good jabs who can move. What do you think about the tall in the score cards in these 6 fights?

    If Toney had longer arms he sure could use his jab better. That was a hole in his game.
     
  4. Bronze Tiger

    Bronze Tiger Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Not to get off topic ...but I felt like Toney was a much better fighter as he moved up in weight...his best performances came at 190 and above ( in my opinion)
     
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  5. Bronze Tiger

    Bronze Tiger Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Toney was a great counter puncher....a great defensive fighter...a really good infighter....a really good body puncher. Not a classical boxer like Larry Holmes
     
  6. Oddone

    Oddone Love child of Mike Tyson & Ronald McDonald Full Member

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    If you break it down and look at parts, rather than the whole picture, any Boxers career will be littered with just the bad and they all look average.

    You see this a lot with guys like Mayweather jr. (People say he lost to Castillo, he used an illegal IV, he waited years to face Pacquaio etc etc) Canelo, GGG, Tyson (both Mike and Fury) all suffer this on these forums and others.

    James Toney at heart was a defensive based fighter who would switch into aggressive counterpunching and boxing. It wasn’t always pretty but it got the job done.

    You state he was losing to Nunn, until he knocked him out... which happens to be a way you can win boxing. Mayweather Jr. lost a lot of the first few rounds as he adjusted and took over, so have a lot of other guys. It’s completely irrelevant what the cards say if your opponent can’t stand.

    All together he was three weight world champ who could give any fighter problems and on his best nights looked defensively spectacular.

    P.S. Burger King baby! BURGER KING!
     
  7. dmt

    dmt Hardest hitting hw ever Full Member

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    You can make the same case for other fighters who were hold and cold like Tim Witherspoon

    Also, Toney vs Jirov should be mentioned.

    IMO Toney was a great boxer who could be hot and cold. When he was on, he was magnificent. When he wasn't motivated, he could be sluggish.
     
  8. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    There was no rematch with Tiberi because he turned it down and retired because he was so unhappy with the decision.

    If you’re going to set criteria, you need to stick with it — the ‘middle judge’ in the Tiberi fight scored it +3 for Toney. You, I and your Aunt Martha might disagree with that scoring, but if you’re going to use it for some fights and set that as your standard you cannot swing it 6 points in the other direction just because you don’t agree with the ‘middle judge’ in this case.

    Toney was an excellent boxer. You should watch him sometime instead of coming up with some silly mathematical system (that you abandon when it doesn’t suit you) as if it’s imperial proof.
     
  9. greynotsoold

    greynotsoold Boxing Addict Full Member

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    To be a bit more accurate, Tiberi turned down a rematch within 90 days because he said that he would not be physically able to fight in 90 days.
     
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  10. Bujia

    Bujia Active Member Full Member

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    Toney was skilled enough to hang with almost anyone from Middleweight to Heavyweight. Had a style and genetic makeup that was tailored for it. He was a natural Heavyweight, after all. Excelled athletically in high school weighing in at over 200 pounds. He was a robust man. Big boned, they call it. Football was the right choice.

    Style wise, a stationary counter puncher that minimized his own energy usage while dropping the opponents’ output (due to the threat of being countered).

    The higher he moved up, the more effective that style was (slower, lower energy opposition), and he had the natural mass and strength to back it up. He just got bogged down by that weight. And age. Wear and tear, etc.

    So between being a naturally heavier set, lower energy guy at the lower weights and a shorter, more squat guy at the higher weights (with a side of laziness all throughout) it makes sense that he never really found a home. He was a good tenant at, almost, every stop, though.
     
  11. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I wouldn’t call him brilliant but he was extremely effective. Good defense and good counter puncher. Excellent fighter but not a sweet scientist
     
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  12. Bulldog24

    Bulldog24 Boxing Junkie banned Full Member

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    Extremely.

    As good as it gets.
     
  13. Colonel Sanders

    Colonel Sanders NSB defector Full Member

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    Oh, I don't know, maybe the fact he was facing the best back to back to back has something to do with close contests and losses. He was very busy too. Maybe he should have gone the Hopkins route and faced a bunch of WWs and had a trilogy with Robert Allen.

    Nunn was a crafty southpaw, undefeated and got knocked out, Reggie was a crafty southpaw, McCallum is a bona fide great, RJJ is a bona fide great.

    This a just a hit piece.
     
  14. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    THISSSS.

    This thread is a spin off from the Toney vs GGG at 160 thread, and people are wildly overrating his skills at that weight. He was not that experienced at 160. Toney definitely improved a lot as he went up in weight. If you actually look at the footage, Toney was good, but not great at 160.
     
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  15. Colonel Sanders

    Colonel Sanders NSB defector Full Member

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    I think he looked brilliant at 160. He became cumbersome as he moved up.
     
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