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#1
Old 01-18-2016, 04:18 PM
IronDanHamza
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Default James Toney; Most overrated fighter of the 90's?

I think so.

Did James Toney ever have an impressive dominant performance over a top opponent in his career? The only two I think that could arguably qualify are Iran Barkley and Vassily Jirov. But on the flipside Barkley is a decent opponent at best and although Toney beat Jirov clearly it was hardly a dominant performance.

A quick look into James Toney's career (not just the 90's)

Turned Pro in 1988, had a string of easy building fights as most pro's do until he fought cagey veteran Sanderline Williams in 1990.

This was a decent step up at the time, the fight was scored a draw. I scored the fight for Toney but it was reasonably close. You could see the difference in experience and despite the unlucky draw it was a good learning fight for Toney and a fight he avenged 3 months later in dominant fashion.

In 1991 he fought Merqui Sosa, undefeated prospect but expected to be an easy fight for the rising potential star Toney. Toney won by split decision, showing signs of struggle against what was supposed to be an easy opponent. I scored the fight for Toney after winning the first half of the fight plus a knockdown. He seemed to fade late and let Sosa back into the fight but the right man won IMO. Still, by no means dominant.

Later that year he fought his best opponent to date and possibly the best win of his career, Micheal Nunn. Nunn exposing many flaws In Toney's game was well ahead in the fight until Toney pulled it out the bag and got a late KO. A great win for Toney but far far from dominant.

His next fight after that he fought Reggie Johnson, IMO a very underrated fighter and very skilled fighter. Toney expected to win but yet again struggling badly, getting dropped and hurt in the second round and IMO losing the fight. Toney was awarded an SD in what was a close fight that could have gone either way, but for my money Johnson did enough to edge it.

Later that year Toney matched up with a great fighter and IMO the greatest Jr MW of all time in Mike McCallum in one of my favourite ever fights. Great back and forth and skills for both men. Very close fight that ended up a draw which IMO could not be fairer as I scored it a draw myself. More people seemed to think Toney edged it but many also felt Mcallum did. Can't argue with the result.

After one of the best fights I've ever seen, Toney's next fight possibly being his worst ever performance against Dave Tiberi, another expectation of an easy fight an alleged "drained" and "out of shape" Toney got gifted a split decision over Tiberi in one of the worst robberies I've personally ever seen. A clear cut win for Tiberi IMO.

Later that same year of 1992 Toney rematched Mike McCallum, the rematch not living up to the first encounter but still a good fight none the less. Much like many Toney fights Toney landing the cleaner flashier work but finding himself getting out worked consistently. The fight was scored for Toney by Majority decision. Once again a very close fight despite the ridiculous wide scorecards. I scored the fight for McCallum but can't argue with the decision.

After the McCallum rematch he fought two solid opponents in Doug DeWitt and Iran Barkley, beating both easily. As we entered 1993 and up until 1994 Toney fought mostly weak opposition outside of Tim Littles and Tony Thornton who were decent/solid wins.

His next fight was Prince Charles Williams who was considered to be a decent test. Despite struggling to dominate the fight he did pull out a KO in the final round.

His next fight against Roy Jones Jr. No need to talk about this fight everyone knows how it went. Toney was dominated every second of every round despite being the betting favourite.

His next fight was with a 14-0 relatively unknown Montel Griffin. Once again Toney falling short in a fight he was expected to win losing an MD. Very close fight that could have gone either way, I had Griffin just edging it.

After back to back loses, Toney fought weak opposition for the remainder of 1995 and 1996, until the rematch with Montel Griffin in 1997.

Griffin won the rematch by UD, however IMO Toney edged it.

Despite arguments for both sides IMO both of these fights were clearly very close and certainly not robberies. Toney once again finding a way to make a fight close and struggling to put on a dominant performance.

His next fight after that was a third fight with McCallum. This time Toney getting a clear decision over the ageing great.

With the momentum from the McCallum win Toney fought Drake Thadzi, once again expecting to be an easy fight against a sub-par opponent but at this point you'd be naive to think any fight is easy for Toney. He went on to lose to Thadzi by MD. A close-ish fight but a fight that Toney certainly lost. Toney had the "out of shape" excuse ready as per usual.

