By James Slater– As fans may know, there will be an International Heavyweight version of “Prizefighter” on May 7th, in London. Recognisable names: Kevin Johnson, Martin Rogan and unbeaten Cuban Mike Perez have been made official for the one-night, eight-man tournament, but until today rumours persisted that the great James Toney might also be close to signing for the event.
Well, in calling up the all-time great, former middleweight, super-middleweight, cruiserweight king, I was given a definite answer today: “Lights Out” will NOT be a participant in the May 7th show.
Here, in a short, somewhat volatile interview that had not been prearranged, the 42-year-old legend had the following answers to the few questions I had the time to ask. It was still a pleasure to be able to speak with an all-time great, as I told James, but his mood was not a great one..
Here is what he had to say:
James Slater: James, it’s always a pleasure to speak with an all-time great. There are persisting rumours that say you will be fighting in the May 7th “Prizefighter” in London. This is exciting, but can you confirm: are these rumours true or false?
James Toney: I can tell you right now – it’s bull shit! You know how much they offered me? $7,000!
J.T: No; $7,000! They must be out of their mind! I’m a former world champ and a current world champ – I’m the IBA heavyweight champion – why would I enter a BS tournament like that? For chump change?
J.S: We got excited thinking you’d be in the tourney – Kevin Johnson has reportedly signed up for it. I had you down as a potential winner!
J.T: No, not for chump change. They can kiss my ass! As I say, I’m the IBA heavyweight champion; I want someone to come up and challenge me so I can defend my title. No disrespect, but no dumb ass tournament means anything to me; why should it?
J.S: Well, thanks for quashing the rumours, Champ. We look forward to your next fight, whoever it may be against.
J.T: Okay. And you can tell him from me: David Haye is gay! You tell him from me when you see him!
Okay, it’s short and sweet; but I defy any other writer to be able to go out and get a better interview from J.T, the mood he is in today! I pity his next opponent!