30.04.05 – By Jim Amato: Well, James Toney won a well deserved decision over John Ruiz and with it came the recognition as heavyweight champion by the WBA. So, who’s next on Toney’s dance card? More then likely it will be IBF titleholder Chris Byrd. Needless to say, I hope that Toney plans to get back into the ring real soon, since I’m afraid of what weight he may come in at for his next bout.
Although David Tua is no longer a major player because of inactivity, I doubt if he would be considered for another title shot. Just in case Toney may be looking for a “safe” defense before meeting Byrd, he better not have Tua’s name on that list.
Tua has become a slow and somewhat ponderous heavyweight. The thing is, Toney likes to fight off the ropes. If Tua gets James on the ropes it could get ugly. That scenario puts me in mind of Ken Norton’s fight with Earnie Shavers. Norton tried fighting off the ropes and Shavers missed some punches but when he connected…Well, Kenny never made it through the first session. James, please stay away from Tua.