Weighing a portly 253 pounds, former middleweight champion of the world James “Lights Out” Toney looks like he spent his seven months of rehab standing in line at the All-You-Can-Eat All-Night Buffet.
Recovering from a ruptured Achilles' tendon suffered in January, Toney might have lost a little career time with the injury, but he didn't lose his ability to keep everyone doubled up with laughter with his quick wit and jolly banter.
Getting ready to fight the world-renowned and always-dangerous Rydell Booker on Sept. 23 at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, CA., Toney said at a recent press conference that he was going to rid the heavyweight division of all its pretenders.
“I'm whoopin' all asses, all the time,” Toney said with a friendly chuckle.
Apparently, he's going to start thinning out the herd with Booker, a relative unknown who has spent most of his career fighting other unknowns as a cruiserweight.
When asked by a Fightnews reporter who Rydell Booker was and what he knew about him, Toney gave it some serious thought before giving an insightful response.
“I have no idea,” he said. “You tell me.”
No problem, James.
Booker (22-0, 12 K0s) is ranked 76th among the world's heavyweights. In his last fight this past June, he won an eight-round split-decision over some guy named Tipton Walker, who was 13-7.
Last summer, Booker, 23, beat Arthur Williams in a 10-round decision; and in January, 2003, he beat an aging Uriah Grant, also by a 10-round decision.
In March, 2003, he stopped Andrew Greeley (8-4) to win the WBC Youth Cruiserweight Title, whatever that is.
He's 6-foot-3, comes from Detroit and his nickname is “Rock n' Rye.” His chances against Toney are somewhere between null and void.
With that kind of impressive resume, it's only natural he fights Toney in a WBC heavyweight eliminator bout.
No wonder Toney is pretending he doesn't know anything about the guy. The more we know, the sillier it sounds.
But it got even better from there as Toney carefully expounded on the present state of the heavyweight division and its assorted champions.
“Garbage,” he said when asked what he thought of WBC champion Vitali Klitschko.
“Garbage,” he answered when asked about WBA champ John Ruiz.
“Garbage,” he said when asked about Mike Tyson.
You've got to like a guy with both an expanded vocabulary, a keen sense of humor and an uncanny ability to work the crowd.
The Toney vs. Booker fight will be televised on FOX's “Best Damn Sports Show, Period,” which makes it a pretty good deal.
You'll get a big laugh and it won't cost you a dime. You'll also get to see a little of “The Best Damn Sports Show, Period.”