By Mark Vester
A crowd of 4,269 gathered Thursday at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California to witness the ring return of James "Lights Out" Toney (70-6-3), who won an unpopular split decision win over journeyman Danny Batchelder. Batchelder (25-5-1), who lost three of his last four fights and took the Toney fight on three weeks' notice, made the former multi-division champ look old.
The fight was not unpopular because Toney won, but more so for the lack of action and the lackluster performance by Toney, who was clearly out of shape. Toney's target weight was 217-pounds. He weighed in at 229-pounds and probably hit the ring at 230-plus. There was very little action and plenty of boos rained down from the crowd as the fight wore on. The scores were 98-92 and 97-93 for 96-94 for Batchelder.
Batchelder told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was robbed of a win.
"I thought it (the decision) was bullsh*t ," Batchelder said. "I outboxed him. I know this is boxing and boxing is full of crooks, but I thought they might be fair."
Toney was not blind, he rated his performance a D, and admitted that he was not in the best physical shape.
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