James “Lights Out” Toney vs. Dominick “The Southern Disaster” Guinn
Lights (Out), camera, action!! Heavyweight superstar James Toney is back and returning to the ring on SHOWTIME. The charismatic, talented Toney and Dominick “The Southern Disaster” Guinn lock horns in what is sure to be an action-packed main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). Gary Shaw Productions in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions and Don King Productions will co-promote the 12-round International Boxing Association (IBA) heavyweight title bout from a site to be announced.
Toney (68-4-2, 43 KOs), of Grand Rapids, Mich., will be making his first appearance since he fought for the World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight crown on April 30, 2005, in New York. Toney easily outpointed defending champion John Ruiz to take the title, but the bout was later ruled a no-decision when Toney tested positive for a banned substance.
“No matter what happens, I know I did not cheat or take any illegal substances,” Toney, whose suspension ended July 30, said. “Keep in mind when the topic of steroids and drugs surface in the sport, James Toney states there is no need and has never been a need for me to indulge at all in any illegal substances to help me beat anybody.”
Toney had a “Lights Out” 12 months in 2003. He was named “Fighter of the Year” for his victories over Vassiliy Jirov and Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield. On April 26, he shocked the boxing world by scoring one knockdown en route to winning an electrifying 12-round decision over the then-undefeated Jirov for the IBF cruiserweight title. Then, the following Oct. 4, he dominated the legendary five-time heavyweight champion Holyfield, knocking him down once en route to a one-sided ninth-round TKO.
“I have always been ready to fight anybody out there, any time, anywhere.” Toney said. “I will knock them all over. My talent speaks for itself.’’
Guinn (25-2-1, 18 KOs), of Hot Springs, Ark., was very highly regarded when he turned pro on June 16, 2000. He had his way at the outset of his career, winning his initial 24 starts. But he has suffered some setbacks in recent bouts, going 1-2-1. Guinn knows that he needs a victory badly to help resurrect his promising career.
“It’s now or never,” Guinn said. “For me, this is like fighting for the undisputed heavyweight world title.’’
“When I beat Toney, I will show people what I am really all about,” Guinn said. “I know I can perform at a higher level. It was almost too easy for me at the beginning. But this is the ultimate challenge and I am ready for it.’’
Guinn began boxing at the age of nine, compiling an amateur record of 290-26. He captured several titles, including the Junior World Championships (1993), the National Golden Gloves (1997 and 1999), the U.S. National Championships (1998) and a bronze medal at the Goodwill Games (1998).
Guinn emerged as a force to be reckoned with on June 7, 2003, when he stopped former title contender Michael Grant in the seventh round. Guinn floored Grant four times before the referee stopped the contest.
On March 27, 2004, Guinn lost his first bout as a pro, suffering a split-decision defeat to the more experienced Monte Barrett in Little Rock, Ark, by the scores of 93-97 twice and 96-94.
Guinn rebounded to register a 23-second, first-round knockout over Phil Jackson in his next start. But Guinn dropped a 10-round decision to Sergei Liakhovich on Dec. 3, 2004, and boxed a 10-round draw with Friday Ahunanya on April 22, 2005.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins, Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.