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The Case for James Toney vs. Kimbo Slice

For those of you who are not familiar with James Toney, he is one of the best boxers to ever step into a ring.

He is a former middleweight, super middleweight, and cruiserweight champion. He holds a current record of 72-6-3, with 44 of his wins coming by KO.

When the closest I knew about mixed martial arts was from Cobra Kai in The Karate Kid, boxing was my sport. Posters of fighters such as Meldrick Taylor, Hector “Macho” Camacho, and James “Lights Out” Toney plastered my walls. Before the UFC, PRIDE, and K1, boxing was the pugilist sport of my youth, and Toney was one of favorites.

Recently, Toney has been campaigning to become a UFC fighter. Toney attended UFC 107 in an attempt to contact UFC President Dana White in hopes of negotiating a contract. He again showed up at UFC 108, which started prompting responses from White, “He’s stalking me, man,” jokingly. “I don’t know. He and I are gonna sit down and talk this evening. He looks good though.”

White also went on to say he would be the first one to get blasted for signing the former boxing champ, “I’m the first guy out there going, ‘This is a f**king freak show. Who would put on a fight like that?” said White. “But I gotta tell you this. (Toney’s) a guy I actually respect. He’s tough as nails. He’s mean. He’s nasty. (But) he better get in shape if he wants to come in here and do this stuff.”

Then after weeks of “stalking” the UFC president, an actual offer was made to Toney and he turned it down. In an interview following the offer, Toney was quoted as saying, “Dana Whites first offer was a joke and that let me know he really don’t wanna do this.” Without disclosing the actual amount offered, he went on to say, “…this offer was laughable. That’s why I wanted the camera guy in the room with us when I sat down with Dana, so the fans would know I was serious and if it didn’t happen, it wasn’t because of me.”

Now Toney has most recently taken his campaign to the internet, posting videos on YouTube. In the videos he’s calling out former champions, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, and even Kimbo Slice, to whom Toney refers to as Simba (from the Lion King).

Now I’m the first to say there is no gain for MMA in letting a 41 year old ex-boxer with no professional MMA experience step onto the biggest stage in this sport. With only boxing credentials to his name, he would most likely fail miserably against any legit opponent, but the selfish side of me thinks a bit different.

Toney was one of the most feared fighters back in the 1990’s, he has secured his spot in the boxing hall of fame. Would he have a chance against someone like Kimbo Slice? The trash talking has already started on Toney’s end, and the “freak-show” factor can apply to both men. In a fight that would most certainly not go to the ground, Toney would at least have a punchers chance against Slice. And even at 41, I’m sure he still has the power to do it.

From a promoters standpoint it’s even more appealing. If Kimbo wins, it proves the UFC president right by saying MMA is far beyond boxing. If Toney wins, it breaks barriers for scores of boxers stuck in a sport that doesn’t carry the luster it once did. Not to mention the publicity. If you think Kimbo against (opponents name here) is a huge pay-per-view draw, imagine the coverage of a former boxing champion fighting him.

Thinking beyond my own sentimental wishes of this fight, it does nothing to help bolster mixed martial arts. This would be nothing but a side show attraction, with no legitimate cause, other than sales. But from the fan I was of boxing, to the MMA fanatic I am today, this is one match-up I would like to see.

20 COMMENTS
  • frizzle says:

    I’m sold. Bring it

  • Rece Rock says:

    If kimbo continues to evovle i don’t see this fight happening…

    yet if kimbos next outing looks the same as the houston fight then what else is dana gonna do with him besides drop him… we know they want to milk the cash cow so they may have to get creative…?

  • DumbOut says:

    You have my vote. Kimbo better not stand with Toney for long or he’ll be sleeping. He needs to follow the plan that he did against Mercer and take him to the floor and choke him out. Toney’s hands are light years ahead of Kimbo’s. James Toney is one of the best boxers of all time.

  • robby says:

    i think it would be fun to watch. but id rather see a pacman -bjpenn or mayweather penn or either of those two boxers vs aldo brown faber torres etc. i think it would be good for both sets of fans not as a regular thing as they are different sports. could always have mixed rules like k1 does sometimes like boxing rulesd rd1 mma rules rd2 boxing rd3 etc or have a trilogy , one fight boxing rules next fight mma rules . lots of questions would be answered and who knows it could create more fans and understanding of the talent it takes to fight in both disciplnes

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Dumb out, I dont think Toney has enough of a neck for Kimbo to choke out.

  • Dufresne says:

    Kimbo has a suspect chin and we’re talking about putting him in with a legendary pure boxer? Simba would be waking up to smelling salts within the first minute (if he woke up in time). He could try for a quick take down, but Toney’s got lightning fast hands with major power behind them and I see him connecting with a short hook to the temple and knocking more hair off Kimbo’s head. Sure Toney is past his prime and getting up there in age as far as combat sports go, but everyone knows the last thing to go is a fighter’s power.

    All this may make me sound like a Kimbo hater, but I’m really not. I just don’t see a below average MMA strker in Kimbo taking on a ferocious pure boxer in Toney.

