Conference call with James Toney and Billy Blanks


Conference call with James Toney and Billy Blanks

Heavyweight now using tae-bo creator as conditioner

Press Release: A mere four months after one of the most exciting heavyweight fights in years ended amid controversy, Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter (27-1, 22 KOs) and James “Lights Out” Toney (69-5-3, 43 KOs) are set to go at it again in the main event  on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, on Showtime Championship Boxing. A 12-round elimination bout to determine once and for all who the mandatory challenger for WBC champion Oleg Maskaev will air on
Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

In the co-feature, Jose Antonio Rivera (38-4-1, 24 KOs) will make the initial defense of his WBA 154-pound title against unbeaten Travis Simms (24-0, 18 KOs). The doubleheader will take place in Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. It is promoted by Duva Boxing, Goossen Tutor Promotions, Warriors Boxing Promotions and Don King Productions.

Toney:   I look for you all to come out Jan. 6.  I love training during the holidays.  This will give me a good time to start my New Year fresh.

Question:   James, three questions: What has it been like working with conditioning guru Billy Blanks? Were you surprised you got this rematch so quick? and how do you feel about having a loss on your record for the first time since 1997

Toney:   I still do not have a loss on my record. That is just the mistake of three blind judges. Or two of them, excuse me. (As for the rematch), Dan Goossen went to work right away right after the fight and made it happen. That is how fast he worked, so I was not really worried about it. Billy is like me, a Virgo. When we are determined to do something, we are going to get it done. He works hard and I have seen what he has done. Everybody says we do Tai-Bo. We do not do Tai-Bo. We do war. We go to war. Billy used to be a fighter himself. Everybody forgets about that and it has been great working with him. He trains me everyday. If he is not training me, he is still there. Before, I guess, I was not training too hard because when I went home, I would not be sleepy.  But believe me, now I go home every night sleepy. Just try to get home, get to that couch and get to that bed. I am in great shape and I am ready to go. Billy also redefined my diet.

Question:   Billy, how has James’ diet changed?

Billy:   What we are doing right now is I have him on a diet where he is eating 1500 calories a day, burning fat to get his body to look the way he wanted it to look and perform the way he wants it to perform. So right now we are on a fat burner’s diet. I have somebody cooking for him and he eats five meals a day, drinking a lot of water, which he has never done as much as he is doing now. So he is cleaning his body out. His body is going to look like it has never looked before and his performance is going to even be
better. James can outbox (most of the guys he was fighting) at the weight he was. But now, he is going to be able to identify boxing with his body and be able to make them all combine together and become total weapon.  So when you all see him on Jan. 6, he is going to be the total package.

Question:   Billy, do you have a target weight of what you would like him to be at for this fight?

Billy:   Right now, he is down pretty low (like) we had it scheduled. He is working really well.

Question:   James, do you have a different strategy going into this fight? 

Toney:   You know me.  James is going to fight like James is going to fight. I do not have any strategy.  I walk in and decide to do what I do. The only thing different is, like I said, I am in 150 percent better shape.

Question:   Do you plan on having a more constant work rate and throw more punches this time?

Toney:   We will be ready for anything.  Whatever Sam is going to come with or throw at me, I am ready for anything.

Question:   Can you tell us if you specifically changed (your) workout (pattern) with Billy? Are you doing anything differently conditioning-wise?

Toney:   Yes, throwing up. Everything has changed. When I agreed to go with Billy, I told him he had my whole undivided attention, that whatever needed to be done, I would do it. No question or arguments about anything. I would just do it. I do not see anybody in the world train like Billy Blanks. The man is in great shape. If you look at him now, you would say this is the man you want to be. I want to be the same way.

Question:   Billy, what else are you having James eat other than lima beans?

