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Boxing: Boxing: James Toney Wins IBF Cruiserweight Title

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posted on Apr, 27 2003 @ 12:23 AM
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Associated Press - April 26, 2003

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. - James Toney won the IBF cruiserweight title by beating Vassiliy Jirov on Saturday night, handing the former champion his first professional loss.

The judges had the fight scored 117-109, 116-110, and 117-109 in Toney's favor, though most ringside observers thought the fight was in doubt heading into the final round. Toney landed a combination that sent Jirov to the canvas with less than 10 seconds left in the final round - the only knockdown of the fight.

Jirov also had a point deducted in the eighth for his second low blow.

Toney (66-4-2, 42 KOs) was the middleweight champion in the early 1990s and held the super middleweight belt before losing to Roy Jones Jr. in 1994.

A native of Kazakhstan who lives in Phoenix, Jirov (31-1, 27 KOs) won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics and was named the most outstanding boxer at the Atlanta Games. He was hoping he could use his two cruiserweight titles to tempt Jones into the ring. Now that bait belongs to Toney.

Jirov put a left below Toney's belt in the third round, sending a thud through the Fox Theater at the Foxwoods Casino. Toney took a knee to gather himself, then came out punching.

Toney tagged Jirov at the end of the fourth, drawing blood from the champion's nose. At the end of sustained two-way punching to finish the fifth, the fighters glared at each other as they went back to their corners, a routine they repeated from then on.

Toney landed some body blows early in the seventh. In the eighth, referee Steve Smoger took a point away from Jirov for another low blow, though this one wasn't nearly as blatant as the other.

Toney landed a couple of good shots to the head in the 10th. In the 11th, Jirov bullrushed him into the ropes with a series of body shots and staggered him in the middle of the ring, but Smoger ruled that Toney slipped.

Both fighters appeared out of gas as they bobbed together against the ropes while saving their energy for a big blow.

Toney caused a stir at Thursday's news conference when he upended two tables in a screaming match with Jirov's cut man. On Friday, the two fighters had separate weigh-ins.

As a co-featured fight, Antonio Tarver (21-1, 17 KOs) easily beat Montell Griffin (44-4, 29 KOs) to win the IBF and WBC light heavyweight titles vacated when Jones decided to become a heavyweight.

All three judges gave the fight to Tarver, 120-106.

Tarver, the bronze medalist at 178 pounds in the 1996 Olympics, earned the first belts of his professional career. Griffin is the only man to have beaten Jones, who last month moved up to take the WBA heavyweight belt from John Ruiz.




posted on Apr, 27 2003 @ 12:25 AM
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I dont know how many of you saw this fight but it was awesome. These two guys hit each other with everything but the kitchen sink. Great fight. If you guys can catch the replay on HBO I highly recommend it.


TRD

posted on Apr, 27 2003 @ 09:09 AM
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Another one i missed


I thought Toney was knocking on a bit how old is he now? Going by the report it sounded some sort of fight...So who else is there to fight now that jones is staying where he is?


TRD

posted on Apr, 27 2003 @ 07:33 PM
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Ocelot i see what you mean now...I just watched the fight they showed it on BBc1 it was awesom...Toney at 34 still is a threat he won it well....The last round was unbelievable best round of boxing i've seen for ages!!!



posted on Apr, 27 2003 @ 11:55 PM
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The last round was unbelievable best round of boxing i've seen for ages!!!


I know. The last round was awesome! The fight was awesome. Great win for James Toney.



posted on Apr, 27 2003 @ 11:58 PM
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MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) - James Toney had just finished a slugging contest with Vassiliy Jirov for the IBF cruiserweight title when his thoughts turned to bigger things.

``Chris Byrd better watch out,'' Toney said at the postfight news conference early Sunday after he earned a unanimous decision and handed Jirov his first professional loss. ``If the opportunity came for me, I'd fight Lennox Lewis or Chris Byrd.''

Lewis is the WBC heavyweight champion. Byrd is the IBF's. The name Toney didn't mention was WBA champion Roy Jones Jr., the former middleweight who took the title away from John Ruiz last month. Toney already has lost to Jones - back in 1994, the last time Toney was a world champion.

Now Toney is talking about following in Jones' footsteps and going after the heavyweight title.

``I'll fight anybody, anytime,'' Toney said. ``Is Chris Byrd here?''

As luck would have it, Byrd was in the room.

``I'll fight him right-handed,'' he said with a laugh, adding that he didn't think a fight with Toney was likely. ``I don't think James really wants it. I don't think his heart is in it.''

Toney caused a stir at Thursday's news conference when he upended two tables in a screaming match with Jirov's cut man. On Friday, the two fighters had separate weigh-ins.

Toney was ready for Saturday night's fight, shaping his gray goatee into a scowl from the opening bell and getting angrier - if that's possible - after a third-round low-blow sent a thud across the Fox Theater. (Jirov had a point deducted for another, less willful, low blow in the eighth.)

But most of the fight featured clean and violent punching. Toney landed 47 percent of his punches, and half of the 590 power punches; Jirov attacked more, but landed less, winning the first few rounds but failing to wear down the bulkier challenger.

Toney tagged Jirov at the end of the fourth, drawing blood from the champion's nose. At the end of sustained two-way punching to finish the fifth, the fighters glared at each other as they went back to their corners, a routine they repeated from then on.

Toney landed a couple of good shots to the head in the 10th. In the 11th, Jirov bullrushed him into the ropes with a series of body shots and staggered him in the middle of the ring, but referee Steve Smoger ruled that Toney slipped.

Both fighters appeared out of gas as they bobbed together against the ropes while saving their energy for a big blow. Then, with just seconds left, Toney landed a combination that sent Jirov to the canvas - the only knockdown of the fight.

Although most ringside observers thought the fight was in play going into the 12th and final round, the judges scored it a blowout: 117-109, 116-110, and 117-109.

``That right hand was something terrible,'' Toney said. ``It's like a Mack truck behind a 190-pound body.''

Toney (66-4-2, 42 KOs) was the middleweight champion in the early 1990s and held the super middleweight belt before losing to Jones on Nov. 18, 1994.

``I've been waiting a long time for James to wake up,'' trainer Freddie Roach said. ``He really got motivated.''

A native of Kazakhstan who lives in Phoenix, Jirov (31-1, 27 KOs) won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics and was selected the most outstanding boxer in the Atlanta Games. But he hadn't fought in 14 months, and it hurt him after 36 minutes of pounding.

``I hadn't fought in a long time,'' he said. ``I'm going to go back to the gym and shake off the rust.''

As a co-featured fight, Antonio Tarver (21-1, 17 KOs) easily beat Montell Griffin (44-4, 29 KOs) to win the IBF and WBC light heavyweight titles vacated when Jones decided to become a heavyweight.

All three judges gave the fight to Tarver, 120-106.

Tarver, the bronze medalist at 178 pounds in the 1996 Olympics, earned the first belts of his professional career. Griffin is the only man to have beaten Jones.




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