Exclusive Interview: James Toney

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: James Toney

Klitschko interested in Toney fight and Toney's interested in parity!



GL: What's going on James? I understand that Vitali Klitschko has recently expressed interest in fighting you on September 24. What can you tell you tell us about this? "He could get it in September, but they have to come correct with the price. They offered Dan 35%, but that's not happening. It has to be 50-50, and the reason I say that is because I'm the marketable guy, he's not. He's not even an American."

GL: So following the positive test result after the John Ruiz fight, you still feel you're in a positon to demand parity with Vitali Klitschko, HBO's darling?

James Toney: "You think I give a damn about HBO. We could do this on Showtime, ESPN, PPV, I don't care, either way the bottom line is I'm the most marketable fighter in the division and if they want to make this fight happen, 50-50. Dan and me are ready to make the deal and we could fight tomorrow for all I care. As far as the steroid situation goes, it's not my fault that my doctor gave me a prescription to help me get healthy faster. I do have a damn bone in my body from somebody else."

GL: Klitschko is supposed to be waiting for the winner of Hasim Rahman and Monte Barrett. If the WBC would strip Klitschko would it matter to you? Is your interest in fighting for the title or fighting Klitsichko regardless?

JT: "I'm interested in fighting Klitschko period. I'm the best heavyweight in the world, I'm the people's champion and I'm ready to prove it against anybody."

GL: Following the last fight a lot of people were disappointed that you tested positive for a banned substance...

JT: (cutting in) "The situation was it was a prescription my doctor gave me. I don't like drugs and I don't like needles. It was something that helped me repair my injury. And if the fight would've happened in June or July like it was supposed to, we wouldn't be having this coversation at all. I look at it as a blessing in disguise. The belts don't make me. They might make Klitschko but they don't make me. I don't care if the belt is on the line or not."

GL: Ruiz's attorney Anthony Cardinale told me that they're going to be filing a suit against you because you've damaged their marketability. They've also stated that there's no way you would have beaten Ruiz without being on something. How do you respond to that?

Dan Goossen: "Well let me answer that one since it's more of a legal one. You can't control what anybody ever wants to do as it relates to any kind of a lawsuit. To address that would be ridiculous because everyone is entitled to do whatever they want to do. So as James would say, next question."

GL: I have another question for you Dan since you interjected so intelligently. Don King was involved with the Ruiz promotion, will Don King still be involved with James future plans?

Dan Goossen: "Yes. I've had conversations with Don and he agrees with the direction that we're discussing so that's what we're doing."

GL: How realistic is a Klitschko-Toney fight for September with a 50-50 split?

DG: "If you ask us, it's very realistic. If it's not at the level we feel James value is at then it's unrealistic. That's something you're going to have to speak with Klitschko about. James is ready to sign on the dotted line right now for 50-50. Klitschko's got to make a decision, does he want to make a big fight or does he always want the higher percentage? If he's after the higher percentage, fight someone else."

GL: Can you explain why you feel James is in a position to demand parity following his positive test result?

DG: "The positive test has nothing to do with it. We've already explained what it is and there's nothing we could do about it. That's like saying Barry Bonds shouldn't be allowed to bat and continue to make the kind of money that he's making because he's associated with it."

JT: "I've already explained myself about this and I'm not going to talk about it anymore."

GL: James, after the Ruiz fight you were disappointed because you didn't knock him out. You said with a full training camp he would have never went the distance. If you have more than two months to train for Vitali Klitschko, would he go twelve rounds with you?

JT: "Nope. I would knock him out. We could make a million dollar side bet."

GL: What about winner take all?

JT: "That's even better because that makes mothereffers fight for real then."

GL: Klitschko hasn't seemed to interested in fighting Rahman, do you really think he's going to be interesting in fighting you or any other top heavyweight?

Dan Goossen: "If he runs, he runs."

JT: "But I'm the man right now and if Klitschko wants to prove me wrong all he has to do is step up to the plate!"


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