Boxing


James Toney Scheduled To Return Vs. Matthew Greer In September

James Toneyby James Slater - James "Lights Out" Toney is still not done yet. Not quite anyway. Though he turns 41 later this month (August 24th) and though he has looked poor in three of his last four fights (he looked okay in his rematch with Hasim Rahman back in July of last year) Toney is set to carry on punching for pay for a while longer yet. Next up for the former middleweight, super-middleweight and cruiserweight ruler is a fight with journeyman heavyweight Matthew Greer.

Set to face the 32-year-old known as "Gator" on the same September 12th show in Temecula, CA that will see unbeaten super-middleweight contender Andre Ward up against Shelby Pudwill, Toney will be having his first fight this year.. Last time out, back in December and against Fres Oquendo, Toney looked a faded force who was lucky to have been given the split decision. What Toney has been doing since what was his 71st victory (with six losses and three draws) we don't know. Has Toney been training? Has he kept his weight under at least reasonable control? We don't know.

Still, unless he's gone back even further than he appeared to have done against Oquendo, Toney should be able to handle club fighter Greer, 12-5(11) easily enough. This is not to say Greer is not tough - anyone who saw his last fight, a gutsy points loss to fringe contender Brian Minto, knows he is a brave and game fighter. But unless his skills have eroded beyond all recognition, "Lights Out" will surely win a pretty wide decision next month. A KO win for Toney may not come off - after all, Toney has not stopped anyone since he TKO'd Evander Holyfield way back in 2003 - but he should have enough left to win the ten-rounder.

How much desire Toney has left is another question. Will this latest return be the first fight in what the veteran hopes will be another run at a heavyweight title? Toney is still a big name and if he can get some momentum going and get himself a number of wins, who knows? If he has got something left and if the laboured win over Oquendo late last year was simply a bad night, there are a few name heavyweights that Toney would have a good shot at beating. The aforementioned Minto, for example, would likely enter a fight with Toney as a slight underdog.

Maybe Toney will look at a fight with "The Beast," assuming Minto beats the undefeated Donnell Holmes this Friday night, that is. As with fellow future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Junior, though, it is somewhat sad watching a faded version of Toney trying to continue to do his stuff. Both men can still look good in spurts, but both men could conceivably lose on any given night.

Toney will probably keep defeat and the end of his career at bay on September 12th, but for how long?

Article posted on 13.08.2009



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