UPDATE: Toney beat Legg (TKO3) in the first round, and then dropped a MD3 to Jason Gavern in his second scrap. Gavern made it to the final, where he lost to Michael Sprott. Sprott beat Brian Minto and Damian Wills to make it to the final leg.
Legendary prizefighter James “Lights Out” Toney leads a group of American fighters against Team United Kingdom in the Prizefighter tournament Thursday night in London.
It’s the fourth edition of the heavyweight tournament but this time it features some hefty names in Toney (75-8-3, 45 Kos), Damian “Bolo” Wills (31-3-1, 24 Kos), Brian Minto (37-6, 24 Kos) and Jason Gavern (23-15-4, 11 Kos) on the American team fighting at York Hall in London, England. Fuel TV is televising the event.
The British team features Larry Olubamiwo (10-3, 9 Kos), Matt Legg (6-1), Tom Little (3-1) and Michael Sprott (37-21, 17 Kos).
Each fight lasts only three rounds and all fights take place within one day. The fast pace favors the boxers but knockout punchers can go for broke.
In a first-round matchup Toney, 45, faces Legg, 37, who fought four times in 2001-2002, took a break, fought twice in 2008, and took another break, before his last fight, in July. Toney’s last fight was a win by decision over clever Kenny Lemos in June. Before that, he fought in Australia and lost a decision against Lucas Browne with some terrible hometown scoring. Browne rarely hit Toney and did more shoving than punching. Toney’s experience and defensive skills are hard to overlook. He’s been on a mission to fight often and this could be the showcase for his talent.
America’s Wills is another strong fighter who should pose a threat to any of the other heavyweights. Like Toney, Wills is a slow starter. The tournament would seem to favor fast starters but you never know with heavyweights. Wills has good boxing skills and heavy hands, but his weight slows him down. If he weighs less than 250 he can handle just about anybody.
It should be a good, exciting tourney.
Other boxing notes
Undefeated Konstantin Ponomarev (21-0, 10 Kos) headlines the Bash Boxing event on Thursday Nov. 14, at Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, Calif. Heavyweight Charles Martin is also set to fight on the boxing card located in the heart of the entertainment capital. For more information (626) 388-8888.
WBC bantamweight titlist Shinsuke Yamanaka (20-0-2, 15 Kos) stopped Mexico’s Alberto Guevara (18-2) by knockout at 25 seconds of round nine. The world title fight took place Sunday in Tokyo, Japan. Also, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (37-0, 31 Kos) knocked out Oscar Blanquet (32-7-1) at 27 seconds into round two.
A female junior flyweight battle between Jessica Chavez (19-3-3) and Arely Mucino (18-2-2) ended in a draw after 10 rounds. Their clash took place in Coacalco, Mexico on Saturday. Chavez is known for being the first to defeat Argentina’s Yesica Bopp.
Former Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez (7-0, 7 Kos) stopped Jesus Lule (6-7) at the end of round five in their junior featherweight bout. The match took place on Saturday in Corpus Christi, Texas. Also, East L.A.’s Vic Pasillas (6-0, 3 Kos) stopped Salvador Perez (2-3-2) at the end of round two of their junior featherweight fight.
Several female prizefighters were inducted to the Golden State Boxers Association Hall of Fame on Saturday in Monterey Park, Calif. Those chosen were Lucia Rijker, Mia St. John, Layla McCarter and Sue Fox. In the non-fighter category Gwen Adair, Carol Steindler, Jacquie Richardson and Michele Chong were awarded for their contributions to female boxing and boxing in general. It was the first time women were awarded.
Jennifer Salinas (14-3, 4 Kos) meets Colombia’s Yolis Franco (15-8-3) for the vacant WBF junior featherweight world title on Saturday Nov. 16. The fight takes place at Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Salinas is a native Bolivian but currently lives in the state of Virginia.
Qiu Xiao Jun (9-2, 3 Kos) faces Lizandro de los Santos (22-10) in a junior featherweight bout set for 10 rounds on Saturday Nov. 16. The fight card takes place in Hangzhou, China. Several other bouts are planned including Jonathan Baat (24-4-3) facing Suthep Krungthep (3-3).
Undefeated junior lightweight Jose Felix Jr. (25-0-1, 20 Kos) fights Santos Benavides (23-4-2, 17 Kos) in the main event on Saturday Nov. 16, in Laughlin. Nevada. Also, Riverside’s Saul Rodriguez (10-0-1, 7 Kos) was recently added to this fight card. Both fights take place at Avi Resort and Casino.
UFC 167 features welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (24-2) defending against Johny Hendricks (15-1) on Saturday Nov. 16, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The mixed martial arts fight card also features Rashad Evans (23-3-1) vs. Chael Sonnen (29-13-1); Rory Macdonald (15-1) vs. Rob Lawler (21-9).