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James Toney Takes Booker Between the Lines

BY Rick Folstad ON September 09, 2004
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The best damn heavyweight, along with the best damn promoter, was at his damn best earlier this week when he was on the best damn conference call discussing his upcoming fight with Rydell Booker scheduled to be televised Sept. 23 on the Best Damn Sports Show, Period.

You've got to understand that James "Lights Out" Toney (67-4-2, 43 K0s) believes he's the best damn heavyweight in the world. And so far, no one can stand up, point a finger in his direction and call him a liar. Besides, how do you tell a guy who lives by the credo, "Anybody, anywhere, anytime," that he isn't the best damn heavyweight out there?

But one thing is certain. Booker, who may have the best damn name in the fight game, doesn't have the best damn right hand. He's 22-0 with 12 KOs, but he isn't going to do anything to boost Toney's already high-standing in the heavyweight division.

Still, that's OK because Toney hasn't fought in almost a year and he's coming off that Achilles injury and you don't want him fighting a giant killer his first fight back. Besides, Toney and promoter Dan Goossen have their sights aimed at Vitali Klitschko, hopefully in December.

But that's another fight and another time.

"I'm focused on this guy (Booker) because it's been nine months since I beat anyone up," Toney said, apparently forgetting to look at a calendar. "It's going to be a good, exciting, short fight."

When Goossen reminded Toney that it's been closer to 12 months since he beat anyone up, Toney grabbed the moment and shook it.

"Twelve months?" he said. "Now I'm really pissed off."

Before he was done, Toney did the best damn job he could of insulting just about everyone in the fight game who is still alive. He called the recent Kali Meehan-Lamon Brewster fight, "garbage," saying it was like watching golf.

"It was awful," he said. "I fell asleep with my dog."

He also said he has no respect for fighters from the South "because they ain't got no damn heart. Everybody down there, they all suck."

He said the smartest thing Bernard Hopkins ever did in his life was, "not fight me;" and he blamed boxing's sanctioning bodies of doing everything they could to keep him from winning a heavyweight title.

But that's what you like about Toney. The best damn thing you can say about him is that he's never ducked anyone. He always comes out swinging.

"If Dan wants me to fight Godzilla, I'll sign the contract," he said. "I told Dan I'll fight the biggest, baddest sonofabitch out there."

Godzilla isn't in their immediate plans, but that could change. As for Booker, Toney hints that he respects the guy, but maybe not that much.

"When the bell rings, he better be ready to die," Toney said.

The best damn heavyweight giving you his best damn line.

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