Peter vs. Toney II will begin at a special time
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There was no doubt that the first fight was close and there was a case to be made for the fight being a Toney victory. Boxing is full of close controversial decisions and Toney's draw with Rahman was just as controversial
James "Lights Out" Toney (69-5-3, 43 KO's) Sherman Oaks, California, via Detroit, Michigan. 38-years-old, 5'11", 233-pounds, trained by Billy Blanks and self-managed.
Style: Toney can thank the WBC's love of sanctioning fees for this second go-round with Sam Peter, even though he got the short end of the stick the first time with the Nigerian. Toney is "Old School" in fact at times he looks like a throwback to someone who fought in the 1930's, 1940's or 1950's. Toney is an old fashion boxer/puncher from the Archie Moore School of Boxing. He will roll his shoulders, catch shots with his gloves and elbows while applying steady pressure and relentlessly bang to the head and belly. Toney is like a Major League baseball pitcher with about a dozen different pitches. He will throw shots in different sequences and patterns while changing angles of attack. If you start looking for one thing, chances are he will make you pay with something different. He is most effective coming forward, cutting off the ring and firing combinations but he can also counter punch or trade leather in close quarters. If Toney gets tired, or starts to fatigue you can look for a great deal of holding, hitting and trying to muscle the bigger man around to do just enough to survive and possibly win.
Strength: Toney is one of the savviest professional fighters in the ring today. There is no wasted movement and he has mastered the art of boxing, defending and countering with both hands. He can slip punches, block and then rattle your molars with whistling accuracy. He may not look pretty in his oversized trunks and ample waistband but the guy knows how to fight. Toney knows how to get extra leverage on his punches while at the same time maneuvering his opponents around the ring. He can push, pull, duck and then lash out with crisp combinations or searing left hooks and short clean right hands.
Weakness: You never really know how big Toney will be until he steps on the scales. Over the course of his career he's gone from 157 to an ample 237. Toney has fought a long battle with his diet and his weight has ballooned at times to defensive lineman proportions. Compounding Toney's problems has been a work ethic that has been less than stellar. Toney at his best can be surly and adding to his problems was a torn right bicep in the Booker fight and a torn Achilles tendon that forced him to cancel a fight with Jameel McCline. Toney has tremendous talent but throughout much of his career he has been his own worst enemy and there's always questions about his attitude and discipline in training camp.
Samuel "Nigerian Nightmare" Peter (27-1, 22 KO's) Las Vegas, NV, via Akwaibom, Nigeria. 25-years-old, 6'1", 257 pounds, trainer of record Jesse Reid & Pops Anderson, managed by Ivailo Gotzev.
Style: The muscular African from Nigeria who now calls Las Vegas home is a brawler and a puncher. He throws several types of right hands from straight crosses to overhand rights that can put the hurt on most large land mammals. Only five of his fights have gone the distance and despite getting beaten by Wladimir Klitschko in September 2005, he dropped the future IBF heavyweight champion three times before being outpointed on the score cards.
Strength: Peter is a tremendously strong heavyweight with a wicked right hand. He throws hard straight right crosses and can also come over the top in an effort to remove your head from your shoulders. He likes to cut off the ring and if he catches his opponent on the ropes he can be merciless. In his fifth round TKO win over Yanqui Diaz, he dropped his opponent 5 times; but he was also penalized 2 points in 2nd for intentionally hitting Diaz when he was down on the deck. His jab is below average but his left hook is underrated and he can cause damage if he starts opening up with both hands.
Weakness: There are a number of issues that Peter must address when he squares off with Toney in their rematch. His defense is suspect and he struggled against a plodding heavyweight when he lost to Klitschko. At times Peter seems raw and when he gets buzzed he has had a hard time just executing the basics like clinching. It remains to be seen how Peter will deal with Toney's innate ability to roll with punches and land ripping counters especially in close quarters. In their first fight, Peter was penalized a point for boxing's Toney's ears after grew more and more frustrated with the former world champion's style and technique. Perhaps the most troubling is that Peter has continued to go up in weight and was at the heaviest of his career when he fought Toney the first time last September and he tipped the Toledo's at 257 pounds. You don't have to be swift of foot to catch up with Mr. Toney, however, you need to the ability to move and escape the numerous traps he will set throughout the contest. If Peter comes in too heavy he will struggle in letting his hands go.
Backstory: The rematch was ordered by the WBC because of questionable and controversial scoring in the first Peter vs. Toney eliminator last September. In that bout the overweight and remarkably physically gifted Toney came up short on the scorecards versus the big power puncher Peter. Judge **** Flaherty and Alejandro Rochin both scored the fight 116-111 for Peter. However, Judge Gale Van Hoy had the bout 115-112 for Toney. Peter may have scored the 12 round split decision on the scorecards, however, the boxing fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles voiced their displeasure with the verdict and a number of boxing scribes gave the nod to the former three-time world champion in three different weight classes.
Jose Antonio Rivera vs. Travis Simms, 12 rounds, for Rivera's WBA junior middleweight title; Roman Karmazin vs. James Obede Toney, 10 rounds, junior middleweights