Ruiz - Toney... And Why Not?
By George J. Elsasser (March 14, 2005) 
James Toney
Latest word is James Toney has signed on with Don King for a WBA title shot with John Ruiz - and what better read than Jeff Mayweather, of the Mayweather family of stars, to lay it out in simple verse for all fight fans to better understand it all.

You can enjoy it as I did, at - a neat, fast-paced scribble straight from the shoulder of the former lightweight contender that once shared the squared circle with the likes of Jesse James Leija, Oscar de la Hoya and other talents.

Good enuf to get me thinking Ruiz-Toney, even without a date as yet arrived at for the big showdown … well, meeting is more like it.

I know, I know … not impressed with Ruiz, right? That "no-show" loss to bulked up, dosed up, slowed up Roy Jones had retirement all over it. Quiet ma’am was more like it. Tentative doesn’t come close, as he traipsed gingerly about the squared circle like it was a minefield. Worse yet, he unimpressed with good ol’ "Foul-Pole" Andrew to claim the vacant WBA strap.

Which brings us to Toney … a totally opposite from top to bottom. James is as old school as it gets. Something of an updated version of the yesteryear Archie Moore trap setting "wraparound" defense. Toney sometimes pulls the trigger when seemingly in trouble against the ropes ala Jirov battle of attrition.

But there’s a problem here … has nothing to do with tale of the tape … more an intangible than the usual suspects of size, reach, lefty vs. orthodox. And while we’re at it, toss out respective résumés.

What we have is much more sinister … the Toney recent surgeries is the one intangible that can very likely be the decider. The big question needing answers is the wear and tear and healing departments.

Regardless, a final thought that could well save the nite for the paying customers … as in a tad of radical one night stand rules changes.

*** Referee instructed to oversee from a distance; "inadvertents" such as punches below the DMZ, holding-hitting, rabbit punching, head butting, errant elbows will earn nothing more than verbal chastising - although knee to groin or kicking to sensitive areas are to be single point deductions.

Under the above format, with luck, and Toney’s rehabbed wounds holding up, we could get to see a first - as in a Ruiz fight worth buying into.
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