Boxing


James Toney celebrates 38th birthday

Toney James24.08.06 - Photos by Joe Miranda- Los Angeles– “All of us at Goossen Tutor Promotions and the boxing world would like to wish our very special world champion, James “Lights Out” Toney a “Very Happy 38th Birthday,” said Dan Goossen, President of Goossen Tutor Promotions.

Toney plans to rip apart his nicely wrapped birthday package belatedly by disposing of highly-regarded and hard-hitting heavyweight contender Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter in the scheduled 12-round main event at LA’s Staples Center a week from Saturday night.

Toney says he feels better than ever and can’t weight to shock the world when he steps into the ring for his winner take-all battle with Peter, which is being billed as “No Risk, No Reward.”

Such a feat would not be unprecedented in the sport of boxing at such an advanced age. Former undisputed heavyweight champion George Foreman came out of a 10-year retirement in 1987 at age 38 and won his first 24 fights before losing a decision to Evander Holyfield for the undisputed world heavyweight title at age 42. He eventually would win the IBF and WBA belts by knocking out champion Michael Moorer at 45 in 1994. Foreman would fight on for three more years before retiring for good (we think) at the amazing age of 48.

The late, great Archie Moore, who fought an unprecedented 222 professional bouts, won the world light heavyweight title at age 36 and successfully defended it until he was four months short of his 43rd birthday – never having lost it. At age 38, the “Old Mongoose” interrupted his run of title defenses to challenge Rocky Marciano for the heavyweight championship of the world, albeit unsuccessfully. The ageless Moore won his next 11 fights before challenging and losing to heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson just before his 40th birthday, and in his next to last fight six years later, he was stopped by an unbeaten heavyweight prospect named Cassius Clay.

Notable athletes in other sports have achieved great things at age 38 and beyond.

- Hockey legend Gordie Howe tallied 25 goals and 40 assists in the 1966-67 NHL season at 38. He bettered those totals the next two years and continued to play until he retired in 1980 at the remarkable age of 52.

- The NFL’s greatest wide receiver, Jerry Rice, in his final year as a San Francisco

49er in 2000 caught 75 passes for 805 yards and 7 touchdowns at age 38. He shattered those totals the next two years as an Oakland Raider before eventually

retiring a Seattle Seahawk in 2004 at 42.

- NBA superstar Michael Jordan came out of retirement at age 38 and joined the

Washington Wizards for the 2001-02 season. That campaign Jordan averaged

All-Star caliber totals of 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.42 steals per game. He played one more season and still averaged 20 points-per-game before retiring.

- Baseball’s Barry Bonds captured his fifth Most Valuable Player Award at age 38 during the 2002 season by slamming 46 home runs, driving in 110 runs and batting an eye-popping .370 with the San Francisco Giants. He won his sixth and seventh MVP trophies the next two years, and is only 30 homers shy of Hank Aaron’s all-time mark at age 42.

“This is what life is all about, feeling good, having a great family, and getting ready to knock the hell out of somebody. What else could someone ask for? Life is indeed sweet,” said the birthday boy Toney.

Article posted on 25.08.2006



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