Somebody, anybody, please step up and make this fight happen for the good of the sport. It’s the fight we all need, and when I say all I mean media and fans alike. The fight I am speaking of is a showdown between Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver and James “Lights Out” Toney. This fight is for the motor mouth championship of the world and guarantees to be a classic in and out of the ring. I don’t even feel the least bit “intelligent” writing this, we all know this is a no brainer. We’re talking trash talk for the ages, pre fight hysterics that would rival the best of Muhammad Ali himself. This is a fight that deserves twice the amount of press conferences, all of them being broadcasted live on ESPN news.
Imagine pitting Tarver’s articulate whit against the brash, thuggish rants of James Toney. This fight would also present boxing junkies with the stylistic contrast of combatants that may evoke images of Walcott versus Charles. If the boxing gods are just Don King will grace us with his presence as promoter using words like “versification” and talk of the “Melee at the Mandelay”.
Don’t shoot this down
Make a belt! Create a division, heavycruiser weight; I don’t think boxing fans will care. If sanctioning bodies can come up with “super champs” and “emeritus” I’m sure they can invent something for Toney and Tarver to fight for. Tarver and Toney are the type of fighters that can attract mainstream fans with their willingness to show up and run their mouths. Does any promoter (listening Don?) worth his salt believe that Lights out wont show up on “Best Damn Sports Show” to throw dirt on RJ’s grave and call Tarver a “bum”? Do you honestly think Tarver can resist the opportunity to show off a finely tailored suit and call Toney a “fake thug” on Max Kellermans “I Max”?
As of this writing these two guys are two of the most compelling stories in boxing. Toney is being viewed as the comeback story of 2003 and his re entry into the heavyweight mix (from Achilles injury) is greatly anticipated. Tarver? Need we say more? He’s the man of the moment, a man who often chastised Bernard Hopkins for losing his lottery ticket. Both men are in their mid 30’s and hungry to capitalize on career momentum. Both fighters (without belts) will be ignored by Vitali Klitschko but together can make more noise than all the lackluster Heavyweights combined. So please, somebody find the money! It’s Wednesday already and my laptop is cocked and loaded.
In the ring
If Tarver is 20% better coming off of his huge KO of “Superman” he will be more than up to the challenge of the Hall of Fame bound Toney. At 6’2 the southpaw would be strong at “heavy cruiser” but Toney will be more than a handful because his strength is in his savvy and grizzled toughness. Boxing fans would flock to the spectacle of two fighters who easily fit the role as “technician” going toe to toe. Toney would find the lanky Tarver’s body an available target while Tarver may serve the Michigan badass with the frustrating dilemma of movement. And in case you forgot, there’s the press conferences.
Don King: We have the Magic Man, the man with the black kryptonite descending upon the boxing universe to see if he can turn out Toney’s lights.
Toney: This guy is garbage, a bum! Roy was garbage all along! (Tarver yell’s “you couldn’t beat him!”) Aint no real fighters from Florida. He landed a lucky shot on a bum that don’t fight nobody, I coulda knocked em both out that night. Say something punk, I’ll come over there and knock you out now.
Tarver: What he have here ladies and gentlemen is a fake thug, someone who claims Detroit but comes from the freshly cut lawns of Ann Arbor. On (choose a date) 2004 I will expose that fact, trust me he’s not on Antonio Tarvers level. I’ve come too far, been denied too long to have it taken from me by a guy who could never make weight.
Toney: @#%* I’ll kick yo ass now punk… (Having to be restrained).
Classic. Somebody, please make this fight happen.
Until the Next “Jones”
The Boxing Junkie.
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