Toney-Peter 2 Prediction Poll

04-01.07 - Four months after one of the most exciting heavyweight fights in years ended amid a whirlwind of controversy, Samuel Peter (27-1, 22 KOs) and James Toney (69-5-3, 43 KOs) will go at it again in the main event this Saturday, Jan. 6, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) in Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Hollywood, Fla..

So who is going to triumph? Will Peter repeat or can Toney avenge the disputed defeat?

Last time around, the experts favored Toney by a 2-1 margin. In the rematch, Toney is again the choice, but by a lesser margin. Of the 37 boxing media sorts who participated in a SHOWTIME Prediction Poll, 23 picked Toney and 14 chose Peter.

Here’s how they see the 12-round WBC eliminator that will determine once and for all who the mandatory challenger to WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev will be:

Wray Edwards, The Magazine, (Peter): “Peter wins by late stoppage if he comes in 10-15 pounds under what he did for their last meeting. If not, he wins another split decision.’’

Tim Smith, New York Daily News, (Peter): “I don't think you tamper with perfection or fat distribution. I'm not sure this Billy Blanks experiment is going to work out for Toney. I like Peter in the repeat by split decision.’’

Sharon Robb, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, (Peter): “Peter will leave no doubt the second time around. He will win in less than five rounds with a huge knockout. He looks like a million bucks. Still has the baby face, but lost the baby fat. He always had the big power punch but now his skills and physical fitness has caught up. (His team) has done an incredible job since Samuel’s last fight with Toney. This kid is the real deal. He will not run out of steam. Maybe the heavyweight division has a future after all.’’

Steve Kim,, (Toney): “I thought Toney won the first fight and I think he'll do it again. Perhaps being in better physical condition will leave no doubt in the eyes of the judges.’’

Scoop Malinowski, CBS, (Toney): “Toney is training religiously for the rematch, even forsaking the famous burgers, fries and pizza diet in favor of nutritious meals like chicken, fish and vegetables. This could be the difference. Peter is a great puncher but he does not seem to be improving his fight style or ability to land those bombs on the precise target. Could be another close call but I'll go with the all-time warrior champion James Toney.’’

Graham Houston, Boxing Monthly/, (Peter): “Peter by split decision. I think he can improve over the first fight; I’m not sure Toney can despite the Billy Blanks conditioning regimen.’’

Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News, (Peter): “Toney has forgotten more about the art of boxing than Peter will ever know, but each time I see a photo of “Lights Out’’ it appears his face is getting rounder than a basketball. Does he truly have an eating disorder, whatever the opposite of anorexia is? Has he that little self-control? Somebody, please get Richard Simmons to join Team Toney or at least padlock the refrigerator door. If conditioning factors even a little into the outcome (and Peter is no chiseled Adonis, either), I have to go with Peter by decision.’’

Clive Bernath,, (Toney): “Toney's lack of respect for Peter almost certainly cost him a win in the first fight, but on Jan. 6 I believe we will see a much more prepared and focused Toney. Toney wins a unanimous decision.’’

Bud Barth, Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette, (Peter): ‘’Peter is tougher, in better shape and angry that he has to go through this again after winning the first fight. He will win by 10th-round TKO.’’

Curtis McCormick,, (Toney): “Toney seems to be more serious about the rematch than he was for the first contest. If he comes into the bout in better shape, he should be able to by and large avoid Peter's right hand and that is the key to this fight. Toney wins by unanimous decision.’’

Jacqui Snow,, (Toney): “If he’s been training and dieting with Billy Blanks, Toney wins a unanimous decision. Peter has limited skills and is no match for an in-shape Toney.’’

Rick Folstad,, (Toney): “Usually, I like the guy who won the first fight to win the rematch, even though the win by Peter was close and controversial. But if Toney really has trimmed down and stepped it up with the help of Billy Blanks, he should win. Besides, I don't know if I've ever picked Toney to lose a fight, and I'm not going to start now. Toney wins by easy decision.’’

Jake Donovan, (Peter): “Toney’s physique rarely has anything to do with how he fights. He could be chiseled or shakin’ like Jello -- he's always going to fight the same way. His style makes for awkward decisions in close fights. I can't see what can change here. James is the superior technician; Sam is the much bigger and stronger fighter. Close rounds will once again come down to personal preference. Judges have their biases like everyone else. Sam gets a unanimous nod in yet another fight where Toney supporters will chant ‘we wuz robbed’. ’’

Jack Obermayer, Boxing Digest, (Peter): “Neither possesses “team speed’’ so it could be a tedious affair. That said, I still can't believe Peter has been forced to give Toney a so-sudden rematch, though I did have James up by a point in their initial encounter. Having to do it again might prove too much for either man, but I expect to see Peter get the oh so small edge at the end by way of his more positive approach, meaning that James can be too cool for his own good. Peter wins a decision.’’

Kent Appel,, (Toney): “Toney wins a decision. I thought he won the first fight but it was very close. Toney looks to be in better shape for the rematch and unless he has suddenly aged, his conditioning should be the difference.’’

Michael Swann,, (Toney): “As a split-decision victor of their first fight, Peter was busier and showed more power, but was wilder with his punches too. Toney's sharp jab and power shots landed flush, but never seriously hurt Peter. It was a tough fight to score and Peter's victory was not met with acclamation by the press and fans. This time the vastly more experienced Toney turns the tables with his precise punching, ring generalship, and defense to hammer out a close, unanimous decision.’’

