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So What Can James Toney Do, Anyway?

Here at the Potato, we realize that many of our readers are longtime boxing fans, while others among you still haven’t gotten around to watching “Rocky IV” yet (spoiler alert: it’s awesome). With that in mind we realized that some of you might be wondering, what’s this James Toney dude all about? Is he good or something?

The short answer to that question is, he used to be. He also used to be much leaner and quicker, but hell, so did Kirstie Alley. It still doesn’t do her any good in the present day. The things about Toney that have endured into his early forties are his ability to take a punch (in 83 pro fights, he’s never been knocked out), and his complete willingness to say outrageous stuff. The big difference now is that the outrageous stuff is a lot harder to understand, and he makes up for his slower hand speed by being harder to hit.

How will that translate into MMA? Well, if he tries to slip punches by bending over at the waist all the time, not good. That’s great for boxing, but just begging for a kick or knee to the dome in MMA. He’ll also have to learn all new footwork if he wants to stay upright against a decent grappler. Of course, there’s also the issue of conditioning, which is impossible not to mention once you’ve seen what the guy’s physique has looked like at times. Check out some Toney highlights after the jump and ask yourself, when we factor in the stopping power of his side check kick, could I see this man counter-punching his way to victories over experienced MMA fighters?

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Joedirt- March 5, 2010 at 4:28 am
ghostboner... I saw the show and watched them rationalize it. The difference was negligible. I have sparred with both. I'm not sure the test tells everything... maybe the size of the contact point etc... I dunno (hence I'm not on the show). But I will give you that... if I'm about to be punched in the face, I like watching the person put a larger glove on.
ghostboner- March 4, 2010 at 10:45 pm
@Joedirt - Sport science can say whatever the hell they want. Go to the gym and spar with someone wearing 12 oz gloves and someone wearing 4.5 oz gloves.
Joedirt- March 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm
Mdollas... You missed the part where I said "... like Toney in his PRIME" as in NOT Toney. There are different types of boxers.. some fight close and some are like Anderson Silva that are elusive. I'm just saying because of the money difference there have been NO top boxers even try MMA. Clearly they would have to adjust to avoiding kicks, ground work etc. but it would be foolish to think it's been any different when you take a wrestler or JJ guy and have him cross train with striking. If you teach a boxer an arm bar it doesn't make him a grappler... but on the same note teaching a wrestler to throw a punch doesn't make him a boxer. It would just be interesting to see a boxer on the top of his game cross train and compete in MMA.
RearNakedPoke- March 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm
i think kimbo would be a good match up for "Mummbles" first fight. its a win/win but i doubt it happens. that fight could go either way. but if you put "Mummbles" in there with a pro...its seth petruzelli all over again..."mummbles" gets sub'ed or KO'ed....
Mdollas- March 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm
There are no ufc fighters with that type of striking because you would get kicked/kneed in your face standing flat footed slippin punches like that.
Joedirt- March 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm
I'd like to see somebody like Toney in his PRIME come to the UFC. As good as some of the strikers are there are NO ufc fighters with that type of striking. Anderson Silva dominates with just his hands but his boxing record is 1-1... both fights against nobodies. Clearly I'm aware that unlike Anderson, Toney has no grappling skills but still.... it would be cool to see a prime boxer try it out. Of course it will NEVER happen while the paydays are such CRAP.
Shane Carwin was to fight for the heavyweight title of the world.... and he has a full time job. How the hell can you be the best fighter in the world when you train AFTER work?? The UFC needs to get off of its wallet.
LukeTheDuke- March 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm
Don't count him out...Everyone has a punchers chance, but James Toney's chances are way way way way better than most of the lower level strikers in the UFC. Also, Toneys head movement is fucking brilliant but I could see him try to bob and weave and eat a knee at some point. Hey James, try to TONEY it down a little bit. (pun intent 100%)
kerouac- March 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm
I used to really enjoy boxing (i know i know, youre all happy for me) and i remember Toney in his prime. He was a good boxer - until he won the title. Then he became a REALLY good boxer. Its funny how a title can either make a fighter become soft (hello Buster Douglas) or it can help them become the figther they were meant to be, and for Toney it was the latter. And just like in boxing, Toney will always have the punchers chance, but we all know what the game plan is going to be against this guy - ground and pound with a side order of leg kicks.
robthom- March 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm
I dont follow boxing.

