29.04.05 – By Gail Carelli: James Toney has been doing a lot of talking lately, mostly about how he intends to destroy John Ruiz in their heavyweight bout coming up this Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden. What is also apparent is that Toney’s been doing a lot of eating too, ballooning up to 233 pounds as of Tuesday’s weigh-in. If his size is any concern, then it’s only to fans and commentators.. He’s too busy jawing to be fazed by it. Says Toney: “If the b*tch wants to fight me the way he fought the last three guys he’ll have a bad case of whiplash. Uppercuts, baby.”
As for John Ruiz, he’s mostly been living up to his moniker as “The Quiet Man.” The sixty-four thousand dollar question to many fans is, are we going to see a boxing match Saturday night, or another Greco-Roman style jab and grabfest? That remains largely up to Toney. We know that Quiet Man will do what he always does to win. Whether or not that creates an exciting slugfest or a twelve round snoozer is of no concern to Ruiz. He’s found a formula for winning, and win he does.
While Ruiz seems like a decent enough guy outside the ring, Norman Stone’s thuggish antics and Ruiz’s whining after the Jones fight didn’t exactly endear him to any fans willing to look past his ugly fighting style. That, coupled with Toney’s checkered past, make this less about picking a guy you like to win, and more about hoping the guy you dislike more will lose. Since I’m not exactly a huge fan of either of these fighters, all I really care about is seeing a good clean fight. Unfortunately, the odds of Toney winning by a KO in the first round are probably better.
Though it pains me to say it, I think Ruiz will win by decision after an extremely boring twelve rounds. I would be very happy to be wrong about that.
Gail Carelli is an attorney, freelance writer, and boxing fan living somewhere in the Midwestern USA. Carelli’s boxing blog can be found online at http://boxingfan.blogspot.com