Toney takes care of business while Byrd talks business
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (October 4, 2005)  
Photo ©
IBA heavyweight champion James Toney 69-4-2 (43) retained his title in a lopsided twelve round victory against the less than effective Dominick Guinn 25-3-1 (18) for the Showtime viewers Saturday night in Reno, Nevada. The thirty-seven year old tactician outworked, out boxed and out classed the ‘Southern Disaster’ for twelve rounds, beating him to every punch and punishing the youngster with scorching body shots and menacing uppercuts throughout the bout.

The one time hot prospect came out firing missing his target paying for his mishaps from the much faster counter puncher in which Toney offered up on most of the exchanges. Guinn regrettably chose to bang with Toney on the inside and ate massive leather in a failed attempt to smoother Toney on the ropes who works better in the inside. Guinn who in his recent fights has been lackadaisical and reluctant to trade did come out firing until his confidence was broken after tasting every punch in Toney’s arsenal.

The bout was more of the same with Guinn laying against Toney for most of the portion of the rounds taking much punishment from James who was ripping body shots and landing at will hitting Dominick with everything but the kitchen sink. But it wasn’t ‘Lights Out’ for Guinn who felt the wrath of Toney the entire match-up and after piling up endless points James Toney got the go ahead by scores of 117-111, 119-109 and 119-109 giving the savvy veteran the unanimous decision. After the bout the victor rated his performance as a B- due to his weight and his slow right hand, and when asked who was next Toney stated with confidence, “I’ll fight anybody, I’m ready for anything!”

In the co-main event the bout could be summed up in two words, ‘Strategic Stinker!’. The IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd 39-2-1 (20) slapped out a unanimous decision victory over the #3 guy DaVarryl Williamson 22-4 (18) in an excruciating performance for the fans. It was the fight that never was with both pugilists pawing at one another cautiously through out the match-up making it look more like a slow paced sparring session.

The slow paced action-less match-up had the referee Vic Drakulich calling for more action from both the fighters throughout the bout. The hard-hitting Williamson was apprehensive in establishing any dominance by backing up from Byrd, who isn’t known for his power. The elusive southpaw pecked away sporadically at his friendly foe while Williamson’s corner tried to spark a fire under his feet.

It was non-slugfest of a fight and after it was all said and done Byrd retained his title by scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 116-112 and after the lackadaisical performance the ring rusty Byrd who was off for eleven months pleaded his case. “I’m tired of being with a promoter (Don King) that puts me on a shelf!” Chris also stated, “I got to think my way in, I’m not a true banger”, and that style didn’t win over the fans who booed throughout the course of the bout. For Williamson’s reluctance he stated, “My corner was pleading with me to throw more, it was a huge opportunity that slipped through my finger tips.”

I agree.
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