James Toney-David Rodriguez Rumoured For June 15th In Texas

By James Slater: It was always going to be the case that, if he won his April 7th fight with Bobby Gunn, James “Lights Out” Toney would fight on. Well, the 43-year-old did get the win, his first stoppage win in quite some time, and even though he came in at a heavy 248-pounds, the future Hall of Famer was happy enough with his 5th-round corner retirement victory.

Immediately after the win, Toney began talking big - to the surprise of nobody.

“I’m going to keep fighting for as long as I want to keep fighting,” a victorious Toney said. “Because I’m the best heavyweight in the world. When I’m healthy, I can’t be beaten. What I do best is whup ass and I plan to keep on doing it for as long as I want.”

Next up for a piece of potential ass whupping might be unbeaten 34-year-old Texan giant David “Nino” Rodriguez. This is the rumour according to a couple of boxing web sites (and Rodriguez, who is recovering from a cowardly knife attack he was the victim of just after Christmas, is listed by as fighting a TBA in Texas on June 15th). If the 6’4” contender with the impressive-looking 36-0(34) record is okay to fight as soon as June (he did need a vast number of stitches in his face due to the savage attack), it could well be “Lights Out” who rolls out of the opposite corner to meet him.

And, as faded as Toney is (Remember his bad, heavy loss to Denis Lebedev in November of last year? The Gunn fight cannot make that one go away), a fight between he and the unbeaten but largely untested Rodriguez would be an interesting match-up: one that could go either way. We still don’t know how good Rodriguez is, as the man from El Paso has picked up most of his wins by facing either journeymen or past-their-best former contenders - guys like Matt Hicks, Owen Beck and Byron Polley (Rodriguez’ last four foes) have told us precious little about the big guy’s abilities.

But what we do know is this: Rodriguez can bang (33 KO’s within three-rounds or less). While Toney, despite his added girth and the sheer length of his career, has retained some of his classy moves, and his chin has never been dented. It’s not clear what either guy, Toney or Rodriguez, would gain from a win over the other, but this fight would probably attract a decent crowd in Texas; especially in Rodriguez’ backyard of El Paso.

Yes, I know, we should really stop watching James Toney fight, seeing how he has absolutely nothing left to prove and how he is risking his health with each further punch he takes, but we must face facts: the man is going nowhere. And at least Rodriguez is a “live” opponent.

Article posted on 12.04.2012

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