James "Lights Out" Toney will depart for Moscow, Russia, this Wednesday, October 19, in advance of his meeting with WBA #1 cruiserweight contender Denis Ledbedev at the Khodynka Ice Palace on November 4.
Wishing to get fully acclimated to the region, Toney (73-6-3, 44 KOs) will continue training in Moscow.
Already in the best physical shape he has been in years, 43-year-old Toney says he's just putting the final touches on his camp and on fight night Operation Lights Out in Russia will be in full effect.
"You aint gonna see no lay down like Bernard Hopkins did," said the always quotable former champion at middleweight, super middleweight and cruiserweight. "I will be there to kick his ass right in front of his people. He likes to wait until fighters from my generation get old and that's made him feel like he can fight. But I'm going to show him what a big mistake he made thinking he can pull that with me."
Toney's promoter, Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions, says the Ledbedev fight will be reminiscent of Toney's last cruiserweight performance. "It'll be 2003 all over again in that ring, when James took Vassiliy Jirov's undefeated record and his IBF championship. James still has every bit of his talent and reflexes and just like in the Jirov fight, he's coming in fantastic shape and ready for 12 rounds of action. Some of these guys Ledbedev has been beating, in their primes, relied on things they no longer possess. James, on the other hand, is extremely economical with his movements. He doesn't rely on blazing hand speed or cat-like reflexes, he's just an old-school technician who can stand there right in front you and yet you can't touch him. He's going to play with this guy."
Toney says the Russian people have been very hospitable to him during his time there and even though he is there to defeat their fighter, he respects the Russian people greatly. "They are tough over there and they love boxing. They're my kind of people. It almost makes me feel bad about what I'm going to do to their boy... almost."