James Toney: Hooked On A Feeling

BY Rick Folstad ON August 27, 2006
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It was another knee slapper from that venerable old fighter/comedian we all know and love.

“F*** you very much, bitch,” he cracked on a recent national conference call, directing his well-chosen words at his upcoming opponent’s corner and promoter.

Is that funny or what? Such a clever guy.

Then, just when you thought you’d heard it all – when your sides are splitting and you’re rolling on the floor in uncontrollable laughter – he brings down the house with this little jewel.

“You scum sucking faggot,” he says, again addressing his opponent‘s corner.

We’re in the presence of greatness.

C’mon, admit it. That’s pretty good. Where does he get this stuff? Who writes his material? Author, author.

But he wasn’t done. Not even close.

“I‘ll come to your house, you immigrant mother******.”

I laughed so hard, my eyes watered.

How about a round of applause for another great conference call.

Thanks for the memories, JT. Hope your kids weren’t listening.

That’s why, on behalf of concerned mothers and innocent children everywhere, I’ve decided not to quote him anymore in this column. I’m not comfortable pressing the * key.

I’m also not going to mention his name. But you know the guy: Shaved head, well fed, likes to talk. Can fight more than a little.

If you still don’t know who he is, here’s a hint: He’s fighting heavyweight contender Samuel Peter in a WBC elimination bout on Saturday at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles (SHOWTIME).

And I hope Peter, who was also on the conference call, puts his Lights Out.

Now you know who he is.

Too bad. He used to be a real character, a guy who added color and spice to a fight game that was in desperate need of a few laughs. He could fight and he could talk, and he kept things alive at his press conferences with his wit and his fast tongue. It was something you didn’t want to miss.

Wonder what happened to that guy?

This new guy just keeps rolling out lame obscenities. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to call someone a name. He’s not entertaining anymore. He’s annoying.

He’s also lucky. If he played in the NFL or the NBA and said that stuff, he’d be suspended and fined, maybe banished from his sport forever.

Remember John Rocker?

But this is boxing. We have no morals clause, no hierarchy, no one to answer to.  We just smile, shake our heads, take notes and quote the unquotable.

He claims the other guys started the name calling and trash talking. But so what? It’s the same game he used to be so good at.

I’m hoping Peter, who did manage to slip a few words in on the conference call despite the yelling on the other phone, has a good night on Saturday.

Asked if all the trash talking was getting into his head, Peter calmly said it wasn’t bothering him at all.

“No, it is not getting into my head because I am good. I am the next heavyweight champion of the world,” he said. “I do not care what [he] says.”

Gee. I know the feeling.

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