View Full Version : James Toney goes to war part 2

06-03-2011, 05:46 AM

"I think James Toney's got some real problems-you take away his bad boy bluff and, well, who is he then? What you got left?"
-Roy Jones

But then everything changed

But then everything changed. A day later, on 20 November 1994, James Toney went out to kill Jackie Kallen. It was all her fault, he decided, the loss of his unbeaten record and that terrible humiliation in Vegas. She'd got greedy and had put herself before him. He was going to make her pay. He was going to shot her as well as her husband and two sons.
Sherry Toney, his idol , called Jackie to warn her, to tell her that he was coming.
Jackie could hear that this time it was different. His blazing anger would not be doused. As she listened to the fright in Sherry's voice, she could hear him screaming in the background, telling his mother "that he was gonna shot up Jackie and her whole ****in family...."
The day had begun more quietly. James and Sherry Toney had driven over from Ann Arbor to the Kallen's home in suburban West Bloomfield, Michigan, to meet with Jackie and her husband. After the devastating loss to Jones it was time or them to decide how best they might pick up the thread of his changed career. Despite the hollow inside him, Toney was calm at first. He listened to Jackie go through the possibilities, thinking of the tacky "Losing is Not an Option" she'd had sewn onto their fight jackets. He started to seethe.
She recommended that he should exercise the rematch clause in his contract and again face Jones at super - middleweight. I he got into better shape early on, if he didn't balloon up to 210 like he had done before, if he stayed of the junk food and trained really hard, she still believed he had the ability to beat Jones. He could wipe away all the damage that had been done on Friday night.
It was then that Toney erupted. She had been the one who had made him take the fight at the lower weight, she had made him lose, and now she wanted him to do the same thing again. He'd had enough of her, he raged. He was through with her. By the time he reached home he'd made his choice. He was going to get her. It was then that Sherry called Jackie who, in turn, phoned the Detroit police. They took the threat seriously. The Kallen property was quickly surrounded by armed officers as they waited for the fighters arrival.
Yet, in the end, James Toney stayed away. He kept his gun to himself.
The Detroit police went looking for him instead, having opened an investigation into his death threat. He was questioned; but they soon let him go free with only a warning for intimidating behavior.
The following morning, while Jackie and Sherry were interviewed on television about the previous day's incident, Toney again berated her on Detroit radio. Calling her a 'ho' and telling her to 'to take your money until July [when their contract expired] and then get out', Toney alleged that Jackie had forced him to fight Jones even though she knew he had flu and that he had been severely drained by his weight loss. He claimed that she was more interested in her own wealth than his health, that he resented her craving or the spotlight.
The media found it easy to side with Jackie Kallen. 'I'd be lying,' she stressed, 'if I said I wasn't hurt, I was stunned, I wasn't horrified. One of the things he said was that I don't care about him/ I just never expected to hear that from James. I treated this kid like he's my family. We all traveled together as family, we went on holiday cruises as family. Personally. I don't think I could have dome much more for him. Yes, boxing is a business but I've never taken a penny
that I haven't rightfully earned. I'm sure James fights for the money also. I don't think he's in this game just because he loves the beauty o the ring.
'He said he had the flu and that I forced him into fighting Roy Jones. At the press conference and at the weigh in he was certainly fit and ****y enough. He though he was going to win then. No one made James Toney fight Roy Jones. He's always been the one that says he's the boss, that he calls the shots. So or him to turn round and say that I made him fight is absurd. No one makes that kid do anything.
'He's told his mother that he'll apologize if I apologize to him first. Well, I'm still trying to think what I should apologize for. For making him a millionaire, for getting him the biggest pay day of his career? Who knows what our future holds because I just don't think the words "I'm sorry" are in his vocabulary. He cant bring himself to say it.
"But, you know, I'm a compassionate person. I'm not hard nosed. Part of me understands why all of this has happened. I know how disappointed he was having to lose a big fight. Hardest of all for him was the way he lost, the fact that he was virtually run out of the ring. It wasn't a tight fight, there was no controversy about the decision. I think that was most hurtful to him, the fact that it wasn't even close. His whole identity was crushed. One minute you're the champion and the pound for pound number one, and the next minute you're basically just another fighter."

