Toney-Peter press predictions


Toney-Peter press predictions

In another fabulous main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast), three-time world champion James “Lights Out” Toney faces Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter in a WBC heavyweight elimination bout on Saturday, Sept. 2. So who is going to triumph? The experts, by a margin of 2-1, say Toney will prevail. Of the 55 boxing media sorts who participated in a SHOWTIME Prediction Poll, 37 picked Toney, and 18 liked Peter. Here’s how they see an interesting 12-round match up that will determine the mandatory challenger to recently crowned WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev:


Robert Morales, Los Angeles Newspaper Group, (Toney): “Toney wins by late-round stoppage. I believe he is going to show a lot of patience while frustrating a charging Peter. When the time is right, he is going to hurt Peter and stop him – pow! -- right in the kisser.’’


Tim Smith, New York Daily News, (Toney): “Toney may be a little tubby by the Evander Holyfield body-type standards, but he's a fantastic boxer. Probably the best pure boxer in the division (remember he was once a middleweight). Sam Peter is deficient in the boxing department, but has tremendous power. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the boxer (Toney) beats the puncher (Peter) by decision.’’


Michael Hirsley, Chicago Tribune, (Toney): “Until I see one of these younger, stronger guys figure out James' elusiveness, I have to go with un-toned Toney. He will frustrate Peter for victory by decision.’’


Norm Frauenheim Arizona Republic, (Peter): “James Toney knows how to fight, but he doesn't know how to stop time. Age takes a toll as much as Samuel Peter, who wins a mid-round stoppage.’’


Steve Kim, MaxBoxing, (Toney): “Toney seems really relaxed and focused coming into this bout. I just think his overall skills and savvy will riddle Peter. James by decision.’’


Anthony Cocks,, (Peter): “Toney made an impressive debut at heavyweight when he became only the second man to stop Holyfield back in 2003. Unfortunately, in his four fights since, Toney’s weight has continued to balloon with predictable negative repercussions. Once regarded as the potential savior of a lackluster division, ‘Lights Out’ has continued to squander his considerable talents both at the buffet table and with his questionable work ethic in the gym. While Peter lacks the finesse of the former three division champ, his clubbing power shots and unorthodox style will prove too much for Toney, who will spend too much time evading punches and not enough time throwing them.  Peter wins a decision.’’



Jim Thomas, The Daily Breeze (Calif.), (Peter): “Peter by knockout. Have no idea when, but he'll hit Toney at some point and that will be it. While Toney is clearly the better fighter, pound for pound, and has shown a surprising ability to survive other heavyweights' power after moving up so many weight classes, his style should give the more powerful Peter an endless series of chances to connect. Eventually, he will, and that will turn the fight in his favor.  Peter is one of those enormously powerful heavyweights you have to outbox. You have to neutralize his power. I don't think Toney can stand in front of him round after round and just roll with the punches. Eventually, he'll get hit.’’


Franklin McNeil, The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.), (Toney): “Peter has the size and punching power, but his advantages end there. Toney will never be a big heavyweight, but he's been in the division long enough now that size is less of an issue. This fight comes down to two things: Toney's conditioning and boxing abilities. The latter's a given, Toney knows how to fight -- Peter is learning on the job. If Toney's in decent shape, he'll be strong late in the fight. Peter's stamina remains an issue. Toney wins by decision.’’


Tim Graham, Buffalo News, (Toney): “Toney takes a unanimous decision. He is too smart and just slick enough to avoid Peter's lone weapon: power.’’


Dave Smith, Sporting News Radio, (Toney): “Toney by decision. He is too slick, too experienced and too talented. Peter is very powerful, but doesn't know how to fight and will receive a boxing lesson. The only way James loses is if he comes in at 240 pounds again!’’


            Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News, (Toney): “Toney wins a close decision. If he's in shape, he should use his technical skills to beat a guy like Peter. But expect Peter to land some good clean shots inside to make the fight close.’’


Ken Miller, Los Angeles Sentinel, (Toney): “Toney has the ability to make young heavyweight prospects look foolish and silly. Although Peter can hammer with the best of them he is frequently wild and overanxious. Toney can take as good a shot as one can deliver. Toney takes this kid into the deep waters of the later rounds and wins a majority decision.’’


“Flattop”,, (Toney): “Toney wins a lackluster decision, coasting the last six rounds after Peter peters out. The only thing more lopsided than the scoring are the rolls of fat hanging off of Toney's waistband.’’


