Exclusive Interview With James Toney - ďIíll Beat Lebedev Like I Did Jirov, Maybe Worse!Ē

By James Slater: As fans may have read, future Hall of Famer James ďLights OutĒ Toney is currently in negotiations to fight dangerous Russian cruiserweight Denis Lebedev on November 5th. Toney, who has just turned 43, is hoping the fight comes off. Reportedly in the best shape heís been in in years, Toney is also hoping a win will lead to even bigger fights with the likes of Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver.

But first he must defeat the southpaw with the 22-1(17) pro record. Very kindly, Toney took the time to speak with me about the prospective fight yesterday evening U.K time.

Here is what the 73-6-3(44) master had to say:

James Slater: Hi, Champ, itís great to be able to speak with you.

James Toney: Hey, Eastside Boxing, whatís up!

J.S: This exciting news about you facing Denis Lebedev in Russia: is it a done deal, or are you still negotiating?

J.T: Right now my team are still negotiating the fight, but I really hope it happens. Iím excited, Iím like a Rottweiler right now. Iím mad ícus theyíve all been ducking me - the Klitschko sisters, David Gaye. This fight [with Lebedev] will open a lot of doors.

J.S: You have no qualms about going to Russia to fight?

J.T: None whatsoever; they ainít ever done nuthiní to me. Iím happy to go there, Iíve boxed in Europe before and Iím happy to go to Russia to get it on, to show the good people from that part of the world a real world champion.

J.S: Will the fight be at cruiserweight or at a catch-weight, Champ?

J.T: That has to be negotiated, but I ainít concerned, it donít matter what weight they say they want the fight at. Like I say, Iím ready. Iím in tip-top shape now.

J.S: Iíve see the internet photos and read how you are in fantastic shape right now - are you down to 200-pounds or thereabouts?

J.T: Iím close. Donít be shocked when you see me get on the scale. But people will be shocked! Iím back to the old James Toney. Iím mad, Iím vicious and Iím ready. Iím just anxious to fight now.

J.S: Did you see Lebedevís KO win over Roy Jones from May?

J.T: Yeah I saw it, and if he stands right in front of me like he did Roy, heís in trouble; itíll be an early night. I hope he fights me like he did Jones.

J.T: They say he has rock-power in each hand and that he is very dangerous. Does any of that worry or concern James Toney?

J.T: Iím not concerned. You know all about James Toney, right?

J.S: Right.

J.T: So you should ask him that question. I have power in both hands. Look at my KO ratio. I have more power than he does.

J.S: Are you concerned at all that you might have to KO him in order to get the win? Does the possibility of hometown scoring concern you?

J.T: If I was concerned about this fight at all I wouldnít take it. Heíll be beaten so badly by the end of the fight they wonít be able to recognise him. Iíll beat him up just like I did [Vassiliy] Jirov, maybe worse. He isnít in the same class as Jirov.

J.S: Lebedev is a southpaw as you knowÖ

J.T: Iíve fought eleven southpaws and I tore Ďem all up!

J.S: Will you stay at cruiserweight, and look for bigger fights there, or will you move back up to heavyweight after November 5th?

J.T: I can fight at both weights, either one. I want to fight Hopkins and Tarver [at cruiserweight] and I also want the Klitschko sisters [at heavyweight]. Like I say, this fight will open doors and they wonít be able to continue ducking me. I might even fight [Alexander] Povetkin, heís just won a title they say.

J.S: Is the Ken Shamrock MMA fight still on?

J.T: To my knowledge it is, but theyíve got to come up with the right money. They do that and Iíll be the next guy to knock him out!

J.S: Thanks so much for your time, Champ. Best wishes for November 5th, I hope you get the fight and then some even bigger fights after that.

J.T: Okay, man. Thanks.

Article posted on 07.09.2011

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