Peter Dominates Toney!

06.01.07 - By Jeff Bastasini: Samuel Peter (28-1, 22 knockouts) had an easy time tonight beating the grizzled, 38-year old ring veteran James Toney, beating him by a lopsided unanimous decision at the Seminole Hard Rock LIVE Arena in Hollywood, FL. The victory, the second consecutive win over Toney for Peter, makes him the mandatory challenger for Oleg Maskaev, the WBC heavyweight champion..

The fight was never close from the start, for as soon as the bell rang in the first round, Peter was all over the shorter, and noticeably weaker Toney, beating him around the ring seemingly at will for the most part. In the 2nd round, Toney was knocked down after getting hit with a weak jab thrown by Peter. However, in fairness to Toney, he was off balance at the time, appearing to be trying to spin away from the punch. Nevertheless, it hardly mattered. Peter chased after him and punished him against the ropes, landing a series of sledgehammer shots, some to the back of Toney's head. As usual, Toney showed a good chin and weathered the storm.

In the 3rd round, perhaps his best round of the fight, Toney came back strong and landed the better shots of the round, in which he was able to tag Peters on a number of occasions with big right hands, though none had much effect on the iron-chinned Peter. Still, the round was close, as Peter rallied in the last 20 seconds and had Toney against the ropes as the round ended.

At the start of the 4th round, Toney landed several good combinations, which Peter walked through as if were nothing. Quickly Peter closed range and pounded Toney with big head shots and hard punches to the body, knocking Toney back at times from the momentum. At the end of the round, Toney's left eye appeared swollen, red and starting to close.

In rounds five through seven, Peter seemingly hit Toney at will, driving him back again and again with either power shots and a steady left jab. The jab was surprising, for it was something that Peter has rarely used in other fights, instead preferring to slug it out with power shots. Against Toney, Peter found an easy target with his new weapon, and was shockingly able to dominate Toney with it, almost alone.

In the eighth round, Peter appeared to take this round off, I suppose, because he felt that his lead was so commanding, he could afford to rest. Indeed, he had a huge lead by this point and Toney was looking lost and confused, not knowing what to do against the much more powerful Peter. Despite landing more shots in this round, Toney, nonetheless, was fought to a standstill by Peter, who rallied at the end to make it close.

In rounds nine through eleven, Peter completely controlled the action, landing more often, and the much harder shots. By this point, Toney was in bad shape, his face badly swollen and red all over, and he was also bleeding from the mouth. Periodically, Toney would land a good shot, only to be snowed under with by punches by an enraged looking Peter, who would quickly back Toney up and have his way with him.

In the twelfth round, and badly trailing in the fight, Toney made a half-hearted shot and trying to mount an attack. However, Peter immediately returned fire, causing Toney to retreat like a whipped dog. To be honest, over the final two minutes of the fight, Toney tried very little, seeming mostly afraid of another all out attack by Peter. It was strange for me to see this, since I'd never witnessed Toney be cowered in such a manner. It was almost as if Toney was submitting to Peter.

The final judges scores (119-109, 118-110, and 118-110) really didn't truly show how badly Toney was beat tonight. Toney, in fact, suffered a brutal beating at the hands of Peter tonight, getting hit with innumerable hard shots that would have knocked out an average heavyweight. I give credit to Toney for taking them, though I think he probably should have folded earlier in the fight rather than sustaining a needless beating.

Afterwards, Toney was pitiful sight, face swollen badly, and slurring his words while being interviewed by Jim Gray, the Showtime broadcaster. "I won the fight...I have to fight another day, he couldn't knock me out, no one can…I knockout all bums...I have no respect for anyone," said Toney, badly slurring every word and looking sad, defeated and obstinate.

At this point, Toney, now 38, perhaps needs to make a big decision as to whether he should continue fighting on in the heavyweight division, particularly in light of his two losses in row to Peter. Clearly, he's still a very good fighter, but against larger, more powerful heavyweights like Peter, Wladimir Klitschko or Hasim Rahman, he's hopelessly overmatched.

Article posted on 07.01.2007

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