06-04-2011, 06:21 AM


"We must distrust one another. Its the only way to protect each other from betrayal..."

With Mike Tyson's adaption of Tennessee Williams tolling in my head, as if written for boxers and managers in Michigan, I decided to head for the South.

As a diversion from the Toney-Kallen rift, that partnership in which I'd once so believed. I flew to Florida. If the "James and Jackie" story could not produce the happy ending boxing so badly needed, I could still revel in the luster of Roy Jones Jnr. I had yearned for Toney to beat him but, at the end of the twelfth, I bowed to the reality of Jones's superiority.

While I knew I would never feel as much for Jones and his posse as I did for James, Jackie, Sherry, Jasmine and even Pee-Wee, I knew Jones was a phenomenon. I was also fascinated by the parallels and detours between his and Toney's very different fathers.

He, however, was less a fan of the Lights Out mob. "The Toney camp thought they could rattle me," Jones said. "When they were checking my gloves just before we went out to the ring, Jackie Kallen's brother came into my dressing room. He was their observer an' he starts staring at me as if he's also got this hard face, like I'm gonna get murdered tonight. That was when I decided I aint gonna take it no more. I walked right up to him, so that our noses were almost touchin' an' I said: "What are you lookin at? There ain't nothin you can do to stop me tonight- there ain't nothin anyone can do, you tell James Toney that.." And, man, he turned on his heel. He was outta there and so

I jus' started to throw some punches, watchin' myself in the mirror, sayin', "I'm gonna hit him with this hand...I'm gonna hit him with that head...bam-bam-bam...combinations, combinations, to the body, to his head." You saw me come out that night, you saw me do that little shimmy as soon I got up in the ring. I was so confidant, man, I don't even have a moment's doubt.."

"Did Toney say much to you during the fight?"

"Oh, sure," Jones remembers, shaking his head in disbelief, "I was poppin' these punches off from all different angles and they keep on landing an' James Toney's moanin', crouchin' down, "no, that ain't nothin'.."An' I'm breathing back, "yeah, okay, maybe they ain't nothin' but they're bouncin' off your head."...

"Did you think that you might even stop him-especially when he took that short count in the third?"

"Well, I got plenty of power to take one most of these guys but, if I can I prefer to go the distance. I feel I can learn more that way..."

"But against a guy like Toney," I argued, "even though you beat him easily on the night, you can't just pick and chose when you knock him down."

"Yeah, he's tough. he's got a big heart/ So I always felt it would go the full twelve. That's what I wanted. I didn't look for the big punch- I was content to overwhelm him every single round. I learnt stuff fighting James Toney for thirty six minutes ans so I'm pretty sure that I'm gonna be an even better fighter next time round. Because, against James Toney, I reckon I only used about 60 per cent of my full potential- both in power an' precision. He didn't extend me so I know I can go up a few more levels. I've got a whole lot more to offer and I think people will be shocked when they see how much I can still improve..."

As a staunch admirer of both Toney's ability and passion for fighting, an abdication to Jones's majesty came reluctantly. Yet Roy Jnr had the style to cancel out Toney and anyone else- at any weight class from middle to light-heavy. More than even De La Hoya or Hamed, Ry Jones looked to be in the groove.

"Yeah,'groove' is the word. Against James Toney I hit a groove all night,"

Roy Jones confirmed. "It felt like I could've fought the guy all night long-I hit the kind of groove against which he could do nothin". I jus' wanted to prove it to him again and again-that there ain't nothin he can do against me. An' that's what happened-simple as that. Y'see people were surprised I beat him so easily. "They kept sayin' that I hadn't been tested by a fighter like Toney-but I always knew I was better than him.

"Toney took defeat relatively well on the night," I said, "so were you surprised that he then threatened to kill Jackie Kallen?"

"Not really. In the ring he's a good technician but outside, he jus' tries too hard to be mean. I think James Toney's got some real problems-you take away his bad boy bluff and, well, who is he then? What you got left?"

Eubank the road to Watson II