Live Saturday night from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime), heavyweights Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James “Lights Out” Toney fight the rematch of their inconclusive first bout last September. That first go-round ended up with Peter the victor by split decision and the presumptive next challenger to the champ Oleg Maskaev’s title, but the hue and cry was so loud even the WBC managed to hear it, which led to the mandated rematch this weekend. Like the first fight, Peter has advantages in youth, size and power, whereas Toney is simply Toney. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Peter vs. Toney II.
The second time around is not always better than the first time. Both James Toney and Sam Peter have boasted of training regimens that have transformed their bodies since their first fight four months ago, but the bet here is that we will see more of the same. Toney, at 38, gets hit more than in younger days, but he has enough left to weather Peter’s powerful, but infrequent, blows. Like the first time, Toney will pick his spots and win enough rounds to beat Peter by decision. This time, I hope, the judges will judge correctly. Toney by decision
Having still not seen the first fight, I'm probably not the best judge to be making predictions. I'll make a few pointers though – as unrefined as Peter is, Toney is an old fighter with a lot of fights on him and he's taken poundings in his last two fights; so much that he's spent time in hospital. Age can't be held off indefinitely by any man. I'd say that Toney's time among the heavyweights peaked following his fight against Holyfield. Since then, he's not been as good. Peter, on the other hand, has the power but not the skill. Interesting matchup but the subdued buildup has provided more thrills than the actual fight will. Samuel Peter to win … Rivera by decision. Too much experience, too strong a chin. Age beats youth.
Peter M. Carvill
This will not look much like the first simply because James Toney is too smart to allow history to repeat itself. Sure, Sam Peter will throw hard punches and Toney will bounce off the ropes in an attempt to draw Peter. This fight will differ because Toney will do everything else he needs to in between to earn a unanimous decision.
Jesse K. Cox
It's never smart to bet against Toney, so I won't. He's just too comfortable inside the ring. And if he's really lost some fat and worked on his stamina, he could be even more dangerous. I can't see him stopping Peter, but I can't see him losing, either. He wins the rematch by easy decision.
Toney will conclude this bout with no questions asked this time around and emerge the champion. Entering into his second go round with Peter, Toney has added better conditioning and a boost from guru Billy Blanks to his already crafty arsenal. All of this combined adds up to a winning combination for Toney, who already knows more about boxing than Peter could ever forget. Gracing the Toney Peter undercard will be Laura “Lady Ram” Ramsey (6-2) of Winterhaven, Florida and Ijeoma “The Praise” Egbunine (12-1) of Marietta, Georgia. Ramsey is returning to the ring after a heavy-handed first round KO of Erin Toughill in August, and Egbunine last saw ring action when she scored a 2nd round TKO over Asa Sandell, which gives both fighters an opponent in common, which they both defeated. Look for “The Praise” to face her stiffest competition in “Lady Ram” who is better conditioned and tough on the inside with a devastating right hand. A close exciting battle and thanks to Don King for adding the ladies to the event.
The first fight was defined by Sam Peter's ineffectual moments as much as by James Toney's inability to throw quality combinations off the counter, for a decade his stock and trade as a championship fighter. Toney's lack of conditioning relative to his weight and the brunt of Peter's thumping blows made Toney look far less effective, unable to make Peter pay for long stretches of mediocre boxing. Billy Blanks, it is being asserted, will have Toney fit and able to throw at a higher rate… well, then there is the fact of Toney's age and the attrition rate of having contested so many big time fights at a weight far beyond what one might surmise as a normative weight threshold for the Californian. Frankly, Toney looks and acts tired as often as he does fit and one has to wonder if at 37-plus years old is the Blanks Plan taking the juice out of Toney? It might just be so. Peter UD12 Toney.
Peter has yet to persuade us that he is a finished product. (Although Toney could finish him.) We’re not big on this Tae Bo stuff, but if Toney is even in a semblance of condition he should be able to first outbox and eventually outslug the Nigerian Nightmare. Neither of these guys has ever been stopped, but there’s always a first: Toney in a late-round TKO … A year ago we’d have rated Rivera-Simms a virtual tossup, but the WBA junior middle champ (witness his five-knockdown performance against Terra Garcia) seems to be getting better with each fight, while Simms, the “champion in recess,” has literally been on recess. (Rivera has fought sparingly in recent years, but Simms hasn’t fought at all.) We like Rivera to retain his title by decision.
Both fighters are likely to come into this fight in better condition than the first go-round, and the fight will likely follow a similar path as the first. I thought Toney did enough in terms of blocking Samuel Peter's looping blows and landing the cleaner punches, but the judges didn't agree with me. Still, Toney seems to be too wise a fighter to be caught often by the heavy-handed Nigerian. Toney has likely forgotten more about the sweet science than Sam Peter will ever know, and hopefully he will help me forget the losing wager I made on Lights Out to win by decision in the first bout by taking a close decision in the rematch here.
Toney reminds me of Bernard Hopkins at the tail end of his career. Aged but still with so much skill he’s almost boring. He fights thirty seconds of each rounds and spends the rest of the round using his defense to recharge for his next thirty second run. Eventually, James Toney’s battery will charge no more. Samuel Peter is younger, stronger and gained valuable experience in the last go-round. Peter is the fat man’s worst nightmare this time around – surprise, surprise – Peter via 7th round KO.
It is hard to imagine Toney coming into the fight in better shape than last time. He hasn't been in peak shape for years, so why should things change now? The bigger, stronger and younger Peter will win a much more convincing decision this time. Peter W 12 … Both Rivera and Simms are fighting mad about the snail-like pace of their careers. However it seems that it has gotten to Simms in more negative ways than Rivera. The always hardworking Rivera, who seems to have a positive outlook during good times and bad, will win an exciting decision. Rivera W 12.
I'm prepared to believe the unbelievable, that James Toney will be toned from the gym. Peter is predictable, slow and Toney will only have gained knowledge and focus from their first meeting and the unsatisfactory result. Toney UD12.
It’ll be deja vu all over again. Forget the scales, this fight’s gonna be a replay of the first. Peter can’t do anything else and James won’t. But he’ll do more of it, thanks to Billy Blanks, and win a clear-cut decision.
The big discussion regarding James Toney and this bout surrounds the efforts he has taken to get himself in top physical condition. But why, after such a long, gluttonous career, is he so worried about being in shape? While the first bout was shrouded in controversy, this one will not be. Peter by decision … While Travis Simms is still undefeated, he has not fought in more than two years. The two years out of the ring will hurt him against Rivera, who is entering the ring with a sense of urgency. Rivera by decision.
From the looks of the weigh- in, each guy is prepared to pick up the action quicker than where they left off last time. The first fight was very close but Toney seemed stronger at the end. Peter worked harder but Toney worked more effectively. If Toney gets busier that should be enough to get the nod, but if he doesn't, go with Peter on effort alone.