Ruiz Will Beat Toney

By Tom Donelson
Updated: April 27, 2005

John Ruiz & James Toney

NEW YORK — James Toney is everyone’s favorite Saturday night as he prepares to tangle with John Ruiz. Let’s face it, no one likes to see John Ruiz fight and with good reason. The man mugs and hugs his opponents.

That is the negative. The positive is that for all his faults, the guy wins. Period. He forces his opponents to fight his fight. Kirk Johnson was a good boxer and yet, the man was reduced to fouling before losing.

Fres Oquindo spent more time mugging Ruiz than vice a versa. Ruiz reduced Rahman to rumbling in the proverbial mud. The only fighter who set his own pace was Roy Jones and Referee Jay Nady aided Jones.

Even Evander Holyfield rumbled with Ruiz and Holyfield is a Hall of Fame fighter. As my good friend Frank Lotierzo reminded me, only Holyfield and Jones has beaten Ruiz since his defeat to Tua in 1996.

Ruiz is one of those fighters who have made the most of his ability. Think of it in this way. After Tua blasted Ruiz in 19 seconds, it was Tua that everyone predicted would be a champ.

Today it is Ruiz who wears one of the belts and Tua had only one opportunity to win a title- which he lost. Tua had the talent to be a champion but it Ruiz who is a champion.

Toney is one of the best fighters of our generation. This guy is a technician in the ring. His punches are accurate and his ability to avoid punches in close quarters legendary. When Toney wants to fight like he did against Jirov, he is one of the best.

Toney is a Hall of Fame fighter but he comes into this fight with one disadvantage. He is a middleweight in a heavyweight body. Ruiz is a heavyweight in a heavyweight body and that gives him all the advantage in this fight.

Toney will stay in front of Ruiz and counterpunch but there is one problem. Unlike Jirov, who threw punches and left himself open to Toney counterpunching; Toney will only get one, maybe two punches before Ruiz smothers him.

Ruiz’s strategy will be to suffocate Toney counterpunching and threw his punches back. This will be one of those Ruiz ugly fights and Toney does not the firepower to hurt Ruiz and keep Ruiz off.

Toney is the superior boxer and the greater fighter. But this fight, greatness mean nothing for Toney to win, he has to hurt Ruiz. And Ruiz will be able to take Toney best shots. Ruiz mugs his way to victory.