James Toney Looks for Cruiserweight Boxing Return Against Lebedev as MMA Bout with Shamrock Recedes
By Johnny Walker
Veteran heavyweight James “Lights Out” Toney, last seen in a boxing ring waddling to a unanimous decision over the ironically named “Dangerous” Damon Reed while weighing a career-high 257 pounds, is threatening a return to the boxing ring, as a proposed but never scheduled MMA bout with Ken Shamrock has seemingly fallen apart over money issues. According to a press release from Toney’s camp, he now hopes to fight top cruiserweight contender Denis Lebedev (who recently knocked out a badly faded Roy Jones Jr.) on November 5 in Russia.
Toney (73-6-3, 44 KOs) has been claiming in interviews with various online boxing sites to have dropped a ton of weight, and indeed, a recent picture of the fighter circulating on the internet does show him looking to be much lighter than he was when he resembled Baby Huey back in February against the light-hitting Reed, who was recently knocked cold by heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder in two rounds.
“I’m going to beat [Lebedev’s] ass right at his weight class, so he can’t make any excuses,” claims Toney in the press release.
However, weight is only one of Toney’s problems. The fighter has been seen in recent video interviews with boxing journalist Elie Seckbach to be mumbling and slurring his words and looking glassy-eyed. Toney has also been losing his temper in public with increasing frequency, causing a major ruckus at the presser for the proposed fight with Shamrock, and also losing his membership at a health club for another angry outburst. These signs of possible pugilistic dementia indicate that Toney, who is rumored to have issues with the tax man, should not be licensed to fight without some very serious scrutiny from medical professionals.
Toney’s talents in the ring may be faded, but he is still able to trash talk with the best of them. Already thinking ahead, he is also joining the long queue to face the newly crowned WBA “regular heavyweight champion” Alexander Povetkin, a much preferable option to fighting either of the true world heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers, who Toney never fails to insult with juvenile taunts.
“November 5, I’m going to invade Russia and show this punk what happens when he messes with the USA,” he says of Lebedev.
“I’m calling it “Lights Out in Russia” because he’s just the first one I’m going to whip. After I beat up this Lebedev, I’m going back to Heavyweight after the one too afraid to fight the Klitschko sisters. Povetkin, I’m kicking his ass too!”
Confidence or delusion? We’ll leave it to the reader to decide.