By Phil D. Jay
Multi-division former champion James ‘Lights Out’ Toney remains fixed on his target of securing a heavyweight tussle with highly-ranked Tyson Fury as the former Irish champion nears the announcement of his next opponent.
Toney, 43, had called out Fury last week to a receptive response from the 19-fight undefeated prospect, although all the signs are now pointing at the Hennessy-promoted fighter choosing another former world beater instead.
Ruslan Chagaev, Siarhei Liakhovich and Jean Marc Mormeck have seemingly overtaken Toney in the stakes to oppose 6ft 9ins Fury and the American could now be set to miss out his fulfilling an ambition to fight on English shores.
“I love England. It would be exciting to fight there,” Toney told World Boxing News.
“I was scheduled to fight there 20 years ago, but the fight was cancelled after I arrived.
“I still didn’t get to sight see, so I’d love to go back as I really want to see Big Ben.”
The Grand Rapids-born fighter, who has 74 wins from 86 bouts, currently holds the IBU title after defeating bare-knuckle champion Bobby Gunn in April and believes that Fury would be an ideal challenge for his first defence.
“I had heard of him before but never cared to see him fight,” explained Toney.
“Steve Tannenbaum, the boxing agent who works for my team urged me to take a look at him and I think he's perfect for me.
“Fury's getting a big build up back home. He's 6ft 9ins and supposed to be scary. What a joke! He looks like a big stiff with no chin. I will fight him in his hometown and he can have his sisters as the judges and his daddy as the referee, don't matter.
"His corner will have to pick him up off the canvas when I'm done with him. I don't think Fury has the guts to fight me."
On combatting Fury’s obvious height advantage, Toney, who himself stands at 5ft 10ins, doesn’t see any problem and would then focus on the Ukrainian world title holding Klitschko brothers, who are of similar stature.
“It would be easy. I spar with tall guys all the time, piece of cake,” he stated.
“I’ll beat Fury in England and then move on to the Klitschko sisters. I’ll fight both of them.
“I would beat the first one and then schedule a fight with the second one. It doesn’t matter who wants to go first.”
Toney’s last foray in Europe ended in disappointment after an injury hampered his chances of giving Denis Lebedev any problems in an interim cruiserweight title battle in Moscow nine months ago and the veteran is ready prove to the doubters that he can still mix it at top level.
“To anyone who thinks I am finished I say God bless them,” said Toney.
“I injured my knee in the beginning of the Lebedev fight, but I refused to quit. I fought 12 rounds with a knee injury. Things like that happen during a fight, but I never quit.
“I want to get a rematch with Lebedev. I will stop him the next time we meet.”
24 year-old Fury is scheduled to fight in November, with Las Vegas and Dublin touted as possible venues, meaning Toney could be forced to wait until next year to secure any possible meeting.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net