By Johnny Walker
As we reported, ESPN boxing scribe Dan Rafael was the target of an obscene and threatening video this past week made by faded heavyweight boxer James “Lights Out” Toney.
Toney made repeated derogatory remarks about the boxing writer’s weight, and threatened to come to the ESPN offices to give Rafael a beating.
Toney was incensed by Rafael’s column in which the writer stated that Toney’s announced September fight with Polish heavyweight Tomasz Adamek was a dreadful mismatch, given Toney’s fading abilities and deteriorated health. Rafael also made reference to Toney’s tax problems (Toney owes the California State government over $350,000 in back taxes).
Coincidentally or not, a few hours after our story about Toney’s Rafael-threatening video was published, Adamek’s promoter Main Events announced that Toney had been dropped as an opponent for their fighter. The official reason given was Adamek’s possible participation in an upcoming heavyweight tournament.
Rafael—who also became embroiled in an online feud with Shannon Briggs last year–chose his weekly ESPN online chat session as the place to respond to Toney on Thursday.
The boxing scribe chooses which questions to answer during his chats, allowing him to expound on whatever topics interest him, and this week he chose to answer a few queries that let him fire back at Toney.
The most pointed response was to a chat participant who asked if Rafael was personally offended by Toney’s remarks.
“I take it with a grain of salt from an angry, brain damaged and broke fighter,” Rafael wrote. “I am not mad at James. I just feel sorry for him.”
No, he’s not mad in the least!
Rafael also got in a another dig at Toney, who said Rafael was “full of sh*t” for contending that Toney now slurs his speech.
To a questioner who said he watched Toney’s video and “had no idea what he was saying”, Rafael snarked,
“Cliffs Notes: Apparently I’m fat, better watch my back and he’s the best heavyweight in the world.”
Finally, Rafael answered the question, “Who is in more denial, Toney or the Paterno family?” with one word: