Toney vs. Peter: Weigh-in and Preview

Kevin has had his say below, but this is a big enough fight for both of us. Kevin admits he's in the minority regarding the question of whether this rematch should be happening. Here's why: Toney was, indeed, robbed in the first fight. I'm not sure what fight Kevin was watching, but I'm with the majority of observers who thought that Toney did enough to outpoint Peter the first time around. Tonight, as long as Alejandro Rochin and Dick Flaherty aren't the judges, he shall do so again. Hell, this beefier muscle-head version of James Toney may even knock Peter out.

By now, we've all heard about Toney teaming up with Billy Blanks of Tae Bo fame for his new work regimen. They told us to expect a stronger Toney with more endurance, as opposed to a lighter Toney. And that, apparently, is the Toney who showed up at the weigh-in--the same weight as last time, but minus the spare tire, and, get this, according to Showtime's "tale of the tape" with biceps that are now two full inches bigger in diameter than Peter's. Billy Blanks also, apparently, has had Toney running and performing other endurance training, with the anticipated result of him staying busier and having more left in his tank for the final rounds. Peter, for his part, has slimmed down closer to his normal weight, which may help his endurance and will hopefully contribute to an even better fight.

Here is what we can expect. Peter will come out very aggressive again and Toney will slip his punches again, possible eating one or two, but (again) recovering in time before the lumbering Peter catches up with him. Toney will not go down, and he will not be outworked. His first flush blow to Peter's face will surprise the slower man with its improved power, possibly stunning him. If so and if late enough in the fight, Peter may go down  to some wicked inside flurries from Toney.

Toney will alternate from working the ropes to inside slipping and counter-punching, switching when Peter seems to have grown comfortable with his style, keeping the big man guessing. Peter will have improved in one way: he will be  more aggressive in following up with any potential stun-shots--but Toney will remain too quick, too wiley. In fact, Toney may well use this to his advantage and fake being stunned to open Peter up. You cannot teach a fighter like Peter to be prepared for the kinds of things a hungry James Toney will throw at you.

And I must disagree also with Kevin about a Peter win being better for boxing. Peter is simply not the man to excite the imaginations of casual boxing fans. He is slow, both of foot and word, and he has the charisma of a rock. Peter seems like a nice enough guy, but he is, ultimately, a clubbing mauler who has rabbit punched his way to where he is. Rewatch the Toney and Klitschko fights if you don't believe me. If we see the kinds of improvements we should see from a fighter who has just gone the distance with the two best heavyweights around right now, then I will be proven wrong. But it ain't gonna happen.

Kevin has much more sensible things to say about the Rivers vs. Simms undercard, so check out his post below.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, I forgot to note the delicious irony of ESPN referring to James Toney as a "silent type."

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