At 217 1/2, He Ain't Heavy, But He's Still James Toney!
Los Angeles, CA (Sept. 11, 2009) – Meanness has never been a problem for James “Lights Out” Toney in the boxing ring. Leanness, on the other hand, has caused more headaches for the former IBF Middleweight, Super Middleweight and Cruiserweight champ than any of the eight opponents in his ten heavyweight bouts. That albatross may be lifted off his shoulders tomorrow night when he takes his place inside the ropes against Matthew Greer in a scheduled 10-round Special Heavyweight Attraction at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA..
Article posted on 09.09.2009
"I’m a heavyweight fighting like middleweight,” Toney (71-6-3, 43 KO) proclaimed. “I’m leaner, faster and I’ll be even meaner in the ring. I’m in the best shape since I fought (Evander) Holyfield back in 2003. It’s been a long nine months and I’m happy to be getting back in the ring.”
Toney was a relatively svelte 217 pounds the night he stopped the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and has been as high as 237 for the first of his two battles with another former heavyweight champion, Hasim Rahman. He was 230 for his last fight with Fres Oquendo last December, and he claims he may come in under 225 – and extremely motivated -- for tomorrow’s contest.
“I was sick and tired of all the critics always talking about my weight,” Toney stated. “It never mattered that I won most of those bouts. They never talked about how good I boxed, just how out of shape I looked. That really motivated me.
“I’ve been training really hard, running seven miles a day, doing the Stairmaster and lifting weights. I’m much tighter in the midsection. Leaner and meaner. And that’s ‘Lights Out’ bad news for Matthew Greer!”
Toney claims that he is not taking Greer, a St. Louis, MO native lightly, however, despite his 12-5 record.
“Over the past 20 years I’ve been fighting the best fighters and I’m still beating them and not getting my just due,” Toney, now age 41, pointed out. “I’ve not seen Greer fight, but I know he has 11 knockouts among his 12 wins and he is willing to step into the ring with me. That’s more than I can say for the Klitschko Sisters. They’ve been ducking me for years and they have fought guys that can’t fight. I want them next and I don’t care which heavyweight belt I fight for. The belt don’t make the man; the man makes the belt. And I am the best heavyweight in the world today.”
Promoter Dan Goossen saw James Toney today and was excited about his newly sculpted physique. “He looks fantastic!” Goossen said. “And he weighed in well under what he thought he would. His official weight was just announced as 217.5 pounds.
“He Ain’t Heavy; He’s a Heavyweight,” Goossen declared, using a takeoff of a 1960s song by The Hollies.
With Greer having tipped the scales at 240 pounds, Toney will be giving up 22.5 pounds to his 32 year old opponent. Only in his first confrontation with Samuel Peter had Toney given up more weight (257-233 pounds).
Maybe they’ll start calling James Toney “The Lean Machine”!
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