James Toney: “They called me out!”
Within the retired heavyweight boxing community there are a number of former fighters currently kicking up a great deal of dust. Former champions such as Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KO’s) (57 years-old), Oliver “The Atomic Bull” McCall (59-14, 38 KO’s), (55 years-old), Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KO’s), (48 years-old), and most notably of all “Iron” Mike Tyson (50-6, 44 KO’s), (53 years-old), have all been talking about a return to the sport or have already done so!
Once all the tough talk and challenges to showdowns ensued it did not take very long for Hall of Fame boxer James “Lights Out” Toney (77-10-3, 47 KO’s), (51 years-old), to get involved. The former three division world champion (four if you count the IBO title he won at light heavyweight) has never shied away from a challenge or been at a loss for words.
So when he got wind that some of these “golden year” competitors were speaking on his name Lights Out quickly jumped in the middle!
I DIDN’T START THIS BEEF
According to Toney, as can be heard in an exclusive interview conducted with IFL TV, he was never the aggressor in the situation. For his part, Lights Out maintains that he is more than happy enjoying his life of retirement, however, he wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t chime in on the recent hubbub.
“Listen, they called me out! I was just responding! I have no problem, but if they want it, and that’s motivation for me, they can get it! I was just relaxing and then I heard someone say ‘James Toney’…I love it! The older we get the better we get, in some cases.”
THE COST OF OPERATION
Naturally there has also been a large push back at the notion of these legally senior citizens returning to such a notoriously brutal sport. When last in the ring the brightness of one and all of these competitors had already severely diminished. Therefore, it is not unreasonable that their return should be questioned and highly scrutinized.
For Toney however, it’s really not that big of a deal.
“Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Have fun and we know what we are doing. We’re pros!”
Nevertheless, despite being more than a little gung-ho about sliding back through the ropes to ply his rough trade, Toney insists that it will not be cheap to get him back in the squared-circle.
“If they want it they can get it but the money has got to be right! It’s probably not going to be no hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, it’s got to be over six figures…and if it’s six or seven figures they ass is knocked out, I promise you!”
Given his lofty financial demands, especially during this period of no live gates, it’s rather unlikely that he will be chucking knuckles with any of these other legendary boxers. However, stranger things have certainly happened.
So for the time being, we’ll all just have do as Toney said and sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
By: Bakari Simpson