August 26, 2010
There's confidence, trash talk and fight hype and then there's what James Toney does. Toney is pulling out all the big guns for his MMA debut at UFC 118. The heavyweight boxer sounds like he's got Floyd Mayweather's career behind him. Toney (72-6, 44 KOs) told Heavy.com that he's the undisputed heavyweight boxing king, he's a banger and the knockout king. That's all great but let's pitch this fight against Randy Couture based on some facts.
Toney is far from the undisputed heavyweight boxing king. Just because you've moved over to the MMA world doesn't mean you can outright fib about your boxing career. It is true that the Klitschkos have avoided Toney. But can you blame them. It's certainly not out of fear. There's simply nothing to gain and those fights wouldn't sell. Toney was at the end of his rope in boxing before he started harassing UFC president Dana White to allow him into the Octagon. Part of that was also because of his conditioning. It's hard to sell an out-of-shape 235-pound Toney as a legitimate boxer. Toney is also a tough sell because he's not a power puncher. He can call himself the knockout king but fact is until he knocked out the unknown Matthew Greer in his last boxing match, he hadn't scored a knockout since late 2003.
This isn't meant to rip Toney because his move to MMA has been a blessing. He's gotten a chance to introduce himself to a whole new audience. Not enough MMA fighters understand how to hype a fight. And yes, Toney may be a little over the top but he does know the basic concepts of the fight game. The fight itself is important but so is promoting the sport before the brawl goes down. The match does present some intrigue but hopefully people don't buy into Toney's hype too much and come away disappointed if he gets dumped on his head and loses in 60 seconds.
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