While enjoying his fighter Samuel Peter’s recent victory over James Toney and preparing for his other client, WBO Heavyweight Champion Sergei Liakhovich’s fight against Shannon Briggs, November 4 in Phoenix, powerhouse manager Ivaylo Gotzev says he’s been content to “monitor the situation with the WBC and all the deals going on with the promoters…”
Gotzev says he feels forced to respond to recent public statements made by Toney and his people and wants to add a few, as yet, un-discussed points about talk of an immediate rematch.
“They should let the young tiger win his title,” says Gotzev of Team Toney’s attempts to lobby for an immediate rematch and interrupt Peter’s promised world title shot. “Nobody is denying James Toney a rematch. It was a great fight. Let him take a rest and better his conditioning and when he’s healthy to come back at a proper weight, that’s when we’ll give him the rematch and next time it’ll be for the world title.”
Gotzev feels that most of this brewing controversy has been created by Toney’s promoter, Dan Goossen’s sour grapes about the outcome, but says that although Team Toney may be sore about losing, they’re not being realistic about their man’s chances in an immediate rematch.
“I doubt the fighter really even wants another one so soon. James has had his problems lately. He had to give back the WBA title when he was on steroids. He showed up in horrible shape to fight Hasim Rahman and then he couldn’t beat what he called an ‘inexperienced’ Sam Peter. While he’s trying to figure out a way to get himself back into fighting shape and find his dedication again, let Samuel Peter fight for what he was promised – a world championship. Either that or have Goossen give back the money to all the ticket buyers that night because he promoted the show as ‘winner fights for the title.’”
In looking back at boxing history, Gotzev also points to an interesting event 14 years ago that further sheds light on the merits of Goossen and Toney’s position. “When James Toney ‘beat’ Dave Tiberi (in defense of his IBF Middleweight Title), it was one of the worst decisions in boxing history. That decision was so bad it inspired the government to call for an investigation of the sport. And did Toney feel strongly about granting the loser of a close fight another chance? No. He never looked back and Dave Tiberi never fought again. So don’t talk to me about poor James Toney deserving a rematch because the fight was close. It doesn’t hold water.”
Gotzev hopes his appeal to Team Toney will be heard, to avoid potentially lengthy outside the ring battles that won’t benefit either side. “Samuel wants to win a world title. It’s his lifelong dream. We’ve always sought out the best fights and fighters in the division. Nobody is running from anything. We just want to fight for the title and we’ll get back to James Toney when the time is right. It makes sense to give the older fighter time to heal and to let the younger man try for his lifelong dream. James has won plenty of world titles, let Samuel go for his first.”
The Manager of the Year candidate also says the confidence his fighter gained in besting Toney will only make it easier the next time. “Sam is only going to be better and stronger and wiser for the next one. Expect a spectacular showing from him when it happens.”
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?