After an extremely disappointing loss to Thadzi, Toney didn't do much from 1997-2003 in which he fought mostly poor opposition until he got his shot at Crusierweight Champ Vassily Jirov.

Toney the betting underdog pulled out what is arguably the best win of his career beating Jirov by UD in a back and forth war. Rivalling McCallum 1 in one of the best fights of his career and certainly one of his best wins. However despite the goodwin it was still far from dominant despite clearly being ahead on the cards.

His next fight he moved up to Heavyweight to beat the shell Evander Holyfield in a fight that IMO should never have happened.

After this there's not much of note to talk about with Toney other than a failed drug test vs John Ruiz aswell as two valiant efforts vs Sam Peter.

As you can see running themes in James Toney's career are struggling with sub-par opposition and being incapable of putting on a dominant performance.

Can you name a single dominant and impressive win over a top level opponent? I honestly can't.

He failed to dominate or clearly beat Tiberi, McCallum (first 2), Johnson, Griffin, Thadzi and struggled with S.Williams and Sosa.

Touching again on his best wins, Nunn and Jirov. He didn't like dominant in either fight, especially Nunn.

People say Roy Jones fought weak opponents yet Jones blasted out Sosa in 2 rounds, Griffin in one round, dominated and shut out Reggie Johnson. These are "weak opponents" Toney struggled with and arguably lost to.

IMO Toney in the 90's went 0-1 with Reggie Johnson, 0-1 with Dave Tiberi, went 1-1 with Montel Griffin, 0-1-1 with McCallum, 0-1 with Roy Jones and 0-1 with Drake Thazdi.

Best wins being Nunn, Grffin 2 and Barkley.

If we look at his resume for the 90's specifically is it impressive? It's littered with poor performances against sub par opponents and he struggled or lost against every good fighter he faced.

What's your view? Is Toney overrated? If he's considered an ATG then certainly, IMO.
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#2
Old 01-18-2016, 04:36 PM
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Not over rated, just look at his skill set and talent, techniques and methods!
No not over rated, very very good in fact!

Ray
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#3
Old 01-18-2016, 04:37 PM
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James toney is one of my favorite fighters so I may be biased..

I don't think he is overrated dude is an ATG, but not high on a top 100 list. Nearly everyone rates roy, pernell, evander, chavez, lopez ahead of toney..
Talent wise, the guy is an atg.. We are talking about a guy that beat won a middleweight title before Michael Jordan ever won a title, and was up at heavyweight fighting for titles long after jordan retired the 3 time. That longevity and weight jump is very impressive.

Toney's biggest problem was being consistent.. The guy couldn't look good 3 fights in a row.. He seemed to always fight down to the level of opposition, just go thru the motions and felt like he could turn it on at anytime..

Work ethic was also a huge problem for him.. When toney stayed active and had 6-7 fights a year, he was very good more times than not.. But once he started fighting farther and farther apart, his ring work declined..
If toney had bernard Hopkins work ethic, he would have easily been a top 30 atg

Still has one of the greatest chins, defense, and counterpunching in the history of boxing

Would have liked to seen him mix it up with Eubanks and benn
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#4
Old 01-18-2016, 04:55 PM
IronDanHamza
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Originally Posted by Sugar Adam Ali View Post
James toney is one of my favorite fighters so I may be biased..

I don't think he is overrated dude is an ATG, but not high on a top 100 list. Nearly everyone rates roy, pernell, evander, chavez, lopez ahead of toney..
Talent wise, the guy is an atg.. We are talking about a guy that beat won a middleweight title before Michael Jordan ever won a title, and was up at heavyweight fighting for titles long after jordan retired the 3 time. That longevity and weight jump is very impressive.

Toney's biggest problem was being consistent.. The guy couldn't look good 3 fights in a row.. He seemed to always fight down to the level of opposition, just go thru the motions and felt like he could turn it on at anytime..

Work ethic was also a huge problem for him.. When toney stayed active and had 6-7 fights a year, he was very good more times than not.. But once he started fighting farther and farther apart, his ring work declined..
If toney had bernard Hopkins work ethic, he would have easily been a top 30 atg

Still has one of the greatest chins, defense, and counterpunching in the history of boxing

Would have liked to seen him mix it up with Eubanks and benn
Would an ATG struggle and lose against the fighters he did in his prime and has no dominant wins?