Marc Abrams,, (Peter): “This is a fight I’ve been going back and forth on.  If Toney comes in half decent shape, he wins a decision. If not, it's Peter. I suspect the latter, Peter by late stoppage.’’


Greg Leon,, (Toney): “Whenever a dynamic puncher like Sam Peter is in the ring anything can happen and if anyone is capable of cracking the granite chin of Toney with a single shot he is the guy. However, I expect Toney to weigh in the neighborhood of 230-235 two days before he displays the natural gifts that make him the most skilled heavyweight in the world. He will make Peter's aggression work in his favor with sharp counter shots in between the wider bombs “The Nigerian Nightmare’’ will be hurling. Toney by unanimous decision as SHOWTIME delivers another dynamite card that is sure to be explosive.’’


Clive Bernath,, (Toney): “It will be a tough fight for both as well as a very important one. Despite Peter being a fresh young puncher and Toney 38 years-old and in the twilight of his career I still see 'Lights Out' taking a hard fought decision win, though he may have to climb off the canvas to do it . Peter can punch as his 22 stoppages prove but at the highest level he is not as effective.’’


Paul Upham,, (Peter): “Peter is younger, stronger and bigger than Toney in all the right ways. Toney talks a good fight, but I get the feeling Peter has got under his skin. At 38 and with the excess weight he is carrying, Toney just can't fight for a full 12 rounds anymore. Peter wins a decision."


Rick Folstad,, (Peter): “How do you pick James Toney to lose? The guy has beaten the odds most of his career. Still, he hasn't faced a fighter with the heavyweight power of Peter. That includes Rahman and Holyfield. I can't see either one of these guys getting stopped, so I'm picking Peter to win by decision. I'm going with my heart instead of my head.’’


Michael Marley,, (Toney): “Toney is rude and crude outside the ring. He's the drunken guest who throws turkey wings from the other end of the Thanksgiving dinner table at grandma. But, between the ropes, he is a skilled boxer. Peter, on the other hand, is what they call in Hollywood a rough cut, an unfinished product. Toney will take the free-swinging clubber to school and win a decision. Easily.’’


            Curtis McCormick,, (Toney): “The wide swings of the "Nigerian Nightmare" should give Toney ample opportunity to practice his particular brand of crafty counterpunching. Toney’s preparation will be crucial however and if he's forced to stand and trade with Peter for extended periods late in the fight, due to injury or poor conditioning, it could be "Lights Out" for James. The younger Peter has staggering power in either hand should he connect flush, but I'll take Toney's masterful ability to avoid such punishment along with an unparalleled sense of punch timing to win a well-deserved unanimous decision.’’


Robert Ecksel,, (Toney): “Reason says Peter, the bigger, stronger, younger man, should be able to grind Toney to a pulp. But Peter’s as raw as raw can be, whereas Toney has forgotten more about boxing than Peter will ever know. James may be old, short, out of shape and have small hands, but make no mistake, he’s the professor. He’ll take Peter to school and teach him a hard lesson in round 10.’’


Bob Mladinich,, (Toney): “Toney is still savvy enough to outbox almost anyone, including the hard-punching Peter who will be swinging at air all night long. Toney wins decision.’’


Ben Cohen,, (Toney): “Toney takes a fairly easy decision. The raw Nigerian is too inexperienced to make any of his attributes work. Peter is a brawler with little craft to his game, while Toney is as clever as they come. There is a huge disparity in punch power that works in Peter's favor, but Toney's ability to neutralize punches is phenomenal. To KO Toney, you must hit him with combinations. If no one at middleweight could do it, it is hard to see how a heavyweight can, especially one as limited as Peter.’’


            Geno McGahee,, (Peter): “In an incredibly interesting fight, Toney will get stopped for first time. The way he leans, he gets away from many punches, but it seems that the looping shots have a better chance to land and that's what Peter is going to be throwing. Add the abuse that Toney has placed to his body, his age and perhaps overconfidence and I see Peter winning a sixth-round stoppage.’’


Eric Raskin, The RING/, (Toney): “If Toney enters the ring in half-decent shape, he should outbox Peter comfortably and win on points. But if he’s so heavy that he’s compromised too much of his mobility, elusiveness and conditioning, it certainly opens the door for Peter. It’s a nearly impossible fight to predict before seeing the weigh-in, but if I have to venture a guess, it is Toney by decision.”


Benn Schulberg,, (Toney): “Toney is too savvy and skilled for Peter despite the difference in size. Look for the old master to take his young, inexperienced opponent to school by way of his patented inside tactics. Toney by unanimous decision.’’


