Toney vs. Peter: Look For Samuel To Put Toney Out Of His Misery!

karen belford29.08.06 - By Karen Belford: This Saturday at the Staples center in Los Angeles, we will possibly be seeing the end of a once great star, James Toney, 38, when he takes on the young Nigerian knockout artist Samuel Peter (26-1, 22 KO's)in a fight that will decide the future opponent for Oleg Maskaev, the WBC heavyweight champion.

Toney (69-4-3, 43 KO's) clearly has the better boxing skills, even at this advanced stage in his career, no matter what shapes he's in. He's just a flat out much better boxer than Peter can hope to be. However, the problem for Toney is that since moving to the heavyweight division, he's relied on winning his fights while fighting off the ropes, partly to conserve strength now that's older, but also to take advantage of his superior counter punching and defensive skills. Up to this point, Toney has been wildly successful using this style, beating fighters, such as, John Ruiz, Dominick Guinn and fighting to a draw against Hasim Rahman.

However, as good as those fighters are, none of them come close to being as dangerous a fighter as Peter when it comes to overall power punching ability. This is not to say that they are weak punches, since clearly, any of them have the potential to take a fighter out, yet none of them are them possess the same one-punch power that can put a fighter away like Peter can. No, the main problem for Toney, it would seem, is that Peter thrives when he gets an opponent up against the ropes, where they have ability to escape from his murderous punches, all thrown with full force.

Another problem for Toney, in fact, is his tendency to duck punches or move his upper body from side to side, twisting away from punches, thus causing his opponents to either miss or to eventually lessen the power on their punches in hopes of connecting. In most cases, this would be a benefit. However, Peter throws his punches with full force all the time, whether he's missing or not, he never gives up on his power. Certainly, in many cases, that would be a problem against an opponent that could move well around the ring, like Wladimir Klitschko in his fight with Peter.

That's something Peter won't have to worry about with Toney, come this Saturday night. At this point, Toney couldn't change even if he wanted to, in my opinion, for he's just too old and too heavy to start dancing around the ring like he used to 10 years earlier.

But before I go on, let me just say, I've seen all of Toney's recent fights, enough to know that his fighting ability has been uneven as of late. His last bout, a draw with Hasim Rahman, in March 2006, was one of his less than successful efforts. Only that's too kind. It was a terrible performance, actually, a fight punctuated by Toney's dreadful condition and his lethargic movements around the ring, like he was laboring under the burden of having to haul his weight around. Worst of all, Toney had fallen in love with ropes, probably more so than in any of his previous bouts, laying continuously on them, as if his legs weren't strong enough to hold up his pendulous belly. It was sad to watch, almost like watching an old pet limp around the yard. I can see the end is near.

Now, with Peter, heís clearly an awesome slugger, a fighter that relies on bludgeoning his opponents into submission with his huge fists and his wild, all out attacks, which are difficult to defense against, a fact that Wladimir Klitschko would probably agree with. Since losing a 12-round decision to Klitschko in September 2005, in a fight in which Wladimir was knocked down three times, Peter has beaten Robert Hawkins and Julius Long, none of which were in the least bit competitive with Peter. In his last fight, a 1st round knockout over Long, Peter looked sensational in stopping him in the first round.

I see the fight lasting several rounds with Toney taking a lot of punishment against the ropes before being ultimately stopped by a brutal right hand by Peter, causing Toney to be stopped, probably unconscious. Itís a case of too much youth and power for the old veteran.

Prediction: Peter by 3rd round KO.

Article posted on 29.08.2006

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