Boxing

Sam Peter Punishes And Beats James Toney In 12

samuel peterJanuary 7th, 2007 - By Frank Gonzalez Jr. Sharkie’s Machine - Saturday night at the Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood Florida, Heavyweights James “Lights Out” Toney (69-6-3-1, 43 KO’s) fought a defining rematch against Sam “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter (28-1, 22 KO’s). Their first fight resulted in a controversial Decision win for Sam Peter. I thought Toney won that fight with better control and skills. Peter rarely landed any flush shots in that one but when he did, Toney took them well and always gave back with cleaner shots. Because Peter is so strong, I can understand how some thought he won the first fight. The rematch was certainly designed by the first questionable decision.

The rematch Saturday night was a clear victory for Peter, who showed noticeable improvements overall, including crisper punching, improved footwork and better stamina. Peter has benefited greatly from his recent experiences (the loss to Klitschko and the first Toney fight) and has become a more complete fighter.

Toney came in about as chiseled as possible for a chubby man. He looked confident as ever; slipping some punches early on, but not all of them. Toney managed to counter punch at times and showed a great chin but it was Sam Peter who initiated the action and controlled the tempo with some potent new wrinkles in his game.

In the first round, Peter was like a kid after Christmas, excited to play with his new and improved boxing skills. He bounced around, popped his jab repeatedly and kept James Toney at a good enough distance to land his punches while keeping Toney out of range. Though Toney did manage to land some clean shots in spots, he didn’t have the power to ever hurt Peter, who is a natural Heavyweight with a chin proven against the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, who hits a lot harder than Toney, who started his career at Middleweight.

By the end of the first round, Peter had pressured Toney into the ropes (where Toney likes to operate) and blasted him with big shots, often landing his right hand and stunning Toney, who returned fire with some slick counter punches that scored. Peter worked harder and landed punches that had authority. Toney HAD to be hurting.

In the second round, Toney was hit by a jab that put him on his seat. Toney was a bit off balance when that jab arrived. It’s been over a decade since Toney was knocked down. As the round progressed, Peter continued to press him and land some hard punches. Toney fired back and kept it lively.

In the opening of the third, Toney rocked Peter with a powerful right hand. Peter absorbed it and kept coming forward. Toney landed another big shot and again, Peter sucked it up but readjusted to a suitable distance that enabled him to score more often than Toney. Both had good moments in this round I scored even. It was the only round I could find to give Toney. The rest of the fight was quite entertaining as Peter poured on the punishment and Toney never stopped trying to win.

By the fourth, Peter was successfully in charge, landing clean shots and pressuring Toney and limiting his offense in the process. In the fifth, Toney did some good bodywork and combo punching in spots. Peter pressed him into the ropes and pounded away, causing Toney’s left eye to swell.

At the end of most rounds, Peter successfully made the extra effort to steal any rounds that might have been close. Toney gave a game effort but came up short all the way to the finish.

It was an interesting battle of two styles, Toney, the slickster with the great inside game and Peter, the big slugger with the improved skills that helped him best utilize his assets and connect with his power more effectively than last time these two fought.

Peter fought big and because of the distance he was creating, was able to control the fight and win every round on my scorecard. What he couldn’t do—was knock Toney out. Toney is one tough customer! While he lost just about every round on my card, he was competitive in every round. If he had bigger power, he might’ve had a better chance against the big Nigerian. Factor in the age and some 78 pro fights and you can’t help but give Toney some props. Father Time spares no man.

After the fight, Peter was bursting with excitement. He managed to keep it humble as he praised Toney for his great boxing skills. Toney showed no such grace during his post fight interview, denying that he lost the fight and mumbling some nonsense about him actually winning the fight. When asked if he respected Peter now after this second fight, Toney said flatly that he
had, “no respect for anybody!” and that he’ll continue to fight, dousing any questions about retirement before they were asked. I have no doubt he’ll beat some of the other Heavyweight contenders and pretenders out there.

With the win, Peter earned a shot at WBC Champion, Oleg Maskaev, who is a good boxer but he might be too slow for the overall improved Nigerian Nightmare. I like his chances over WBA Champ, Nicolay Valuev and current WBO Champ, Shannon Briggs. A rematch with Wladimir would be tremendous. Lets hope these guys face each other and produce ONE Champion. The 2007 version of Sam Peter is mighty impressive.


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On the under card bout, Super Welterweight Travis Simms (25-0, 19 KO’s), who had been out of the ring for two years, regained his WBA Champion status back as he snatched the title away from Jose Antonio Rivera (38-5-1, 24 KO’s), who was too slow and too easy for Simms to hit.

Travis was credited with two knockdowns and broke Rivera’s nose in the second round. With hardly any offense to speak of, Rivera managed to stay in the fight until Simms put him down again in the ninth. After Rivera beat the count and action resumed, Simms hammered Rivera unanswered and referee Frank Santore Jr. quickly stopped it, resulting in a TKO 9 victory for Simms.

Welcome back Travis. This guy could turn out to be the best fighter in the 154-pound division. The only other unbeaten Champion in the division is the WBO Champ, Sergiy Dzinziruk of the Ukraine, whose faced limited opposition so far. That would be a good fight to seek out if he can’t get a shot at WBC Champ, Oscar De La Hoya or IBF Champ, Cory Spinks. Any of those match ups would make for great entertainment. Simms said he would love to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.—but we all know that’s not likely to happen—too risky.

In closing, I want to thank all the fighters, trainers, and everyone out there who keep our sport alive. I wish all you fight fans out there a prosperous New Year!


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Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 08.01.2007



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