To respond to your point about his activity I disagree.

From 1990-1997 he was extremely active and every single one of those years he had one or more sub par performance.

"If Toney had work ethic he'd be top 30 ATG"

That's exactly what I'm talking about when I call him overrated.

How? Every time Toney struggles or loses against a sub par opponent it's because of his work ethic.

So was he ever in shape? Which fight was he in shape for?

Johnson? Sosa? Griffin? Thadzi?

That's just an excuse IMO.

I also disagree that "he fought down to people's level" because he looked great against reasonably weak opponents like Barkley, DeWitt, Littles etc.
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#5
Old 01-18-2016, 06:07 PM
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I think James had very short prime... and even in that prime he would only take his ass to train 100% in maybe couple fights.
I won't talk about which fights I thought he won and which I thought he didn't win, as the point is he wasn't dominant which is true, but it has to be pointed out that he fought in incredibly tough era at MW. It's hard to dominate on that level. Just the fact that he could have an argument for winning all his fights up to Jones is spectacular achievement, in my opinion. That says me more than Hopkins reigning for x years with dudes like Allen, Echols or Holmes.
The fact that he would then come-back to high level at CW and HW after falling off radar for years also make him a bit of a special fighter.
Overall he can be a bit overrated, yes, but that's because he was pretty unique, particulary for his time.

As for his poor preparation being excuse... Well, if you are gassed out after one round (Tiber), then I'm pretty sure you didn't train like a championship level fighter. It is what it is..
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by IronDanHamza View Post
Would an ATG struggle and lose against the fighters he did in his prime and has no dominant wins?

To respond to your point about his activity I disagree.

From 1990-1997 he was extremely active and every single one of those years he had one or more sub par performance.

"If Toney had work ethic he'd be top 30 ATG"

That's exactly what I'm talking about when I call him overrated.

How? Every time Toney struggles or loses against a sub par opponent it's because of his work ethic.

So was he ever in shape? Which fight was he in shape for?

Johnson? Sosa? Griffin? Thadzi?

That's just an excuse IMO.

I also disagree that "he fought down to people's level" because he looked great against reasonably weak opponents like Barkley, DeWitt, Littles etc.
I don't think he's overrated at all.

His biggest undoing was his lack of discipline. Also, anyone with such a hectic schedule like what he had in the early 90's, would put in the odd subpar performance like against Tiberi.

No dominant wins?

He stopped Nunn and Littles.

What's an excuse? At the end of the day, a person has to take responsibility for his own actions. But his preparation was hampered in many of his fights in the 90's, including against Roy and Griffin etc. If he'd have been more dedicated, I doubt he'd have moved up to CW while he was still in his 20's.

Last edited by robertzimmerman; 01-18-2016 at 06:39 PM.
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#7
Old 01-18-2016, 06:55 PM
IronDanHamza
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Originally Posted by robertzimmerman View Post
I don't think he's overrated at all.

His biggest undoing was his lack of discipline. Also, anyone with such a hectic schedule like what he had in the early 90's, would put in the odd subpar performance like against Tiberi.

No dominant wins?

He stopped Nunn and Littles.

What's an excuse? At the end of the day, a person has to take responsibility for his own actions. But his preparation was hampered in many of his fights in the 90's, including against Roy and Griffin etc. If he'd have been more dedicated, I doubt he'd have moved up to CW while he was still in his 20's.
Tiberi wasn't a "sub par" performance that was a woeful performance and one of the worst decisions I've ever seen with my own two eyes.

Nunn KO was a great win (his best) but it was far from dominant.

Littles was dominant but Littles is far from a great opponent or top level opponent.

I don't see how it isn't an excuse. Every poor performance he had the "he was out of shape" excuse is ready well what kind of ATG fighter was out of shape literally ALL the time? That there alone isn't ATG material in my book.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mastrangelo View Post
I think James had very short prime... and even in that prime he would only take his ass to train 100% in maybe couple fights.
I won't talk about which fights I thought he won and which I thought he didn't win, as the point is he wasn't dominant which is true, but it has to be pointed out that he fought in incredibly tough era at MW. It's hard to dominate on that level. Just the fact that he could have an argument for winning all his fights up to Jones is spectacular achievement, in my opinion. That says me more than Hopkins reigning for x years with dudes like Allen, Echols or Holmes.
The fact that he would then come-back to high level at CW and HW after falling off radar for years also make him a bit of a special fighter.
Overall he can be a bit overrated, yes, but that's because he was pretty unique, particulary for his time.

