Toney: “I am the only guy that [Roy] was truly terrified of.  He never gave me a rematch.”

This week we welcomed all time great James “Lights Out” Toney to our radio show Tough Talk. Toney touched on a variety of different topics from his past fights to Canelo-Golovkin. This is one interview that simply is a must hear.

Heavy Bag Boxing: “Who were some of the fighters you looked up to and tried to model your game after?”

James Toney- “My idol was Tommy Hearns, I loved that guy.  Also Ray Robinson, Archer Moore, Hagler, and even Roberto Duran.”

HB- “Was there anything in particular that you seen that they had to make you like those type of fighters?”

James Toney- “They have something you don’t see from fighters nowadays and that’s killer instinct.”  I did everything I could to imulate them in the beginning before I discovered my own style.”

HB- “What do make of today’s fighters and how they behave in the ring?  Do you feel like they do not respect the older fighters like you did coming up?”

James Toney- “No they don’t. These fighters come in now and just want to make money.  They know nothing about studying and learning their craft.  I got in there at first and was getting my ass beat.  You have to learn how to handle yourself in all situations.”

HB- “You’ve had a lot of tough fights throughout your career, why do you feel now all if these fighters are avoiding the tough fights?”

James Toney- “The reason these fighters now don’t take the tough fights is because they are too scared to take risks.  Back in my day it wasn’t like that.  Everybody wanted to fight whoever was considered the best.  If I wanted to be the best I had to fight the best.”

HB- “Do you feel that the whole money aspect of the sport is actually hurting the sport more?”

James Toney- “Yeah to me I think it’s because these fighters are only concerned with the money and not their legacy.  Plus the promoters are always looking for the easy way out.  Case in point is Deon Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.  They should be fighting each other but they have their own agendas.  Particularly Anthony Joshua over there in Britain.  I had the same problem with Nigel Ben and Chris Eubanks.  Those guys don’t seem to want to come here to the US.”

HB- “Do you feel like these issues are caused more by the promoters or is it on the fighters end?”

James Toney- “You know it’s more on the fighters because at the end of the day if they want the fight to happen they would make it happen.  When I had that problem I would go to guys back yard and challenge them to make the fight happen.”

HB- “Recently we all heard that Roy Jones Jr. is having his final fight this year.  How do you feel about his retirement announcement?”

James Toney- “I think that Roy had a great career and I’m happy for him.  I think that Roy had a great career and he beat James Toney which is the highlight of his career.  I wish him the best.  My opinion is that I am the only guy that he was truly terrified of.  He never gave me a rematch.  I do have to apologize to the people because I wasn’t in shape like I should have been.  If I was in shape I promise you that nobody would have heard about Roy Jones Jr. again.”

HB- “Earlier you had mentioned Anthony Joshua.  I have noticed that you are being very critical of him lately, is it because he won’t fight here in the US?”

James Toney- “First there is no animosity towards him I think he’s a phenomenal fighter.  I just feel that if he wants to show that he’s the best Heavyweight fighter right now he has to fight over here.  The guy has great skill and I do think highly of him I just feel in order for him to be the best he has to make fights in the US.”

HB- “Looking back on your career what’s the one thing you wish you could have done better?”  What was your greatest achievement.”

James Toney- “If I could have changed anything I would have trained better for the Roy Jones Jr. fight.  I gave him the opportunity to become a star and nobody is to blame except me.  My greatest achievement was becoming a Heavyweight and beating Evander Hollyfield.  They all said I couldn’t do it but not only did I win but I dismantled him.”

HB- “If you could have one last fight with Roy Jones Jr. would you jump back in the ring?”

James Toney- “Oh man if I could get Roy Jones Jr., Klitchko, or Shannon Briggs I would fight again.  Briggs just because he opened his mouth about me.”


Robert “Mister Research” Alexander- I was born in raised in the Midwest in Springfield, IL the capital city. I grew up influenced in the great sport of boxing through my father who idolized the great Muhammad Ali. I then followed the sport on my own and followed the careers of all the great fighters in the late 80′s through today. I have a thirst for knowledge in general and all who are around me would categorize me as a sports junkie. I have aspirations of becoming one of the great journalists of my time and also like to write short stories as well. I’m 32 years young with no kids and my whole life ahead of me.