James Toney - "I'd Love To Fight Haye At Wembley Stadium And KO Him In Front Of 50,000 People"
Exclusive Interview by James Slater - Though fans are very much intrigued to see how boxing all-time great James Toney will get on when he makes his MMA debut later this year (exact date still to be decided), "Lights Out" assured me in the following interview that boxing is and always will be his true love. The 41-year-old future Hall of Famer wants to challenge himself against the big names in MMA, yet he also very much wants to fight for the heavyweight championship in the sport he has achieved greatness in.
Article posted on 14.04.2010
Once again calling out the two Klitschko brothers, as well as WBA champ David Haye, Toney (yesterday evening UK time) had the following things to say on all subjects pertaining to his fighting career(s) in general:
James Slater: It's a great pleasure to be able to speak with you again, Champ. We're all intrigued about your move into MMA, and your deal with UFC's Dana White. Do you have a date yet for your MMA debut, and who it will be against?
James Toney: No problem. They're talking about August. But first and foremost, I want to say I've not moved into UFC - I'm still a boxer. But the thing is, MMA is where the action is; no-one wants to fight James Toney in boxing! Nobody will put their name down on that contract.. So I want to enhance myself by fighting in MMA - to prove myself as the ultimate fighter; who will fight anyone. I'm the real deal, you know?
J.S: You've certainly achieved pretty much all there is to achieve in boxing; but who will you be facing in MMA? Are there any names decided yet, or the number of fights you will have in MMA?
J.T: I love the UFC and it will be great to test my skills against the best athletes from that sport. I've not decided yet how many fights I'll have, maybe two or three. I want the big names. I've proven beyond any doubt I'm the best in boxing; that's undisputed. Now I want to fight the best in MMA. I'm not interested in facing no-names, you know what I'm saying?
J.S: Obviously, though you know everything there is to know about boxing, MMA is a whole different sport in a number of ways - with takedowns, ground and pound, etc. How has it been getting used to those new techniques?
J.T: I like the ground and pound, that's just part of my nature. I like the rough, tough stuff. It's not easy, don't get me wrong, but I love it. It's another challenge.
J.S: I've read about the guy you're working with, and I hope I pronounce his name correctly - Juanito Ibarra. How have things been with you two working together? Have you clicked, you both respect one another?
J.T: You said it right! Yeah, he's a great dude. It's like I've known him for twenty years; like he's family. He's worked with some of the best in MMA - guys like Rampage Jackson and other guys whose names I've forgotten right now. Yeah, we clicked - he teaches it the right way. Now I look forward to enhancing my overall skills and fighting experience. One thing training for MMA has definitely done is keep my boxing skills sharp.
J.S: It's great that you're going to be fighting in MMA, but I'm glad you say boxing is your real love - we'd hate to lose you to another sport!
J.T: Oh, boxing is the best sport in the world! MMA is number-two. It's exciting and there's action there, but I'm an old-school boxer and I always will be.
J.S: Talking about boxing; I read you still want the Klitschkos.
J.T: Oh, man, the Klitschko sisters! I read recently how Wladimir wants David Haye, and that he told Haye to stop running from him. Tell that motherf****r to stop running from me! The Klitschkos have been ducking me for seven years now! They want to fight Haye, who is a good fighter but nothing special, because they say he has a weak chin, which is true. But if they want a real fight they have to call me. David Haye is not half what James Toney is. But they're [the Klitschkos] scared to death of me. I'm coming for blood!
J.S: Are you in top shape now, James? Have you been in the gym every day?
J.T: I'm around 50-percent shape right now, because we don't know the date for my next fight yet. I could be there [in top shape] in around two weeks. I've worked on all the important things like takedowns and stuff and when I fight my first MMA fight I will be 100-percent ready, I guarantee it.
J.S: Talking about David Haye - I'm from the U.K and he's obviously a big deal over here. Would you come over to take that fight?
J.T: I would love to fight him at Wembley Stadium. It would be great to knock him out in front of 50,000 people. I love the U.K, it's been a while since I was over there.
J.S: I also read how you were disgusted with the recent Bernard Hopkins-Roy Jones rematch...
J.T: (jumping in) Oh, my goodness! Did you see it?
J.S: I saw highlights only.
J.T: God bless you. It was an awful fight, two guys posing. They all say Hopkins is a legend; he ain't no legend. He ain't no old-school fighter like me. You've never seen an old-school fighter cry about low blows and punches to the back of the head. You ain't never seen an old-school fighter do that, ever!
J.S: You'd like to fight Hopkins?
J.T: I've been trying, but he's got an excuse every time. I can't chase a scaredy-cat, you know what I'm saying? He's had an excuse all these years.
J.S: I also read how you had something to say about Johnathon Banks...
J.T: (jumping in) Oh, he's another clown. He's not worth my breath to be honest. He doesn't deserve to be in the same ring as me; he don't bring no money to the table either. He's just Wladimir Klitschko's sparring bitch!
J.S: Well, it's been great speaking with you, James. We look forward to your MMA fights, and then seeing you back in the boxing ring.
J.T: Thank you. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it, like I say. I'm going to fight in UFC but I'm still the IBA heavyweight champion in boxing. I'm going into their ring in MMA, because they're scared to come into my ring. I'm gonna go in there and beat them at their own game.
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