  • MacBatty says:

    That’s one thing that has always bothered me about the UFC is that they try to act like they are above the “freak show fight” by saying that they are a sport But, they have no ranking system for their weight divisions….

    What other sport just picks and chooses who gets to fight the champions? Could you imagine the NBA telling the Lakers that they have to play the Knicks in the NBA finals because the Knicks have a huge fan base and won the last 3 games of the season?

    No offence to Dan Hardy but i kinda think going against GSP is a “freak show fight”…..Or how about Matt Hughes Vs Gracie? That’s not a freak show fight?

    That’s what i miss most about Pride….They didnt sit there and try to pawn themselves off as anything other then Entertainment…..Cro Cop Vs Wanderlei….Why Not?

    Fedor Vs Mark Coleman II……Why Not? Its what the people want to see….

    Im not saying the people are clamoring for Tony to get in the Octogon but, I think everyone knows it will at least be more entertaining that watching Houston Alexander run for 15 min.

  • Guthookd says:

    This fight most certainly would go to the ground and Kimbo would get the submission. Period.

    Everyone seems to forget what happened with Mercer. Kimbo is not stupid. He’s not going to bang with Toney.

    I would bet $500 that Kimbo gets a sub in the first round.

  • retrofitting123 says:

    i dont think toney understands the mma payscales.he was prob offered 50k and is used to fighting for 500 to 1 million.If he wants to do this he needs to take the 50,get a win and then renegotiate.im sure if he koed someone dana will up the anti

  • elpiojo14 says:

    Rothwell vs Toney would be better.

  • JOEgun says:

    I say Toney should get at least a minimum of a year training MMA and then 1 fight outside the UFC to even be considered. I dont care if you were a world champion in boxing or karate. Its only 1 discipline! This is MMA!! That means MIXED martial arts! MMA is the reason i watch UFC period. Im not saying i wouldnt be entertained by Simba vs Toney but i would prefer that fight to be out of the UFC. Dana is definitely not dumb. Signing Toney soley because he was a boxing champion and it will guarantee sales would be a step backwards for the organization and would cause me to lose respect for the UFC and die a little inside. Train MMA, have a fight, then we’ll talk Toney.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    i think if Kimbo and Toney fight Kimbo will go in there trying to stand w/ Toney just because that is his A-game. if i am right, Toney might end his life before he realizes he should have shot a double.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    Guthookd: This fight most certainly would go to the ground and Kimbo would get the submission.Period.Everyone seems to forget what happened with Mercer.Kimbo is not stupid.He’s not going to bang with Toney.I would bet $500 that Kimbo gets a sub in the first round.  

    only think is, Mercer is a stationary object…Toney is 20X more athletic than Mercer.

  • MacBatty says:

    cocoonofhorror: only think is, Mercer is a stationary object…Toney is 20X more athletic than Mercer.  (Quote)

    Well say what you want about Mercer but, He just knocked 2 time UFC champion Tim Silvia out in like 20 seconds…..

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    MacBatty:
    Well say what you want about Mercer but, He just knocked 2 time UFC champion Tim Silvia out in like 20 seconds…..  

    not putting the man down, he is an excellent boxer. just an entirely different kind of athlete to take down compared to Toney.

  • LiverPunch says:

    There is a case for this fight?.
    In the WWE maybe.
    How about leaving MMA to MMA fighters.

  • Carvaggio says:

    same as you i used to love boxing back in the day but the one thing i can’t stand is when these old school boxing guys talk about how boxers could run through MMA strikers. put any one of these boxers like toney in against any decent mma guy and after a couple of leg and body kicks they will realize that you have to be aware of more than just fast hands. But on the other hand Kimbo is probably a C-level fighter and Toney would have a great chance of KOing him. (Hell petruzelli, a lhw, did it with a jab)

  • buzzcramp says:

    Actually, if this fight did take place, the best thing Kimbo could do is take James to the mat. Toney’s a defensive wizard, and I’m pretty sure has never been knocked out, I think Roy Jones may have been the only one to get a knockdown on him, and it was barely that. . Look, I think it’s ridiculous for him to get in the octogon, I think it would be an embarrassment. But, the only way Kimbo could beat him is on the ground, he couldn’t land a clean punch on Toney if it went 100 rounds and James couldn’t throw a punch. Kimbo probably knows enough ground game by now to take him down and end it, but if James catches him coming in or Kimbo even thinks about trading it’s gonna be Mercer vs. Silvia.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i hope the UFC leave this to a smaller organization

  • Nick Havok says:

    hindsightufuk: i hope the UFC leave this to a smaller organization

    Even better!

    Then we will most likely get to see it on HDNet for free!…instead of having to pay some outrageous UFC PPV fee.

    Works for me!

    …and that is where it would have to happen. Because no way Dana is going to hire someone as outspoken and as brash as James Toney. Dana wants to completely control his fighters…and he won’t be able to do that with James.

    I mean Toney brought a camera into the negotiations? Yeah, I’m sure that made Dana real happy.

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