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James Toney Says Lebedev Fight Is Just a Rumor For Now

James Toney says that there's no deal to fight Denis Lebedev. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
James Toney says that there's no deal to fight Denis Lebedev. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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James Toney spoke to FightHype to address the rumors that he'll be fighting cruiserweight contender Denis Lebedev on November 5 in Russia, and said that the rumors are all he's heard about the fight thus far:

"I don't know nothing about fighting Lebedev in Russia. I heard Ivaylo started the rumor, but I haven't seen anything or heard any figures. ... Roy damn near got him out of there, so whoopin' his ass wouldn't be a problem, but I need to see how much money is being offered, especially to go to Moscow."

Lebedev (22-1, 17 KO) actually brutally knocked out Roy Jones Jr in the 10th round on May 21, and those who saw that fight as close kind of perplexed me. Sure, Lebedev didn't impress much in the bout, but Jones did very little himself, and never got close to really getting Lebedev out.

Would Toney be a reasonable bet against Lebedev? Well, if you're one of those James Toney fetishists who feels he's some Hall of Fame fighter, you might think so, but Toney is 43 years old and has looked downright terrible in his last six fights, including a February win over Damon Reed where Toney weighed 257 pounds.

It is worth saying that James has gotten himself into good shape last anyone saw a new photo, but it would be tough to see him getting down to 200 pounds and maintain any sort of stamina at his age and after years of pretty well abusing his body with the weight gains that have seen him just recently come in at an absurd career high on his 5'10" frame.

If the fight does happen, I'd be interested. No matter how old and shot he gets, Toney can still do some clever stuff in the ring, and Lebedev is a really basic fighter. I could see James winning some rounds against him. But this fight isn't going to happen. Toney seems to believe he's some superstar fighter worth loads of money, and he's just not. He won't fight for the same money Roy Jones Jr did, because he's given no indication in recent years that he's willing to travel to fight for less than huge money, and there just isn't huge money on the table for him.

Oh, and as for that sorta-MMA fight with Ken Shamrock, obviously that did not happen, is not going to happen, and has been swept under the rug.

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