Benny Henderson Jr.,, (Toney): “You have a raw slugger (Peter) versus a solid tactician (Toney) meeting again; so how different can it go than the first fight? Well, hopefully the scoring will change. Toney can make the best of the best look silly with his skill and I do not consider Peter as one of the best in the division. I don’t even consider Toney as being (one of) the best, but his skill level is far more superior. The rematch will be similar to the first meeting. It will be close to call, but if the scoring holds up to par this time I can see Toney winning a split decision, just not a controversial one.

Ant Evans,, (Peter): “Toney may well have trained harder for this fight than he has for any bout in the last four years, but he's still pushing 40 with a lot of miles on the clock. Peter wins on points again in another close one.’’

Geno McGahee,, (Peter): “Toney has been in the news with his affiliation with Billy Blanks, but I will believe that he's in shape when I see it. I expect we are going to see a repeat of the first fight with each guy trading hard punches and neither in really great shape. Peter's got a lot less miles on him. I thought he won the first fight, and I think he will win this one by unanimous decision.’’

Chris Robinson,, (Toney): “Call it blind faith but I just can't pick against Toney. I thought he did enough to beat Peter in their first fight and he has all the tools to dictate the outcome in this one. Toney takes a decision.’’

Jack Hirsch, Britain's Boxing News, (Peter): “I thought Peter legitimately won the first contest, so I don't see the controversy and why they are doing it again. Toney will slim down and look better outwardly, but it won't translate into his being more effective in the ring. Peter is in his prime, Toney a little past his. Peter should win on points again.’’

Paul Upham,, (Toney): “Toney and Peter could fight 10 times and it would probably be close and go the distance each time. A fitter Toney, with his skills, will win a decision.’’

William Trillo,, (Peter): “It was hard enough picking the winner in the first fight, but after successfully doing so, it has been decided that it was the wrong decision and a rematch was ordered to appease whatever powers that be. This one seems up for grabs, but the feeling here is that Sam will Peter out and Two Ton Toney will win a unanimous decision.’’

Teddy Molina,, (Toney): “If the first fight was any indication, this fight will kick off the New Year in grand fashion. I think Toney's newfound conditioning and superb boxing skill will prove to be the difference. Peter is an extraordinary puncher, but against Toney he faces a fighter who is much more experienced and has the ability to make any fighter look bad. Toney triumphs by unanimous decision.’’

Johnny Wilds,, (Toney): Toney by decision. He is a throw back and he knows how to beat one dimensional fighters like Peter. The only concern is if James comes in as heavy as last time. That was a true hindrance to his performance.’’

German Villasenor, Maxboxing/, (Toney): “Peter was quoted as saying that hitting Toney was like hitting stone. That said, an overweight Toney was able to handle fierce Peter shots and return fire. A better-conditioned Toney, along with his still formidable skills, should be able to handle anything Peter brings this time around. James gets a clear decision and another shot at the world title.’’

Buster Paris,, (Toney): “At some point we need to recognize and respect the fact that -- fat or thin – Toney is the best heavyweight out there. No one can do what he does. He’s the sharpest and craftiest fighter in today's division. The subtlety and proficiency of his incredibly unique offence and his “old school” defense makes him the most interesting fighter to watch and the most dangerous fighter to face. Toney wins a unanimous decision.’’

Rick Pineda,, (Toney): “Toney will win a split decision this time around. Sam Peter has a great future ahead of him, but Toney’s experience will come into play and be the difference.’’

Howie Reed, Talkin Boxin/The Square Ring, (Peter): Peter by TKO late. He is improving while Toney is heading down the hill. It will be very competitive for eight rounds then Toney will run out of gas.’’

Justin Stone,, (Toney): “Toney did something at the end of his last bout
with Peter I've never seen him do before. He stood in stunned silence after hearing the judges' scores were not in his favor. His response was to employ renowned martial artist Billy Blanks to help get him in better shape. Toney clearly out-boxed Peter, but was not rewarded for it -- most likely for the way he physically looked. Showing a good attitude and a real desire to win, Toney wins a decision this time in what could be a Fight of the Year candidate for 2007.’’

Armando Cabrera,, (Toney): “This fight will determine who wants it more. The first one demonstrated that Peter is not as good as many people thought since he did not really hurt Toney. Toney is a veteran who can hang with the best of the heavyweights, if he is in shape and he’ll be in better shape for this one.’’

Butch Gottlieb,, (Toney): “If Toney is anywhere close to being in shape he should win by unanimous decision. As strong as Peter is, he could not stop Klitschko and could not even drop Toney in their previous fight. James can and should box circles around Peter in the rematch.’’

Jay Monte,, (Toney): “Toney will win a split decision. His punches will be sharper and that will be the difference. The big question is whether Toney’s strength will be zapped by his conditioning program under Billy Blanks? I do not think so. Toney will prevail, but it won't be easy.’’

Ed Deveikis,, (Toney): “Toney will win this bout by late TKO. The first fight was close but in no way did Peter do enough to deserve a split decision. James will be better this time around. Toney is reported to be training very hard. An “in shape” Toney is very hard to beat and that's exactly what Peter is up against in this epic rematch for the WBC's No. 1 spot.’’

Rich Bergeron, Fight News Unlimited,, (Toney): “Toney will reclaim what was stolen from him by out-boxing Peter and winning a unanimous decision. While Toney has made significant improvements between these two fights, Peter hasn't changed a thing. His power has been heralded far and wide, but Toney took everything Peter had last time.’’

Dennis Bernstein, SCORE Media Ventures, (Toney): “I predicted Peter would win last time and, despite all the whining, I thought he did enough to win. For the rematch, it looks like Toney finally wised up and got in shape, Tae-Bo or not. Based on that fact alone, James will win a unanimous decision because he’ll be able to stick, move and not get hit by Sam’s telegraphed punches. Either guy beats Maskaev, who is a glorified club fighter.’’

Article posted on 04.01.2007

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