Thursday, July 22, 2010
Is Toney the right choice for boxing to take on the MMA?
The banter began when Floyd Mayweather said that MMA was for the fighters who couldn’t “hack” boxing and it has been escalating ever since. The latest exchange has come between UFC President Dana White and former three-time world champion James “lights out” Toney, who initiated the banter by calling out several MMA fighters that he could and would knock out if pitted against, ahead of his bout with Randy “the natural” Couture and then White countered by stating that Toney would get his #$% kicked on August 28. RC has also chimed in by stating that he heard Toney was talking smack (no pun intended) so “let’s do it”. The very intrigue of mixed martial arts is trying to figure out which style or discipline would be able to enforce it’s will when matched up in the octagon. Now we will have perhaps the two most prominent, with boxing and wrestling. However there is so much more riding on this bout than bragging rights, ad what we’ve seen are two sports heading in different directions as MMA has experienced unprecedented growth while boxing continues to struggle without many likable or bankable stars like Mayweather. Moreover, their lack of ability to make big fights happen has crippled the sport at the ticket counter. Some of the criticism of boxing comes from fans who now watch MMA because of the lack of action in some boxing matches. So now is the chance for boxing to either get some of it’s “street cred” back or take a huge step back to the new kid on the block. Now the lingering question, in a bout with so much significance and potential history, is James Toney (72-6-3) at 41 years-old the best man to represent the sport? I would normally say no but at 47 Randy Couture is no spring chicken either and if ‘styles make fights’ then this is actually a pretty good opponent for Lightsout to face. I realize for a time RC was carrying the flag for the UFC, but in addition to a modest 18-10 record, only one of those wins has come by a submission, which is the ONLY advantage to a wrestler taking on a boxer, because they’re allowed to strike and choke out even when on the ground. So if they stand upright then Toney’s 44 knockouts comes into play and with only 4 ounce gloves (boxers normally wear 10) if Toney manages to catch Couture it will truly be lights out. So although he couldn’t pay his own way into a bout for one of the heavyweight belts, James Toney may end up added a fourth from a very unexpected place. Who do you think will be able to enforce their will in the Toney/Couture match? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.