McCline-Toney: Interview With James Toney

19.01.04 - By Ike Enwereuzor: - Three-time world champion James "Lights Out" Toney (67-4-2) with 43KO's was born August 24, 1968 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He started his amateur Boxing career in 1982. After having 35 amateur fights and winning several amateur Titles, Toney decided it was time to turn professional on October 26, 1990.

Toney Ko'ed Phil Morefield in round one to make his successful pro debut. During his impressive professional career, Toney fought many reputable opponents, such as Evander Holyfield, Vassiliy Jirov, Mike McCallum, Montell Griffin, Roy Jones, Iran Barkley, Michael Nunn and more. He won his first world title June 1991 against previously unbeaten Michael Nunn by stopping him in the 11th Round to capture the IBF Middleweight crown. His first defense was against Reggie Johnson. Two fights after that, December, 1991 was his first encounter with Former world champion Mike McCallum, which ended in a draw. Both fighters met again twice, and Toney won both fights. A rematch was made August, 1992. Toney took the 12 round Majority decision.

Toney suffered his first professional lost to former undisputed world Champion Roy Jones Jr. by unanimous decision. April 2003, Toney won the IBF cruiserweight belt over Vassiliy Jirov by unanimous decision at Foxwood casino, Connecticut. His last fight was against former undisputed Evander Holyfield, which Toney won by 9th round TKO. This is what Toney has to say about his upcoming bout with McCline.....

Ike: How long have you been preparing for your fight with Jameel McCline?

Toney: We've been training for about 2 months and Boxing for 3 weeks now. Training is going great. I have been working with several sparring partners including Cisse Salif. I call Cisse "hehe", he's a great guy and boxer. Cisse keeps it real. I thank him and other sparring partners.

Ike: Please tell us what's your impression of Jameel McCline?

Toney: I don't think much of him. I'm going to put him to sleep come February 7.

Ike: How would you describe your last fight with former undisputed Champion Evander Holyfield?

Toney: It was my last fight and it was great experience for me as you can see. You all saw my last performance. I knocked him out. I did what I had to do. On February 7, Jameel McCine will go down just the same way. I'm going to knockout Jameel the same way.

Ike: Tell us about your fight with former IBF Cruiserweight champ, Jirov?

Toney: We went at it toe -to -toe, blow to blow, but he couldn't last with me. Jirov couldn't handle my shots.

Ike: Lets go back to your amateur career for a minute. What do you remember from your first amateur fight?

Toney: It was in 1982. I had my first amateur fight and I got my ass whopped, because I ran out of gas, but that was the last time that happened.

Ike: How many fights did you have as an amateur?

Toney: I had about 35 fights. In those fights, I won several titles from Golden Gloves, Silver Gloves and many more. I had an impressive amateur career and I gave good account of myself.

Ike: What can you tell our readers about your first professional fight?

Toney: I won my first fight by Knockout in 1990.

Ike: Please describe your fight where you lost to Roy Jones Jr.?

Toney: Roy was just very lucky in that fight. I wasn't in shape for that, but he still couldn't do nothing with me. I have tried to get a rematch ever since. Lets do it again, Roy! I'm tired of Roy's excuses and talking shit. I don't talk! I do my talking in the ring. Lets do it again, Roy. You know how to reach me. The Boxing Fans wants to see us do it again. In fact, I'll fight Roy for nothing, "winner takes all". I'm the best fighter in the world, not Roy Jones Jr. Roy got himself a gift at the first fight.

Ike: What's your impression of current IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd?

Toney: Who? Who? I don't think that guy has a heart. He's got his wife speaking for him and any man whose wife speaks for is a bitch. That means, he can't speak for himself. Byrd said that I'm not fighting anybody. I stopped Holyfield, who took him to the distance. I think Holyfield came close to winning that fight with Byrd. I'm ready to fight anybody who wants to fight me. The only way Chris Byrd and Roy Jones Jr. can make money is by fighting James Toney.

Ike: Your impression of the Klitschko brothers?

Toney: I don't really think much of them two. I should be fighting one of them in the summer this year. I'm open to fight anybody! I'll not duck any fighter and I never did from day one.

Ike: Your thoughts on Klitschko-Johnson last December?

Toney: Klitschko beat the shit out of Kirk Johnson.

Ike: Your impression of Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis?

Toney: Not much! He fought Mike Tyson when he was medicated. Watch Lewis fight with David Tua. He couldn't do anything with Tua. They were both scared of each other. I'll love to get Lewis in the ring and knock him out. I promise him that, but I know he’ll avoid James Toney.

Ike: Please compare your two fights with Mike McCallum?

Toney: McCallum was a great champion. I respect him, but I think I won my two fights with him. I did what I had to do.

Ike: What message to you want to extend to Boxing Fans?

Toney: I love all my fans. James Toney is ready to eat again. I must thank all my fans for their good support, and I want them to know I'm not done yet. This is just the beginning. Let my fans come out and see James Toney in action. Come see me knockout Jameel McCline. If Jameel comes in to slug or go blow to blow, then he'll go to sleep early. McCline is going down anyway. Thanks for your time, Ike. See you all at the fight.

photo (c) Tom Casino/Showtime

Article posted on 19.01.2004

Bookmark and Share

previous article: Interview: German Middleweight Dirk Dzemski

next article: The Time Tunnel: A Case For Cobb

If you detect any issues with the legality of this site, problems are always unintentional and will be corrected with notification.
The views and opinions of all writers expressed on do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Management.
Copyright © 2001- 2015 - Privacy Policy l Contact