Charles Farrell, The Fight Network, (Peter): “If Peter ignores everything he's
ever heard about Toney, if he pays no attention to anything other than full-speed ahead and bombs away, if he doesn't care what part of Toney he hits, then he's got a very good

 chance to win.  If he fails to do these things and the fight goes past a few rounds,
it becomes all Toney.  Since no one has ever managed to stop James, I'll pick him by decision.  But he may have to really batten down the hatches for two or three early rounds.’’


Scoop Malinowski, (Peter): “This is really an intriguing fight. How Toney, a former middleweight, has been able to compete on equal terms with the best and strongest heavyweights of today is simply amazing. But I don't think he will be able to repel the youth and power of Peter for 12 rounds. Peter by TKO; it'll be a thriller though.’’


Phil Woolever, Boxing Digest/, (Toney): “If a less in shape Toney could draw with Rahman, a more in shape Toney should safely outbox Peter.’’


George Elsasser,, (Peter): “Have long appreciated the wily Toney’s skills -- at age 38 and 77 kept appointments, he is Hall Of Fame material - but the limited movement and working while resting on ropes should be his downfall in this one. Peter is short on skills, but Toney is made to order at this point. The guess is Peter by TKO -- in the championship rounds.’’


Brian Wilbur, RingSideReport, (Toney): “Peter has immense punching power but he cannot hurt what he cannot hit. Toney will duck and slide away out of the way of Peter's sloppy haymakers and make the Nigerian look silly. Even if Toney is carrying a few extra pounds, he wins a unanimous decision.’’


George Phillips,, (Peter): “Peter will win a 12-round split decision. Although Toney is one of boxing's most skilled fighters, he will not be able to overcome the youth and size of Peter.’’


David P. Greisman,, (Toney): “Toney by decision, but with a caveat. Although Toney insists that, as a heavyweight, the poundage he brings into the ring matters less than the pounding he dishes out, against the chin and power of Peter he will need all the deftness a slimmed-down body provides. Should Toney arrive in shape, he can roll, duck and weave away from Peter's wide power punches, countering and avoiding Peter's tendency to throw rabbit punches on the inside. Otherwise, if Toney shows up out of shape, he will be too slow and too stationary a target against Peter's clobbering punches, which come from a fighter who is never too discouraged to unleash offense.’’


          Mike Swann,, (Peter): “Peter can hit like a mule but never graduated from Boxing 101. Toney has a PHD in boxing skills and is unlikely to be taken out by THE BIG PUNCH. So Peter can't expect to beat Toney, who defies boxing logic anyway, by winging big shots. Despite the frequent criticism of his conditioning, Toney somehow manages to go 12 rounds and look fresher than his opponent, simply by using his considerable ring smarts. Toney by unanimous decision.’’ 


            Benny Henderson Jr.,, (Peter): “Toney is by far the superior boxer, but that isn’t even a significant debate. A 38-year-old overweight Toney is. Even with the weight Toney outworked a non-vigorous Guinn and Ruiz and fought a draw with Rahman. But can he handle a younger, hungrier and absolutely more powerful Sam Peter? I see Sam pressuring Toney with James working his magic and being elusive for a few rounds, but Sam’s size and power will finally take affect as he catches Toney in the later rounds. He will look sloppy at first missing his usual wide shots but Peter can pull off a close decision.’’


Zachary Levin, UK “Boxing News,’’ (Toney): “This is a fight where I couldn't give a prediction in good conscience until I see how Toney looks at the weigh-in.  If he comes in the shape -- or lack thereof -- he was in against Rahman, there's a good chance Peter could knock him out. Toney looked terrible and was lucky to get the draw. If Toney comes in good condition -- which is always a relative thing in his case -- he'll toy with the crude banger. I'm holding out hope that Toney was as disgusted with his last performance as I believe he was, and comes in correct this time. He knows Peter will be the hardest puncher he's faced to date. He has too much pride to set himself up to get starched. Right?’’


Elisa Harrison,, (Toney): “Toney doesn't cease to amaze and to accomplish the seemingly impossible. The question here, is will James be able to stand up to one of the harder punchers in the heavyweight division, albeit a very green one around the edges? Experience and old school talent vs. raw power and youth. I'm going to stick with the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' adage,’ and until Toney loses I have to ride his bandwagon.  Toney by decision.’’


            Fiona Manning,, (Toney): “Toney is actually turning up to the gym and training for this one. I can't see him knocking out Peter so I have to go with a decision.’’