As for his poor preparation being excuse... Well, if you are gassed out after one round (Tiber), then I'm pretty sure you didn't train like a championship level fighter. It is what it is..
I agree but tha speaks about him as a fighter surely?

I agree with a lot of your points though. It's true you could make a case he won all his fights up to Jones but so many of those he also could easily have lost. Very easily have lost.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:03 PM
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I think so.

Did James Toney ever have an impressive dominant performance over a top opponent in his career? The only two I think that could arguably qualify are Iran Barkley and Vassily Jirov. But on the flipside Barkley is a decent opponent at best and although Toney beat Jirov clearly it was hardly a dominant performance.

A quick look into James Toney's career (not just the 90's)

Turned Pro in 1988, had a string of easy building fights as most pro's do until he fought cagey veteran Sanderline Williams in 1990.

This was a decent step up at the time, the fight was scored a draw. I scored the fight for Toney but it was reasonably close. You could see the difference in experience and despite the unlucky draw it was a good learning fight for Toney and a fight he avenged 3 months later in dominant fashion.

In 1991 he fought Merqui Sosa, undefeated prospect but expected to be an easy fight for the rising potential star Toney. Toney won by split decision, showing signs of struggle against what was supposed to be an easy opponent. I scored the fight for Toney after winning the first half of the fight plus a knockdown. He seemed to fade late and let Sosa back into the fight but the right man won IMO. Still, by no means dominant.

Later that year he fought his best opponent to date and possibly the best win of his career, Micheal Nunn. Nunn exposing many flaws In Toney's game was well ahead in the fight until Toney pulled it out the bag and got a late KO. A great win for Toney but far far from dominant.

His next fight after that he fought Reggie Johnson, IMO a very underrated fighter and very skilled fighter. Toney expected to win but yet again struggling badly, getting dropped and hurt in the second round and IMO losing the fight. Toney was awarded an SD in what was a close fight that could have gone either way, but for my money Johnson did enough to edge it.

Later that year Toney matched up with a great fighter and IMO the greatest Jr MW of all time in Mike McCallum in one of my favourite ever fights. Great back and forth and skills for both men. Very close fight that ended up a draw which IMO could not be fairer as I scored it a draw myself. More people seemed to think Toney edged it but many also felt Mcallum did. Can't argue with the result.

After one of the best fights I've ever seen, Toney's next fight possibly being his worst ever performance against Dave Tiberi, another expectation of an easy fight an alleged "drained" and "out of shape" Toney got gifted a split decision over Tiberi in one of the worst robberies I've personally ever seen. A clear cut win for Tiberi IMO.

Later that same year of 1992 Toney rematched Mike McCallum, the rematch not living up to the first encounter but still a good fight none the less. Much like many Toney fights Toney landing the cleaner flashier work but finding himself getting out worked consistently. The fight was scored for Toney by Majority decision. Once again a very close fight despite the ridiculous wide scorecards. I scored the fight for McCallum but can't argue with the decision.

After the McCallum rematch he fought two solid opponents in Doug DeWitt and Iran Barkley, beating both easily. As we entered 1993 and up until 1994 Toney fought mostly weak opposition outside of Tim Littles and Tony Thornton who were decent/solid wins.

His next fight was Prince Charles Williams who was considered to be a decent test. Despite struggling to dominate the fight he did pull out a KO in the final round.

His next fight against Roy Jones Jr. No need to talk about this fight everyone knows how it went. Toney was dominated every second of every round despite being the betting favourite.

His next fight was with a 14-0 relatively unknown Montel Griffin. Once again Toney falling short in a fight he was expected to win losing an MD. Very close fight that could have gone either way, I had Griffin just edging it.

After back to back loses, Toney fought weak opposition for the remainder of 1995 and 1996, until the rematch with Montel Griffin in 1997.