Billy:   He is eating fish, chicken and vegetables. I got him off of
carbohydrates because I want to cut the fat down and get his body fat down. So right now his workouts are making him eat the fat off his body, so his body is really slimming down. You guys are going to see that he is a different person. We have about three weeks left. A week or two before the fight, we are going to carve up and get his energy up and get him to put the gas back in his tank so he can move and get his body to do all the things he needs to do for the fight. People know he has good skills. But he never has
had to push those skills to the limit. So now his athletic ability is being pushed out of him. We run in the mornings, we are doing sprints, drills. We are doing what he should have done a long time ago. So we are pushing his athletic ability right now so he can come online with his boxing skills. You are going to see the athlete as well as the boxer.

Question:   Billy, can you briefly recount your own background in the combat sports?

Billy:   I have done karate ever since I was 12 years old. I made the United States Karate Team and competed with the United States for several years. Then I won the Golden Glove championship and won the Champ of the Champions. I have the ability as a fighter to understand what a fighter needs.  As soon
as I got a chance to work with James, my goal was to make him become the athlete that he is.  What we have been doing now is going to make him be so much better in the ring.

Question:   When you fought Samuel Peter the first time, was there anything that surprised you?

Toney:   Nothing surprised me at all.  I told everybody else he was just an ordinary fighter. I told everybody to keep him away from me; that I was going to ruin him. I think I did that because, like I said, the judges were blind that night.  He hit me a couple of times in the chin.  I smiled at him and he did not like that.  The only time he hurt me was the shots to the back of the head, but I weathered the storm, came back, and did what I do.

Question:   What is the advantage for you fighting Peter again?

Toney:   (It gives me the opportunity) to show the world that I am the best fighter out there -- period.  Just going out there and displaying my wares.

Question:   What are your long range plans?

Toney:   I was going to fight two or three more times but since they stole one from me and ticked me off, I am planning to be around two or three more years. (But) the way Billy has me going; it may be five or six.  I have been quiet to the media, but on Jan. 6 I will show the world.

Question:   You guys almost came to blows before the first fight started. This fight seems to have a different personality. Can you explain why the difference in the tone for this one?

Toney:   I am being quiet because of training.  I am too busy working with Billy killing me every day.  I am not worried about Sam Peter. When it comes down to it, we will be ready. I have been quiet because I have been working. We have been at it seven hours a day, seven days a week. Why should I waste
my time seeing what he is saying or doing? 

Question:   Is staying away from deli’s and those kinds of places one of your biggest challenges?

Toney:   It has not been a challenge.  I just have not been going. I have done everything Billy said to do.  I have been getting the proper rest – I have just been doing it. You will see on Jan. 6.

Question:   What made you bring Billy on for this fight?

Toney:   First of all, when Billy said he wanted to train me, he already knew what I had. We have the same thought process. It was something new and I love it. Everything Billy has demanded, I have been taking it.  I have had my days when I have thrown up like crazy, and I had never done that before in my life.

Question:   What are you doing in the ring that you were not able to do at a higher weight?

Toney:  I am back to my (old) middleweight (self), so moving side to side and (throwing) combinations.  I feel much stronger.

Question:   Can you keep Sam in the center of the ring more than you did in the first fight?

Toney:   My strategy is whatever he wants to do; we have got to take care of him.  I can fight against the ropes, in the middle of the ring.  So whatever he wants to do, we will do -- just like I said before the first time I beat him. This time, however, I am going to do it more soundly. It is going to be terrible what is going to happen to him.

Question:   What role does your boxing trainer play in this composition or do you just work with Billy Blanks?

Toney:   I still work with my boxing trainer everyday.  But Billy is an important focal part in my life right now, getting in shape, getting where I am supposed to be.

Question:   Any closing comments, James?
Toney:   I just thank you all for tuning in today.  Tune in Jan. 6. We are ready to go and excited.  I look forward to going down there and giving everybody a great show.  For everybody out there, I do not have a loss. I have not lost in 10 years and that loss did not even count.  So tune in on Jan. 6.