James Toney

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Name: James Toney
Alias: Lights Out
Birth Name: James Nathaniel Toney
Born: 1968-08-24
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Hometown: Sherman Oaks, California, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 10″   /   178cm
Reach: 72″   /   183cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainers: Bill Miller, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Freddie Roach, Shadeed Suluki (current)
Managers: Johnny "Ace" Smith, Jackie Kallen, Self (current)
James Toney Photo Gallery

James Toney is a multi-division world champion and future Hall of Famer. He is known for his legendary "old-school" style, consisting of his shoulder roll (used to avoid punches), his ability to fight off the ropes, his slick body movements, and his infighting.

Amateur Career

  • Record: 35 fights, 33 wins (32 KO's), 2 losses
  • Lost his first amateur bout
  • Won the 1983 and 1984 West Michigan Junior Division Championship (156 lbs)
  • Won the 1987 Novice Golden Gloves Championship (156 lbs)
  • Won the 1987 Michigan Silver Gloves Championship (156 lbs)
  • Lost in the first round of the 1988 Detroit Golden Gloves Tournament (156 lbs)
  • Won 1988 Ohio State Fair Championship (156 lbs)

Professional Career

  • After his seventh professional fight, Toney's manager, Johnny "Ace" Smith, who was a drug dealer, was shot and killed. Toney then hired Jackie Kallen, a former publicist for the Kronk Gym, as his manager.
  • Knocked out Michael Nunn in eleven rounds to win the IBF Middleweight Championship on May 10, 1991. Toney, a 20 to 1 underdog, was behind on all three official scorecards.
  • In his first defense of the IBF Middleweight Championship, Toney defeated Reggie Johnson by a split decision on June 29, 1991.
  • Retained the IBF Middleweight Championship with a draw against former WBA champion Mike McCallum on December 13, 1991. The fight was going to be a unification match, but the WBA stripped McCallum on December 4. They demanded he defend against Steve Collins, whom he decisively defeated the previous year.
  • Retained the IBF Middleweight Championship with a controversial split decision against Dave Tiberi on February 8, 1992. Many people thought Tiberi was robbed, and the controversy led to an investigation by the United States Senate into corruption in boxing.
  • In his last fight as a middleweight, Toney retained the IBF Middleweight Championship with a majority decision against Mike McCallum on August 29, 1992.
  • Stopped Iran Barkley in nine rounds to win the IBF Super Middleweight Championship on February 13, 1992.
  • Suffered his first defeat and lost the IBF Super Middleweight Championship to Roy Jones Jr. by a lopsided decision on November 18, 1994.
  • Defeated Vassiliy Jirov by a unanimous decision to win the IBF Cruiserweight Championship on April 26, 2003. The bout was named Fight of the Year. by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
  • Stopped Evander Holyfield in nine rounds on October 4, 2003.
  • Defeated John Ruiz by a unanimous decision to win the WBA Heavyweight Championship on April 30, 2005. Toney became the third former World Middleweight Champion to capture a version of the World Heavyweight Championship, along with Roy Jones Jr. and Bob Fitzsimmons. However, on May 11, 2005, it was announced that Toney tested positive for the steroid Nandrolone, and his victory over Ruiz was changed to a no decision. He was also suspended for 90 days and fined $10,000. On May 17, 2005, Toney was stripped of the WBA title for his positive test, and the title was restored to Ruiz.
  • Fought a draw with WBC Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman on March 18, 2006.
  • Lost to Samuel Peter in back-to-back WBC heavyweight title eliminators. Toney lost by a split decision on September 2, 2006 and then lost by a lopsided decision on January 6, 2007.
  • Defeated Danny Batchelder by a split decision on May 24, 2007. After the fight, Toney tested positive for boldenone and stanazolol, and Batchelder tested positive for stanazolol and oxandolone. Both were suspended for a year.
  • Lost to interim WBA Crusierweight Champion Denis Lebedev by a lopsided decision on November 4, 2011. Toney lost every round on all three official scorecards.
  • Toney's fighting weight has been as low as 157 lbs and as high as 257 lbs.

Awards & Recognition

Minor & Regional Titles

  • Michigan State Middleweight Championship (1990)
  • IBC Middleweight Championship (1990)
  • USBA Light Heavyweight Championship (1995)
  • WBU Light Heavyweight Championship (1995)
  • WBU Continental Cruiserweight Championship (1995)
  • WBU Cruiserweight Championship (1997)
  • IBO Cruiserweight Championship (1997)
  • IBA Super Cruiserweight Championship (2001)
  • WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship (2004)
  • IBA Heavyweight Championship (2004)
  • WBO NABO Heavyweight Championship (2008)
  • IBU Heavyweight Championship (2012)

Other Sports

  • Toney played football in high school. "I got a scholarship offer to play quarterback at Western Michigan, and the University of Michigan wanted me as a defensive back," Toney said. "But I wasn't a team player and I wasn't good at taking orders, so I went back to boxing."
  • Toney made his mixed martial arts debut against former UCF Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture at UCF 118 on August 28, 2010. Couture got him in an arm-triangle choke, and Toney tapped out at 3:19 of the first round.

External Link


Preceded by:
Michael Nunn
IBF Middleweight Champion
1991 May 10 – 1993 Feb 13
Vacated
Succeeded by:
Roy Jones Jr.
Preceded by:
Iran Barkley
IBF Super Middleweight Champion
1993 Feb 13 – 1994 Nov 18
Succeeded by:
Roy Jones Jr.
Preceded by:
Vassiliy Jirov
IBF Cruiserweight Champion
2003 Apr 26 – 2003 Sep
Vacated
Succeeded by:
Kelvin Davis