Boxing


James Toney Eager To Fight John Ruiz

13.04.05 - Gaze into the dark, deep-set eyes of James "Lights-Out" Toney and one gets the impression he's starting as a Great White Shark - pure in purpose, devoid of fear - perfectly suited to his environment.

But the environment Toney seeks to dominate is much larger than the ocean. It's the World Boxing Association's heavyweight division - currently occupied by two-time WBA champion John "The Quietman" Ruiz, who arrogantly - and mistakenly believes that James Toney is nothing more than a "steppingstone" opponent for their April 30th encounter at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York.

"Ruiz keeps talking about fighting the best," says Toney. Ruiz is fighting the best - me! I'm tired of his yackin' and ready to get it on! I'm a champion. Ruiz knows he had no choice in this fight. It was fight me or give up the title and run. He should have run, because I'm knocking him out - its one of the two things I promise the unfortunate people who agree to fight me - money and a severe beating!"

A seasoned pro with world titles in three different weight divisions, Toney has won 16 fights in a row, dating back to June 1997. But his two most impressive wins during this run - against former four-time heavyweight world champion, Evander Holyfield and IBF cruiserweight world champion, Vassilliy Jirov in 2003, were among the biggest of his career and earned James the prestigious "2003 Fighter of the Year" award by Ring Magazine and USA Today, along with many other publications.

In New York for the opening press conference last month, Ruiz ignored the "Quietman" tag and went toe-to-toe with Toney in the trash talk department. In response to Ruiz's arrogant claim that he - not Toney, is the most dominant heavyweight in the world, Toney just fumes. "I'm the best damn heavyweight - period," Toney said. "Ruiz can talk all he wants, but it's nothing more than Ruiz being out of character."

"Ruiz is too busy holding and hugging these guys in the ring to be the best. I say fight like a man; like a true warrior, like a real heavyweight champion. Either way, he's going down. As soon as he tries to hold me, I'll give him a bad case of the hiccups - I'll be right there in front of him - chopping him down!" Toney said.

Ruiz's recent claim that all the toughest heavyweight fighters have been dodging him makes no sense whatsoever to Toney. "Avoiding him? Does it appear to him that's the case with me? I'm coming Quietman - to really shut you up!" says James. "I've fought and beaten the best and Ruiz knows it. Once he's down with me - he's staying down, unless he keeps mouthing off leading into the fight. Then, I'll have to make it hurt even worse. As a matter of fact, I'm getting so upset just thinking about that punk - that after I knock him out, I might just stand over him and p_ _ _ on him, just to wake him up again so that I can smack him around some more!"

"James Toney, the heavyweight world championship, HBO and Madison Square Garden, says it all. I've never seen James Toney more hungry or focused than he is now. He talks a lot, but he's got the goods and has something to prove," stated Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions.

"Every obstacle that James has faced since uniting with him in 2002 has been overcome. The hunger and dedication of James showed in his bouts with Robinson, Jirov and Holyfield. The intense disappointment and subsequent rehabilitation of his injuries is a statement that nothing will stand in his way to becoming heavyweight champion of the world on April 30th," Goossen continued.

Ruiz, the first and only Latino to have won a heavyweight belt, makes the most dangerous title defense against Toney. Ruiz, who beat Evander Holyfield to win the title, has defended against some very strong opposition in Kirk Johnson, Fres Oquendo, Hasim Rahman and in his last defense at the Garden late last year, Andrew Golota.

"Ruiz talks and talks about the other name-fighters he's beaten," said the outspoken and colorful Toney. "But they ain't James Toney. Those other guys are not in my league. I'm the best fighter John Ruiz will ever see. I'm no runner and I'm no boxer - I'm a fighter. I hunt people down and destroy them. Trust me - when the bell rings John Ruiz's last day as champion will come to a screeching halt!"


Tickets priced at $350, $250, $175, $100 and $50 are available at the offices of Goossen Tutor Promotions by calling Irma Moreno at (818) 817-8001 or by email at irma@goossentutor.com. Special Fighter VIP's available at $750.

Article posted on 13.04.2005



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