Peter Wins Controversial Decision Over Toney
September 3rd, 2006 - By Frank Gonzalez Jr., photo by Tom Casino / Showtime -Sharkie’s Machine: In a WBC Heavyweight Eliminator bout Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, 233-pound James “Lights Out” Toney (69-5-3-1, 43 KO’s) faced 257-pound power puncher, Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter (27-1, 22 KO’s).
Article posted on 04.09.2006
The consensus among fight fans was that either Toney would win by decision or Peter would win by knock out. Who would’ve guessed that Peter would win by decision?
Though that’s how it will show on the record, the truth is that James Toney landed the cleaner punches at a higher percentage and for 12 rounds, was able to prevent Peter from landing anything particularly flush. Peter showed some improvements in his skills but against the superior boxer that is James Toney, it’s my opinion that Peter lost most of the rounds.
Toney consistently landed his jab and combinations inside and frustrated Peter, testing his stamina till the end. Peter’s best moments came in the third, fifth, tenth and twelfth rounds, when he was able to do more damage.
It was Peter who looked the worse for wear after twelve rounds. Peter’s mouth and nose were bleeding, his eyes swollen and looking worse for wear than Toney. Toney had out worked and out boxed Peter for the seven of the first eight rounds with jabs, slick defensive mobility and superior ring generalship. Peter was sloppier, winging power punches that were mostly missing the mark and rarely landing cleanly.
Action slowed a bit after the eighth and Peter lost a point for throwing a double earmuff punch during a break in the ninth round.
At times, Peter was able to stun Toney with a few fair shots but Toney took them well and always answered with crisper punches. Though Peter rocked Toney a couple of times, Toney showed a great chin and managed to stun Peter more than a few times himself, while winning most of the rounds. Peter did manage to win the final round by out working Toney.
I score rounds based on clean punching, ring generalship and defense. I don’t know what the criteria are for Dick Flaherty and Alejandro Rochin, who saw the fight in reverse of what I saw.
The official scores were 115-112 for Toney and 116-111 twice for Peter, who won a very questionable split decision. Considering the point deduction for Peter in the ninth, I had it 116-112 in favor of James Toney.
During the post fight interview, Peter was very complimentary of Toney, remarking how strong he was and how well he took a big punch. Peter tried to embrace Toney in a show of good sportsmanship but Toney wasn’t particularly interested in any niceties after hearing the Official scores. At 38 years old, Toney doesn’t have time for bogus decisions in what should be the twilight of his career.
When Toney was interviewed, he said that he definitely won the fight. He said, “Look at my face and look at his, how the hell did he win that fight?” He was right. In his anger, Toney started a ruckus in the ring aimed at Peter’s Manager. Peter was whisked away to the locker room as the cooler heads in the ring cordoned Toney off.
Considering the wild scoring from Press Row, the Official Judges and whoever else was keeping score, James Toney at the least, deserves a rematch.
This questionable result sets Sam Peter up to face WBC Champion, Oleg Maskaev next for the Title.
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