James Toney Signs To Fight Samuel Peter - "Lights Out" Proves He's Still Hungry!

03.07.06 - By James Slater: Some fans will no doubt have a little laugh at the above headline. For James Toney's career long problem has been his hunger - for food, that is! This was certainly the case in his last fight, against Hasim Rahman. Though he had what I thought was a legitimate shot at winning a version of the heavyweight title, Toney came in way overweight and, in many minds, was fortunate to get draw. Surely, he cannot afford to come into the Peter fight in such sloppy condition. Samuel hits harder than "The Rock" and if James is not in proper shape there is a good chance he could be KO'd.

By taking this fight, however, I believe "Lights Out" has proven that he does indeed have enough of the right hunger left in him. This is a very dangerous match to take, for sure, and the fact that the ever fearless Toney put his name on the contract lays to rest any doubts people may have had with regards to his present day ambition. After the poor showing against Raman, many figured Toney was done. Now we know, he still wants it. Can he defeat the man who calls himself "The Nigerian Nightmare" though?

Both men match up fairly evenly in height and reach. James stands five feet and nine inches and has a reach of 76 inches, while Samuel is six feet and one inch tall and possesses a 77 inch reach. Neither man has much of an advantage here then. And Toney, in the past, has done well against smaller sized heavyweights. He schooled Evander Holyfield in his most impressive performance against a heavyweight and then seemingly got his hands on a world title by out pointing John Ruiz - only to be stripped days later due to the steroids scandal. These fights prove that Toney is capable of defeating all heavyweights but the absolute juggernauts. And Peter is no colossus. Samuel definitely has the edge in punch power though. But at nothing else is he superior. He cannot outbox Toney, nor will he be able to outmuscle him. His only chance then, is to win via the KO. Such a result is possible - especially, as I've said, if James is not in good condition. But I feel it is unlikely. James will bring his A game and as a result give Peter a boxing lesson. Toney is still a superbly gifted and smart fighter, and at thirty seven, after taking very little punishment in his entire career, he has enough left to see off the Samuel Peters of the world. This is not to disrespect Samuel - the match up is one of top quality without a doubt. This is primarily due to the frightening KO power the Nigerian has in his fists - he will always have a chance because of this - against anyone! But the styles of the two men favour Toney in this one. I expect to see Peter frustrated all night, as Toney does his thing.

With the dominating points win I think we will see, James will become the official WBC number one contender. This will pave the way to a rematch with current ruler Rahman (providing he gets past Maskaev in August) and this time, in proper condition, I predict "Lights Out" will finally make good with his year's old promise of becoming heavyweight king. Credit must be given to both he and Peter for taking this fight - one with so much at stake for the pair of them - when instead they could have taken the easy route and fought far lower risk opponents while treading water, awaiting a title shot. Because both men have shown they mean business, we have a legitimately mouth-watering bout in prospect. One that neither guy can afford to lose. This alone guarantees finely tuned and well conditioned fighters will be on display come September 2nd.

This bout is the wake up call James Toney has needed. He will perform appropriately having received it!

Article posted on 04.07.2006

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