Mary Ann Owen,, (Toney): “Toney is a very experienced fighter, and probably the most talented in the heavyweight division. He is crafty. Toney sucks in opponents to make it his fight on the inside. Toney also adapts to his opponent’s style. Peter cannot afford to make a mistake because Toney will make him pay and throw Peter off balance with a barrage of punches. Toney will make this his fight and command the pace.’’ 


Butch Gottlieb,, (Toney): “All the emphasis seems to be on Toney's weight but like he says, “I am fighting at heavyweight so what’s the difference?’’ Toney is just too experienced and way too slick for Peter. Toney seems to still possess the innate ability to see what’s coming and to slip the punches. Toney will win a unanimous decision.’’


Rusty Rubin, RingSports Magazine, (Toney): “Toney will eat him up (I think he eats everything). Toney wins an easy unanimous nod.’’


Chris Robinson,, (Toney): “It's hard to ignore Peter's clear advantages in youth and power. He can crack with the best of them but he is still very rough around the edges and will be meeting the most skilled fighter of his career. It's hard to gauge what exact state Toney will be in when the bell rings. But he is simply the better fighter and he should find a way to win. Toney by decision.’’


Jake Donovan,, (Toney): “Toney's not getting any younger - or thinner, it seems. Eventually, he'll run into a heavyweight who will clean his clock. I'm not sure this is the fight, though. Sam can punch, arguably harder than just about any other heavyweight. But Toney's the more superior technician. He still has enough tricks up his sleeve to outslick Peter and win a surprisingly wide unanimous decision.’’


John Chandler,, (Toney): “Even though Peter's punching power looks to give him an edge, Toney has the skills to out-punch and out-hustle Peter around the ring. Toney by unanimous decision.’’


William Trillo,, (Peter): “Youth will prevail. Peter is on a mission and is about to see his dream come true. It's been a nice long ride for Toney, but as thin as his act is wearing on the outside of the ring, his act inside has become fairly stale. His number is up. Peter will KO Toney in the mid to late rounds in a bout that will be seen as a changing of the guard for true contenders and potential champions.’’


George Kimball,, (Toney): “This one shapes up as another Nightmare for the Nightmare. We'd be shocked to see Toney go down once, much less thrice, and the last guy the Nigerian put down that many times STILL won the fight. Peter is inarguably the stronger of the two, but in virtually every other aspect we can think of he's the runner-up. James might not stop him, but unless something is terribly wrong he should convincingly outpoint the Nightmare. Toney wins a comfortable decision.’’


David M Singer,, (Toney): “Toney's seen power before, and he's outlasted it.  Each round that goes by should give an edge to Toney. Toney by unanimous decision.’’


Luke Callahan,, (Peter): “Peter throws everything but the kitchen sink at Toney and outlasts the aging all-time great, scoring a knockdown en route to a decision win.’’


Huel Washington, San Francisco Sun, (Toney): “Toney has too much experience for Peter. It’s just that simple. Toney will be right there when the decision is announced. Toney by decision.’’


Isaac Barrio,, (Peter):”I like the raw heavyweight power that Peter possesses. Peter by late TKO.’’


Justin Stone,, (Toney): “Peter needs to come in the best shape of his life if he hopes to “walk through’’ Toney.  Toney will confuse and wear down the younger and still very green Peter.  I see this being a 12-round boxing clinic with Toney acting as the professor. Unless Toney tires and gets caught by a big punch, I see an easy decision going his way.’’


Julius Stecker,, (Toney): “Toney will outbox Peter and win via a dominating decision. Peter’s amateurish, winging shots style will play right into Toney's hands.’’


Dennis Bernstein, SCORE! Media Ventures, (Peter): “Perhaps a better question is, who’s coming to the ring in decent physical shape? Toney is smart enough to know that Peter is a younger, hungrier fighter than either Ruiz or Rahman and has never faced a harder puncher. He won’t be able to fight on the inside like he did against Guinn and that’s his only path to victory. Peter is still trying to figure out how he could deck Wladimir Klitschko three times and still lose. Peter paces himself this time and doesn’t run out of gas.’’


Howard Reed, THE SQUARE RING and Talkin Boxing, (Toney): “Toney on guile. “Light’s Out’’ is too clever. Peter can't move well enough to keep up.’’


J.D. Hernandez,, (Peter): “Peter will shock Toney with an early burst of power ending the fight early. If Peter doesn't hurry up, however, Toney will make him pay.’’