James Toney Breakdowns Hopkins/De La Hoya!

13.09.04 - Three-division world champion and current #1 WBC heavyweight contender James Toney, deep into preparations for his September 23 bout with Rydell Booker at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, is a man who doesn’t mince words when it comes to his fellow fighters. So who better to go to than the straight-shooting Toney for the real scoop on the September 18 middleweight showdown between Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya?

“The only thing that Oscar De La Hoya can do is hope that Bernard gets sick,” laughs Toney when asked on the prospects of a victory by the “Golden Boy.” “Bernard’s got nothing but strengths,” said Toney of Hopkins. “He’s a complete fighter, he’s old school like myself, and there ain’t no weaknesses.”

Of course Toney, a former middleweight champion himself, has a different view of matters if he were in the ring with “The Executioner” himself. “If he was fighting me there would be a whole bunch of weaknesses because I’m a bigger guy, stronger, faster, and more powerful,” said Toney. “But this fight here is a good fight for Bernard; he deserves it, and it can be a cakewalk for him.” But De La Hoya is a multi-division world champion himself. Isn’t there something he can do to upset the odds against him? “Running,” deadpans Toney. “Run as fast as he can. If he sits there and goes toe-to-toe with Bernard, he’s gonna get knocked out. There are gonna be a million upset Mexicans that day.” Toney chuckles, but then adds, “Seriously though, for De La Hoya to win this fight, he’s gonna have to box the same way he fought Trinidad in the first half of their fight. It’s simple – fight, don’t run.”

Ironically, Toney also believes that the key to victory for Hopkins also lies in the way he fought Puerto Rico’s Trinidad, a former three-division champ, in 2001. “All Hopkins has to do is keep going and do like he did against Trinidad,” said Toney. “Stay focused. That’s the most important thing. Stay focused on his game plan, attack the body and go to the head.” A prediction James? “I think Hopkins knocks Oscar out within seven or eight rounds.”

The Toney-Booker card, a high-impact night of boxing presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions, will also feature a heavyweight bout between Cedric Boswell and Imamu Mayfield and a featherweight clash between Wayne McCullough and Mike Juarez. The main event will be televised live on Fox Sports Net’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period” beginning at 5pm.

Doors open at 3:30pm and the first bell rings at 4pm. Tickets for this unforgettable night of boxing, priced at $200, $150, $125, and $75, are available at the Pechanga Box Office, or by calling 877-711-2WIN.

Article posted on 13.09.2004

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