But let me ask you this out of curiosity, who is more well known and/or decently ranked at Heavyweight these days?

We're not gonna get Klitshko's.

Hollyfield? Danny Haye?

James Toney has to be at least better known for promotional purposes than Danny Haye.

I think Toney is a decent acquisition for what it is. Better than raggedy old Mercer.
Joedirt- March 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm
It's too bad Toney is WELL out of his prime. But still... IF an opponent actually JUST strikes with him.... they are not fighting a smart fight. He can still be dangerous washed up or not. Truthfully.... after Coutures recent performances and his weak predictable stand up... he could lose that match.
The gloves won't make a difference. Sport Science proved the strikes were the same with MMA gloves and boxing gloves.
DazedNConfused- March 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm
Robthom I think your a bit late. Toney hasn't fought anyone worth while for 6+ years.
robthom- March 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm
You know what just occurred to me?

anderson has all these boxing aspirations.
If Toney could Jenny Craig his ass down to 205, or if anderson can KFC his ass up to 206 that would be a satisfying spectacle.

I'll take Toney.
robthom- March 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm
I think Toney in UFC is kind of a big deal.

This is the first time a well respected and legitimately talented athlete from the boxing world has seriously... well at least showed up at all to the biggest MMA stage where he'll encounter legit competition.

It may be a freakshow of sorts but I cant help but imagine that it also carries a unique opportunity to finally show the "boxing world" what we can really do.

And there's no reason to be shitty about it either.
The legitimacy of MMA and the eventual outcome is in no doubt. I'm glad Toney is stepping up, he talked it and now he's gonna walk it. That deserves a certain amount of respect IMO.
MIRJITSU- March 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm
Sooooo ...that is the guy that James Toney ate?
hjdevnull- March 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm
I mean... do we have the words to express how hilarious it would be if Kimbo wins by kimura or something? What if he whips out a mounted triangle? Keep in mind, Kimbo has at least stepped foot inside ATT, Toney might well think a gogoplata is some sort of sushi.
Supernoob- March 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm
I like the last fight vs michael nunn, toney weighed in at 156 lbs. 15fucking6...
El Guapo- March 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm
Fergie Ferg vs Mumbles, loser goes home..

Don't get me wrong, I love a good freakshow as much as the next guy, but the lore of Kimbo(if it even was lore, some might call it curiosity more than anything)seems to be wearing off with each passing fight. And if Toney can't beat a taylor made opponent like Ferg, he might as well ride off into the sunset and call it a career. Maybe make an Epic Black Beard Man video or three to stay relevant.
meanfinger- March 4, 2010 at 11:56 am
kimbo is gonna arm bar a nigga
DazedNConfused- March 4, 2010 at 11:42 am
Honestly if they give him a pure striker I could see him winning. He has amazing talent, can see punches from a mile away and hits like a train (Imagine in 4oz gloves), So if Kimbo or even someone like Chieck Kongo, get called up to fight him, I could see James Toney laying them out. Come on, we know he cant wrestle, and will probably get tired. But I don't think he'd need more than a round to embarrass Kimbo.
Versus Vs IndirectTV- March 4, 2010 at 11:41 am
My advice to JT:

- Hang out with Chuck Liddel as much as you can

- Call out Tim Sylvia ASAP!

- Its Bruce... Not Michael

UFC is now the best- March 4, 2010 at 11:40 am
You can't rely on your counter punch when your opponent is wearing 4 oz gloves, and CP is right, that ducking and hiding near the waist is just asking for a knee to the face. I really hope he trains and gets in some sort of fighting condition. I would like to see a semi-competitive battle for the first round, and then in the second his opponent takes him down for some good ole fashion G n P, so he can see what this MMA is all about. Obviously there is some side check kicks in there too.
G Funk- March 4, 2010 at 11:27 am
It reminds me of Liddel how he used to speak clearly in his early days only to be slurring and slurping his words now. Its quite sad.
meanfinger- March 4, 2010 at 11:20 am
slice vs. toney?
James- March 4, 2010 at 11:19 am
@ CP: Rumor has it Kimbo is going to be Toney's first opponent, his fight with Mitrione was recently cancelled, check the UFC website.
ghostboner- March 4, 2010 at 11:18 am
Toney is an awesome boxer. I don't think that was ever in question.