In anticipation of the WBC heavyweight eliminator between James Toney and Sam Peter (Showtime), the two combatants met with the boxing press via telephone conference call on Thursday, August 24, and this is what went down…
Peter: We are here. I am ready to go on Sept. 2. I am telling everybody inside the media. We are ready to do what it takes to win.
Toney: I will not be shy. I am looking forward to Sept. 2. It is going to be a good fight. I hope Sam Peter keeps his promise because I have got something for him. Nobody is going to put my [expletive] down. It is not going to happen. He isn’t going to do it because he is in the amateurs. I am ready to fight. It is time to end all this talking. Let us get it on. Everybody talking, his promoters are talking. I am not anybody to play with. I will take Peter’s [expletive] out.
Question: Sam, what is your reaction to this kind of talk and how is it going to affect the fight?
Toney: That is him doing all the talking. I do not talk. I talk with my hands. I only retaliate (to) what they say to me.
Peter: You cannot fight if you do not know how to talk or to speak.
Question: Samuel, is any of this trash talk getting into your head?
Peter: No, it is not getting into my head because I am good and I am going to be good on Sept. 2. I have got to do what I have got to do because I am the next heavyweight champion of the world. I do not care what Toney says. Nothing he does is going to get into my head because I fight through a lot of things. Nothing goes through my head. I do what I and I do what I have got to do.
Question: Samuel, what do you have to work on for this fight?
Peter: Well, I know Toney has been there for a long time, being a (former) world champion. But it is definitely time for him to quit. What I am going to do you will see on Sept. 2.
Question: James, what do you feel you have to do in this fight other than just knock him out to get a decisive victory? Is there anything you feel you need to work on at this point?
Toney: What happened with Rahman was a one-time thing. That is done. As far as the trash talk goes, I did not start it. It is his promoter and his manager who started it. So each time they start it, you know, it is what it is. Come Sept. 2, I am going to beat his [expletive].
Question: James, what was your reaction to Rahman getting knocked out by Oleg Maskaev?
Toney: The guy quit. He could have gone to 12 rounds, but you know what happened. Rahman was not all that strong. I shook him like a salt shaker when I hit him. So Maskaev got the world championship. It will not last long though.
Question: Sam, what do you feel are your skills and qualities that will allow you to beat such a seasoned veteran, a former multi-time champion, as in James Toney?
Peter: Well, I am going to prove to everybody that nobody can get in the ring with me and survive. I am going to prove that I am going to be the true heavyweight champion of the world. So Sept. 2, everybody will see what is going to happen.
Question: James, are you going to knock him out or win a decision?
Toney: I am a fighter. That is what I do. I beat people up. I make them quit, knock them out, whatever. You have known me all these years, you know that if I do not knock him out, I will have him destroyed by the end of the fight. That is what I do.
Question: Sam, what happens when you hit Toney with your best punch and he is still standing?
Peter: I will hit him with my best punch, but he will not stand up.
Question: James, do you feel you can be as effective in the middle of the ring as you would be if you were against the ropes?
Toney: I am the complete fighter. Everybody wants to keep saying I am a boxer. I do not box. I fight. That is what I do. You know that and he knows that. Come Sept. 2, I am going to be there and I am not going anywhere. My style never changes. I do not run from anybody. I have been in with the best fighters in the world, better fighters than him. So it does not matter. Whatever he has got to do is not going to be enough. I wish I could fight him now.
Question: Why is this fight inspiring so much anger in both of you?
Toney: It is not me, man. It is them. They came at me the wrong way in the press conference, disrespecting me in front of my family.
Peter: Well, sport is unity. We go in there to do what we are supposed to do. If James Toney is mad, let him be mad. If he is crazy, let him be crazy.
Question: What do you both think your opponent’s greatest strength is and how will you overcome it?
Toney: Everything I do is great. I have seen it all. I have been in with the best. I have seen it all. There isn’t anything I haven’t seen before. Let me tell you something. Heat up the water. I am going to put that fire out for him.
Question: Sam, do you think that a knockout may be the only way you can win this fight?
Peter: Well, I have got to prove myself.
Question: James, do you get tired of not being recognized for your all-around boxing skills? Does that bother you sometimes to not get that kind of recognition?
Toney: It bothers me all the time, but you know what? I am going to have the last laugh at the end and then I am going to say, ‘I told you so.’ I know what I can do. I know who the man is that will win Sept. 2.
Question: The roles have been reversed here because you said the attack was made against you and in reality, you are just retaliating?
Toney: Exactly. Then when I retaliate, everybody wants to say what I do. You know what I am saying? This is boxing, this is me. I take everything personal.
Question: James, do you think a knockout will be the only way you will be assured of a victory?
Toney: That is right. I am great shape. When I am in great shape, I will be knocking somebody out. Someone is going to get physically damaged, and it will not be me.
Question: Sam, do you think about the stuff James said during the last conference call or is it something you just know happens and move on?
Peter: I forget about everything. Mostly, I am thinking about is how I will walk through
Toney. Nobody is going to send me (anywhere). So my plan now is just to walk through Toney.
Question: James, of all your opponents, who does Sam Peter remind you of?
Toney: Iran Barkley.
Question: Do you still feel that Barkley hit you harder than anybody has ever hit you?
Toney: He hit like a mule and plus he is dumb as an ox. I am a fighter. I was born a fighter. These guys were taught to fight. That is the difference between me and everybody else.
Question: Sam, you have gone the distance in your career four times. Do you feel that might be a part of James’ plan, to take you late in the fight?
Toney: I am going to fight him how I fight. [There is] no plan. He is going to come at me trying to knock me out — whatever, please do. I am ready. Know what? I am done with my questions for the day. You all have a good day out there in TV land. I have left the building.
Peter: Well, he is going to jump to my punches.