James Toney, Eddie Chambers And Malik Scott Win Decisions

James Toneyby James Slater - Three heavyweights, ranging from a faded top name to an up-and-comer, were in action last night in California. And all three fighters won pretty much as the fans felt they would going in. Big name James "Lights Out" Toney, who topped the bill, won a decision over Fres Oquendo - the only mild surprise being that the result was a split verdict. While contender Eddie Chambers won a clear 6-round UD over Cisse Salif and slow-boiling prospect Malik Scott won a shut-out over 6 against Raphael Butler.

Not a classic show, by any means, last night's action was not only predictable, but also pretty dull. The Toney-Oquendo fight got all the attention, naturally. Coming in at a reasonable, but still too heavy 230-pounds, 40-year-old Toney was almost held to a draw. 35-year-old "Fast" Fres was deducted a point for a low blow in the 8th round; had it not been for the infringement Oquendo would have gotten the tie.

Coming in as a late replacement for an ill Tony Thompson, Oquendo finished the fight the stronger man, and he did succeed in making Toney look a tired, faded fighter at times - which, of course, many feel Toney is. In no way did the former middleweight/super-middleweight and cruiserweight champion give any indication he is ever going to realise his goal of becoming heavyweight champ. Quite simply, though he and promoter Dan Goossen blamed last night's poor showing on the change of opponent, the Toney who struggled with the awkward Puerto Rican would have next to no chance with either of the two Klitschko brothers.

Still, the cocky and self assured Toney won again, and in doing so he improved his record to an amazing 71-6-3(43). "Lights Out" has not lost since his rematch with Sam Peter, back in January of 2007. It seems, like it or not, as though the future Hall of Famer who has undeniably seen better days, will wind up getting one more big fight before he's done. The thought of Toney in with a monster like a Klitschko, however, is enough to make one shiver.

As for Chambers and Scott, 2009 will hopefully see both guys make their move. Chambers, who improved to 33-1(18), has been deserving of a couple of confidence-boosting wins after his loss to Alexander Povetkin. 26-year-old "Fast" Eddie has now won three such bouts and it's time he stepped up to the plate once again. 28-year-old Scott, who improved to 32-0(11), has yet to take anything approaching a fight with a top name. Surely the fighter who has been bubbling under for such a long time will do so next year.

Article posted on 14.12.2008

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