Analyzing The Peter-Toney II Bout

By Tom Donelson
Updated: December 19, 2006

Toney (left) vs. Peter I

Toney (left) vs. Peter I

NEW YORK — After edging out James Toney, Samuel Peter was thinking championship challenges. But a funny thing happened on the way to fighting for the WBC championship against Oleg Maskaev, the WBC ordered a rematch with Toney.

Originally, Peter thought that his last bout was an elimination bout but in the Byzantine world of boxing, he found that the first Toney bout was a mere eliminator to fight another elimination bout.

Now Peter readies himself to fight Toney again and if Peter wants to fight for a title, he has to beat Toney. I should say, he needs to beat Toney impressively or he may be fighting Toney a third time.

There was no doubt that the first fight was close and there was a case to be made for the fight being a Toney victory. Boxing is full of close controversial decisions and Toney’s draw with Rahman was just as controversial, but no one made Rahman fight Toney a second time. (Maybe Rahman should have fought Toney a second time since in his next fight; he lost his title to Maskaev.)

Peter fought better against Toney than he did against Wladimir Klitschko but he still showed himself a work in progress against the deft Toney. Peter faces yet another big fight and this fight could be the one that pushes him over the top.

How can Peter win? What Peter needs to do is cut off the ring and force Toney to fight. At 230 plus and over 38, Toney defensive skills have slipped. As Showtime’s Al Bernstein observed during their last fight, Toney was getting hit with punches that years early would have eluded him.

Toney is a tough fighter who has yet to be stopped but he has shown vulnerabilities over his last couple of bouts. The accurate punching is still there but Toney does not have the one punch knock out to scare Peter.

Peter does not need to fear Toney’s power but he still needs to cognitive of Toney’s accuracy. Toney still is one of the most accurate counter punchers in the boxing game and his opportunity to win this match is to out box Peter.

Toney wants to take advantage of Peter slow hands and wild wide punches. Peter advantages centers around two things- his youth and power. Peter is one of the heavyweights more powerful puncher and while Toney showed that he could take Peter’s best, Peter needs to press his power advantage.

By cutting off the ring, Peter has to wear Toney out. Yes, Peter will be hit with accurate counter punches but power shots to the body in the early rounds will wear Toney out for the later rounds. And Peter, just as Rahman showed in his bout with Toney, connected on many punches against the elusive Toney.

The age factor could play a role if Peter presses the action early. When Peter fought Klitschko, he did not press the advantage and rarely went to the body. Go to the body early and the head become available later.

Toney fights relaxed and this style has allowed Toney to fight effectively in his later years. Toney is one of the more accomplished boxers in the business and this has been the key to his revival late in his career.

Peter must make life miserable for Toney. As for Toney, survive the early rounds and use his superior boxing skills to frustrate Peter.

This is Peter’s shot at establishing himself as a star in a division starved for stars. Boxing fans love knock out artist and Peter is certainly that. For Toney, a lost may end his shot at a Heavyweight title. This is a do-or-die battle.

A Peter defeat will not end Peter career, only put a pause in it. A Peter victory will propel Peter as the leading contender to Maskaev title and if Peter can capture Maskaev’s title, he will be in line for the big money fight in the Heavyweight division versus Klitschko.

If Peter gets past Toney, it is not just a title shot but more importantly, bigger money fights. This is Peter’s shot at glory and wealth.