Samuel Peter: Boxing Nemesis?

samuel peter19.08.06 - By Coach Tim Walker - When I was a kid learning the science of boxing I had a gym nemesis. Everything about us suggested similarity. We were the same height, same weight, a year apart in age and only started in the gym a few days apart but we really didn’t seem that similar to me at all. I trained harder than he did. I ran farther and faster than he did.

I did more push ups, sit ups, and jumped rope longer than him as well but none of that seemed to matter. Ultimately the greatest difference between us didn’t become apparent until we got in the ring. With Vaseline shimmering on my head gear and a nicely fitted fifty cent mouthpiece braced between my teeth my nemesis and I mounted the apron in opposite corners. Soon after the buzzer sounded I immediately understood where I was…I was in his world!

I had more tangibles than my nemesis. My speed, power, footwork and general boxing skill were all better than his but this guy seemed to handle me somewhat easily. He would slip my jabs and pivot out of my clinches. Against everyone else he looked mediocre but against me he always looked sensational. I never quit understood it until several years later. The bottom line is that my nemesis had my number.

He, for some reason, believed that he could beat me and virtually every time we sparred he did just that. That is where James Toney has lucked out thus far with the heavyweight competition that he has faced. He hasn’t faced an opponent in the heavyweight division who didn’t respect him enough to believe that they could beat him. All that may be coming to a screeching stop on September 2nd.

Toney will face a hard hitting Nigerian Nightmare by the name of Samuel Peter and everything about him suggests that he doesn’t respect Toney at all. As a man I am sure that he respects him but as boxer maybe not. Peter didn’t grow up watching Toney move through ranks of divisions and boxers alike. The end result of which is a lack of star potential in the eyes of Peter. To Peter, unlike how it was with Rahman, Guinn, Ruiz and Booker, Toney is a man who stands in the path of what he ultimately wants: the heavyweight championship. Booker is at best a cruiserweight in heavyweight’s clothing. Ruiz is well…Ruiz. Guinn was totally gun shy and Rahman was way too respectful and never committed to pouncing on him.

Toney won’t have the luxury of any of those situations when he faces Peter. Does Toney have more skill? Absolutely! Does Toney train harder than most in boxing? Possibly! Does Toney have more experience against better competition in bigger situations? Unquestionably! But what Peter has that might make the difference in the fight is the belief that he should win. His words are pointed. He isn’t talking about making this fight a good pugilistic encounter or a fight for the ages. Peter is simply talking about winning this fight by the most decisive outcome possible. He is talking about knocking Toney out. Whether that ends up being knocking him out of his shoes, out of the ring, or simply out of competition Peter simply wants him out. If Peter is successful against Toney then he may just become the nemesis we have been waiting on. The Nightmare may just be the nemesis for the entire heavyweight division.

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Article posted on 20.08.2006

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