Griffin won the rematch by UD, however IMO Toney edged it.

Despite arguments for both sides IMO both of these fights were clearly very close and certainly not robberies. Toney once again finding a way to make a fight close and struggling to put on a dominant performance.

His next fight after that was a third fight with McCallum. This time Toney getting a clear decision over the ageing great.

With the momentum from the McCallum win Toney fought Drake Thadzi, once again expecting to be an easy fight against a sub-par opponent but at this point you'd be naive to think any fight is easy for Toney. He went on to lose to Thadzi by MD. A close-ish fight but a fight that Toney certainly lost. Toney had the "out of shape" excuse ready as per usual.

After an extremely disappointing loss to Thadzi, Toney didn't do much from 1997-2003 in which he fought mostly poor opposition until he got his shot at Crusierweight Champ Vassily Jirov.

Toney the betting underdog pulled out what is arguably the best win of his career beating Jirov by UD in a back and forth war. Rivalling McCallum 1 in one of the best fights of his career and certainly one of his best wins. However despite the goodwin it was still far from dominant despite clearly being ahead on the cards.

His next fight he moved up to Heavyweight to beat the shell Evander Holyfield in a fight that IMO should never have happened.

After this there's not much of note to talk about with Toney other than a failed drug test vs John Ruiz aswell as two valiant efforts vs Sam Peter.

As you can see running themes in James Toney's career are struggling with sub-par opposition and being incapable of putting on a dominant performance.

Can you name a single dominant and impressive win over a top level opponent? I honestly can't.

He failed to dominate or clearly beat Tiberi, McCallum (first 2), Johnson, Griffin, Thadzi and struggled with S.Williams and Sosa.

Touching again on his best wins, Nunn and Jirov. He didn't like dominant in either fight, especially Nunn.

People say Roy Jones fought weak opponents yet Jones blasted out Sosa in 2 rounds, Griffin in one round, dominated and shut out Reggie Johnson. These are "weak opponents" Toney struggled with and arguably lost to.

IMO Toney in the 90's went 0-1 with Reggie Johnson, 0-1 with Dave Tiberi, went 1-1 with Montel Griffin, 0-1-1 with McCallum, 0-1 with Roy Jones and 0-1 with Drake Thazdi.

Best wins being Nunn, Grffin 2 and Barkley.

If we look at his resume for the 90's specifically is it impressive? It's littered with poor performances against sub par opponents and he struggled or lost against every good fighter he faced.

What's your view? Is Toney overrated? If he's considered an ATG then certainly, IMO.

He beat Holyfield with ease and he was in worse shape that Holyfield who we now know was juicing, so that dispels the myth that Holyfield was a "shell". Against RJJ and Prince Charles you said he struggled against Prince and was dominated by RJJ. His personal life was in turmoil at that point and didn't fight to his true potential. No way could RJJ win against a motivated, lean Toney. When Toney was on form he was boxing personified. If anything, he was underrated. The only reason he didn't get the accolades he could have got was himself, not his opponents, he was his biggest enemy. Also, these posts that disaparage boxers like Sugar Ray Leonard and Frasier and so forth are so pointless. What do they accomplish other than show your contempt for men who had the balls to put their health at risk. Your post is just another piece of revisionist "I-know-better" garbage. The fact that you took the time and energy to write all that is pathetic. Hipsters like you disgust me. I bet you wrote it on your iphone, sitting in front of the TV in your smelly underwear thinking you're oh so clever.

Last edited by fanofslug; 01-18-2016 at 08:59 PM.
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#10
Old 01-18-2016, 07:14 PM
Mastrangelo
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That's true, he has to be judged for what he was and if you rate him by overall of his career, by legacy, he probably comes short to greatness - although I still believe that in just few years of his peak he made more of an impact than some other guys who are talked about as greats, particular modern ones, throughout their entire career - another thing is that this "what could've been" in James's instance is not just some kind of fantasy. It's something we were able to witness in his best performances. The fighter I saw in first McCallum fight, in particular, I feel was spectacular. Just thinking of this fight makes me think "That guy overrated?! Nah...." .
Generally I see your point although considering how overrated guys like Eubank, Watson or Benn are... you know, even if James is overrated, it at least has some fundaments.
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