YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Toney Is Hoping for an Easy 'Collection' Day

On the eve of today's heavyweight fight with Booker, he disparages the state of the division.

September 23, 2004|Paul Gutierrez | Times Staff Writer

James Toney is quick to answer when asked his impressions of boxing's heavyweight division.

"Garbage," he says.

So it's only natural that Toney, a former middleweight, super-middleweight and cruiserweight world champion, sees himself as a janitor of sorts who relishes taking out the trash.

"These guys are all garbage and fat, I'm going to punch them in their breasts," said Toney, 36, who has a record of 67-4-2 with 43 knockouts.

Up next for Toney is the chest of Rydell Booker (22-0, 12). They'll meet today at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula in a World Boxing Council eliminator in which the WBC's vacant Continental Americas and the International Boxing Assn. heavyweight belts also are at stake.

Beat Booker, and Toney figures to get his shot at WBC champion Vitali Klitschko, recognized as the true heavyweight kingpin.

"Klitschko don't want none of me," said Toney, whose losses have come to Roy Jones Jr., Montell Griffin (twice) and Drake Thadzi.

Toney, whose career began at 152 pounds in 1988, has not fought in nearly a year, when, in his heavyweight debut, he stopped former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in the ninth round Oct. 4, 2003, in Las Vegas.

A February bout with Jameel McCline was shelved after Toney ruptured his left Achilles' tendon in training.

"It's all good now," said the 5-foot-11 Toney, who weighed in Wednesday at 227 pounds, 10 pounds heavier than for the Holyfield fight, while the 6-3 Booker weighed 220. "As soon as I touch him, he's going to sleep."

Toney was all over the much taller and much younger Booker, 23, at the weigh-in, sucker-punching and slapping him.

"Styles make fights," Booker said. "I'm not upset. Talk is cheap."


Also on the card, which will be televised by FSN West, former WBC bantamweight champion Wayne McCullough (26-4, 17) will meet Mike Juarez (23-14-2, 9) in a featherweight fight, and heavyweight Cedric Boswell (21-1, 16) will face former International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champ Imamu Mayfield (24-5-2).

Los Angeles Times Articles