Why didn't Hopkins-Toney happen

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Eye of Timaeus, Nov 7, 2019.


  1. Clinton

    Clinton Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Neither were at the same weight class at the same time. However, in my opinion, at either 160 or 175, the best version of Toney beats the best version of Hopkins.
     
  2. Rumsfeld

    Rumsfeld Moderator Staff Member

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    I agreed with most of what you wrote, specifically about the stars never being aligned. There really wasn't a time where this fight made sense, and you highlighted much of that in your post. But I disagree that Hopkins maneuvered his way out of the RJJ match.

    Roy didn't want the fight - he wanted the winner of Tito-Hopkins because he wanted Tito - a bout he still somehow inexplicably made happen when he dragged a retired Trinidad all the way to 175 as a confidence booster when his career/talent were in clear decline.

    Hopkins and Jones both had egos, so I'm not placing the blame squarely on one or the other, but Hopkins wanted 50-50 and Roy was insisting 60-40 as I recall. If either of them was eager for the fight, I'm sure some type of compromise could have been reached, but I don't think it's fair to say Hopkins "skillfully maneuvered his way out of a Jones rematch" because you can say the same about Roy at that point.
     
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  3. The Undefeated Lachbuster

    The Undefeated Lachbuster Idealism must not be staunched by safety Full Member

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    I wouldn't confidently pick either over the other so I'm surprised by some of these comments. Perhaps Hopkins was a liiiittle too polished for Toney at 160 in the defensive department, but I certainly wouldn't bet on it

    I do wish that this fight had happened, though I believe it's more interesting to think about than it would've been to watch
     
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  4. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Toney had eaten himself out of the division a few years before Bernard Hopkins won the IBF title. The only reason he didn't unifiy was because Keith Holmes and William Joppy knew that they had little chance. They were milking their belts as much as they could.
    I don't think either man duck the other per se. But anybody can be blamed it's James Toney. He was all way up at light heavyweight by the time Hopkins was a player. Losing to Montel Griffin.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  5. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    It would probably be a tactical fight. Perhaps it may look like McCallum Toney. The difference being Hopkins was stronger than Mike McCallum was at that stage of his career. He's not going to wear down the way McCallum did at the end of that first fight anyway. Bernard was a bit stronger and also bigger.
    Hopkins would win a nip and tuck decision. Toney didn't throw enough punches.
     
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  6. 88Chris05

    88Chris05 Active Member Full Member

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    I'm still far from convinced that Hopkins was serious about a Jones rematch c. 2002. To me, it all seems like hot air and posturing to save face, talking up a fight but then putting stumbling blocks in the way of it because he didn't really want it. Jones had already beaten Hopkins once, it was going to be Jones' titles on the line, and Jones was already agreeing in principle to accommodating a catchweight, which he didn't need to do. Hopkins was living in a fantasy world if he genuinely thought he was worth 50:50 in that fight, especially as Jones was a bigger draw than him. Granted, Jones' PPV figures or purses, good though they were in absolute terms, never quite matched his talent in relative ones, but he was still the bigger name of the pair. Hopkins was never in a fight which garnered as much interest or money as a Jones fight until he fought Trinidad in 2001 - and it was Trinidad's name which sold that one, not Hopkins'.

    I give Hopkins massive credit for what he achieved in his forties at Light-Heavyweight, but he only moved up once he'd been forced to after Taylor had outscored him twice at 160, and once the 175 lb division had a much more beatable champion on offer. Hopkins wasn't talking about catchweights when he moved up in 2006, but with Jones a few years earlier it was one of his central conditions. A few posters on here have provided some interesting articles showing that, even forgetting all that 50:50, catchweight nonsense, Hopkins was demanding a $10 million flat fee to make this fight happen, which he knew had no chance of happening and which poured cold water over the potential fight before it even had a chance to get to the HBO negotiating table (maybe some of those guys are lurking and can post it again?).

    Put it this way - I think there are circumstances under which Hopkins would have taken the Jones rematch in 2002, but these would have had to be unrealistically stacked in his favour for him to consider it properly. He knew this wasn't going to happen and so was happy to talk it up and give the impression Jones was running from him to save face. It wasn't a fight that he outright wanted or sought. Hence why I picked the words 'carefully manoeuvred' rather than ducked or ran from. I've got enormous respect for Hopkins and he's one of the great boxing characters of his time, and he was generally a take-on-all-comers guy...But Jones was a different kettle of fish in his prime and I just don't buy Hopkins' version of events for that one.
     
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  7. THE BLADE 2

    THE BLADE 2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Actually, Hopkins called Toney out after the Jirov win.The fight was then being seriously discussed.But Hopkins backed out of the fight.James wanted the fight and accepted a smaller purse.
     
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  8. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    If you were Hopkins or even part of Hopkins team would you take the risk without maximizing your return? Would you advise your friend/partner to? To me Hopkins (and RJJ as well) made a smarty business move seeking to protect themselves and future earnings. Jones wanted 60/40 and an immediate rematch clause for himself but not for Hopkins. Hopkins wanted 50/50 and a rematch clause for himself.
    Jones sought to maximize his earnings and protects his future, but wouldn’t grant it. Hopkins merely wanted the same risk/reward. I find that smart business

    even though as a fan it was disappointing it did not happen.
     
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  9. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

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    But McCallum was technically better than Hopkins and by a good amount
     
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  10. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    No...no, he was not. I am a pretty big appreciator of both. Both were top notch. McCallum was probably better inside and Hopkins at dictating range. Different but comparable levels..You really do dislike Hopkins lol
     
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  11. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

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    I just think Hop's skill set is completely overrated. He does some things well. I like his balance and timing and I like the way he shifts when he throws the rt hand but I dont think hes on McCallum's skill level. Mike had a very well rounded complete set I just dont see it in Hop.
     
  12. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    I don't think he was better. I think they were similar in skill. Hopkins may have had better power slightly, especially in the mid-late 90s. He was more offensive mined while still keeping his defense airtight.
     
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  13. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Toney was very talented. We can all see that. At the same time he gets the benefit of alot of excuses for his not just losses but close fights.
    Tiberi was an offday. Fair enough but he went to the wire with Reggie Johnson. I think Reggie deserved a rematch. That fight was basically even. Ofcourse the McCallum fights. A draw and a close win.
    Toney was a fine fighter but I don't see a basis for him dominating Hopkins. He certainly isn't stopping him. It's gonna be nip and tuck. Bernard been around the block too.
     
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  14. Brixton Bomber

    Brixton Bomber Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Agreed. Toney is on a whole other level.

    He is also the dirtiest fighter of the last 20 years.
     
  15. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    He's on a whole other level when he is standing in line at Burger King. Hop would probably just ask for a cup of water and wait for James to get done ordering.
    Besides that they both fought Roy Jones within a year or so of each other. Hopkins was more competitive.
     
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