Toney, Peter To Meet In Heavyweight Title Eliminator

By Francis Walker
Updated: July 6, 2006

NEW YORK — James “Lights Out” Toney (69-4-3, 43 KOs) will challenge exciting 25-year-old, Nigerian slugger Sam Peter (26-1, 22 KOs) to a WBC heavyweight title elimination bout on September 2nd.

The winner will become a No. 1 contender and would have earned the right to challenge whoever emerges victorious from WBC champion Hasim Rahman’s August 12th title defense against current WBC No. 1 contender, Oleg Masakaev.

Toney, 37 of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a former IBF middleweight, light heavyweight, and cruiserweight champion who began a serious campaign as a heavyweight contender in 2003. October 4, 2003 was the date when he stopped former heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield in the ninth round.

As a heavyweight, Toney has not displayed the type of power that he once had in the early 90’s as a fighting middleweight champion. His last four fights have gone the distance, but his hand speed and ability to slip and block punches hasn’t been unnoticed.

On April 30, 2005 at Madison Square Garden, Toney would have become the second middleweight fighter in more than 100 years since Bob Fitzsimmons to win a heavyweight championship.

However, Toney’s unanimous decision victory against John Ruiz was changed to a no-contest after Toney tested positive for a banned substance by the New York State Athletic Commission.

Toney’s most recent fight occurred on March 18, 2006. He challenged Rahman for the WBC heavyweight championship. It was a very close fight, as both fighters struggled to hurt one another with powerful shots.

Toney slipped and blocked punches, but appeared to be slow. Rahman had difficulty throwing punches in combinations. The end result was a draw.

Toney will have to be a little faster and consistent when he faces Sam Peter, an exciting young fighter who seeks to destroy his opponents with his power.

Peter has fought professionally since February 2001. He has compiled an impressive record. His only loss was a 12-round unanimous decision to Wladimir Klitschko in a previous heavyweight title eliminator in September 2005.

Peter knocked Klitschko down three times, but was behind on all three judges scorecards 114-111.

Peter has the strength and the power to change the tide of any contest with just one punch, but Klitschko showed that he can be out-boxed. Peter has never fought anyone with the speed, quickness, and defensive skills that Toney has.