In Boxing News: James Toney Big, Beautiful … and Sexy?

In heavyweight boxing news, Hasim Rahman and James Toney stuck to trading insults at the press conference Tuesday to promote their fight scheduled for March 18 in Atlantic City (HBO). Rahman and Toney had to be separated after running into each other in Cancun, Mexico in December, when the World Boxing Council was holding an awards ceremony there. He tried to slap me, but he missed and scratched me like a little woman, Toney said. He’s going to get his payback. It will go four to five rounds. I’m not going to play with him. Rahman countered: The worst thing you can do is stand in front of me. Undaunted, the heavy-looking Toney – always one to try to get the last word no matter what he weighs – quipped, I had to drop some weight in Cancun. I looked at myself in the mirror – ‘Dang, who’s having a baby? Even while I was big, I was still beautiful and still sexy. Somebody called me a Buddha last fight, but this Buddha will kick your (butt). Weight doesn’t mean nothing – it’s skills. You chip at the Rock long enough, the Rock falls apart.

Ricky Hatton – Floyd Mayweather Will Happen

The Press Association in the UK reports that Ricky Hatton is ready to throw his best-laid plans out of the window and jump straight into a career-defining super-fight with Floyd Mayweather. Ray Hatton – Ricky’s father and manager – told PA Sport: The Mayweather fight has been on the cards ever since Ricky beat Kostya Tszyu – and if someone came along and said ‘Here is the Mayweather fight’ we would take it. We are very close to finalising a deal for his next fight now, but what we do know is that Ricky is going to be fighting in America in either April or May. Roger Mayweather, meanwhile, told BBC Sport: The fact Floyd’s fight against Judah is off means a fight against Hatton is much bigger now and much easier to make. Floyd wants it, but he isn’t going to fight in front of Hatton’s home crowd. Roger Mayweather also said Floyd may fight WBC welterweight titlist Carlos Baldomir before facing Hatton. All credit to Carlos Baldomir and what he accomplished against the under-prepared Zab Judah, but that one has blow-out written all over it. As for Hatton, Roger Mayweather had one last parting shot: I’m confident Floyd will beat anyone in the world. Hatton’s going to be a punch bag because he’s got no defence. He’s a tough guy and takes risks. But against Floyd, those risks are going to cost him.

Zab Judah Needs To Grow Up

Looking back at the weekend fights at MSG, Benn Schulberg gives some props to the cruiserweight co-feature: Judah‘s supposed celebratory homecoming began after one of the greatest cruiserweight fights in history … After putting on his own unique, sub-par version of the rope-a-dope in which he took heavy shots to the head and body for the first half of the fight, O’Neil “Supernovaâ€? Bell came back with a vengeance to knockout Jean-Marc Mormeck in the tenth round of their unification fight. Though Schulberg was not completely overwhelmed himself, I know there were some readers who were unhappy with George Kimball’s ringside assessment. (Kimball was underwhelmend by Bell-Mormeck.) Regardless, those of you who emailed us, please take note that there were some of us at who did appreciate Bell and Mormeck’s efforts. Schulberg also has some cautionary advice for Zab Judah: just days after basking in his self-righteous glory, he’s left not to prove his greatness, but rather to salvage both a sense of dignity and a promising career that is in serious danger of being permanently derailed. He is Brooklyn’s finest no more, at least until he demonstrates that he’s capable of being a man deserving of champion adulation.

Scott Harrison Says Bring It On

The Glasgow Herald says Joan Guzmán‘s peripheral status in Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Gloves stable has ensured Stateside interest for a defining fight in Scott Harrison‘s quest for eventual unification and distinction at super-featherweight. The two will meet on March 25th in Scotland. While Frank Maloney, Harrison’s promoter, has questioned the wisdom of the Scot agreeing to face Guzman, Harrison remains confident: Why should I move up in weight to avoid someone like Guzman who I am well capable of beating? [Guzman’s] got a great record, but who has he fought? No one compared to the guys I have fought. I don’t think he is in my league and he’ll find that out on 25 March. I can’t see why anyone is getting nervous about this fight on my behalf. Frank is always nervous about my fights, but I’m not worried about it.

Arum on Pavlick

Our own Rick Folstad says that promoter Bob Arum could open an umbrella concession in Death Valley and somehow make it rain. Right now, Arum is selling undefeated middleweight Kelly “The Ghostâ€? Pavlik , a white kid in a sport dominated by minorities. Arum calls Pavlik a “banger,â€? one of those rare punchers who comes along once every few years. And Arum himself isn’t pulling any punches: Here’s the problem. The (Jermain) Taylor people will not fight at this point against Kelly Pavlik because they’re afraid of him. He presents a real danger. He has tremendous knockout power, and in boxing, if you have a champion, you try to keep him away from a puncher. Which makes it a tough fight to put together. So what do you do? If an entity like HBO stops rolling over and giving spots to the Sam Solimans of the world, guys who are pretty decent fighters but can’t punch or anything … They’re talking about Taylor fighting Sam Soliman on HBO. Well that’s ludicrous.

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