James Toney

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James Toney
James Toney.jpg
Toney in 2011
BornJames Nathaniel Toney
(1968-08-24) August 24, 1968 (age 53)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.[1]
Other names
  • Lights Out
  • The Dark Emperor
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Reach72 in (183 cm)
Years active
  • 1988–2017 (boxing)
  • 2010 (MMA)
Professional boxing record
By knockout47
No contests2
Mixed martial arts record
By submission1
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: June 5, 2017

James Nathaniel Toney (born August 24, 1968) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1988 to 2017. He held multiple world championships in three weight classes, including the IBF and lineal middleweight titles from 1991 to 1993, the IBF super middleweight title from 1993 to 1994, and the IBF cruiserweight title in 2003. Toney also challenged twice for a world heavyweight title in 2005 and 2006, and was victorious the first time but was later stripped due to a failed drug test. Overall, he competed in fifteen world title fights across four weight classes.

Stylistically a defensive boxer, Toney utilized the shoulder roll technique taught to him by veteran trainer Bill Miller, who had once trained heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles. Toney was an exceptional counterpuncher and inside fighter, who often preferred to fight off the ropes. He possessed fast hand speed and respectable punching power throughout his career and is also noted for his toughness, having never lost any of his 92 professional bouts via stoppage.

In 1991 and 2003, Toney was voted Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. In 2011, The Ring magazine ranked him as tenth on their list of the "10 best middleweight title holders of the last 50 years."[2] He has also made a one-time appearance in mixed martial arts, losing to Randy Couture at UFC 118. In 2001, Toney played the role of Joe Frazier in the movie Ali alongside Will Smith.


Toney was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.[1] At around age 11, Toney first entered a boxing gym, but did not seriously pursue the sport until graduating high school. Growing up, Toney lived alongside the families of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Buster Mathis Jr, and Toney's father himself (who was absent for Toney's upbringing) was a boxer.[3] As a teen, Toney was often involved in street fighting and sold crack cocaine. Prior to his career in boxing, Toney was also a star football player; after high school he received scholarship offers from Western Michigan to play quarterback and from Michigan to play as a defensive back. But Toney said, "I wasn't a team player and wasn't good at taking orders. So I went into boxing."[4] Toney also lost a significant amount of weight to begin his boxing career, having weighed 205 lbs. Toney was supposedly involved in an altercation with future Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders while at a Michigan training camp.[5]

Amateur career[edit]

Toney had a brief but relatively successful amateur career, compiling a record of 33 wins (32 KOs) and 2 losses.[citation needed] Toney had his first professional fight on October 26, 1988, beating Stephen Lee by a technical knockout in the second round. As a teenager, Toney was scouted and trained by Gregory Owens, who also was his trainer through the mid-nineties. His moniker of "Lights Out" was also given by either Gregory or his son.[6] In his 7th pro fight, Toney's manager, Johnny "Ace" Smith, was killed. Afterwards, Jackie Kallen was hired as his manager. Toney also employed the services of legendary Detroit-based trainer Bill Miller. Miller, a former boxer himself who worked in Detroit's famed Kronk Gym and assisted hall-of-fame trainer Emanuel Steward at times, is credited with developing Toney's famed "old school" or "throwback" style of fighting.[7]

Professional career[edit]


Toney won the IBF and lineal middleweight titles by knocking out Michael Nunn in eleven rounds in May 1991.[8] Toney, who entered as a 20-to-1 underdog, was down on all three judges' scorecards, but landed a left hook that put Nunn on the canvas in the eleventh round, and eventually scored a stoppage victory.[9] The win also earned Toney the Ring Magazine Fighter Of The Year award.[10] Toney continued a regular fight program over the next 18 months at middleweight, before outgrowing the division, where he made several successful yet disputed defenses. The most noteworthy was Toney's split decision win over Dave Tiberi in a fight that many experts feel Toney lost. The decision was so controversial that it prompted United States Senator William Roth of Delaware to call for an investigation into possible corruption in the sport.[11] Toney also won a split decision title defense against Reggie Johnson in June 1991, retained his title with a draw against former WBA champ Mike McCallum in December 1991, and again against McCallum, this time by a majority decision, in December 1992. The McCallum fight would be Toney's last as a middleweight.[4]

Super middleweight[edit]

On February 13, 1993, Toney challenged Iran Barkley for the IBF super middleweight title. After a dominating performance by Toney, the bout was stopped after 9 rounds by Barkley's trainer, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, due to Barkley suffering severe swelling around both eyes.[12]

Toney won five fights throughout 1993, then defeated Tony "The Punching Postman" Thornton in his 1st title defense in October, via a landslide points victory. In his second defense, Toney beat the 24–0 Tim Littles by a 4th-round KO. During this bout, Toney suffered a bad cut which caused the referee and ringside doctor to intervene before round 4, allowing him one more round to try to end the fight. His next defense was against former IBF Light Heavyweight champion Prince Charles Williams. Despite having a point deducted for hitting Williams after the bell in one round and having his left eye completely swollen shut, Toney knocked Williams out in the 12th and final round. This win paved the way for his fight with undefeated 1988 Olympic silver medalist Roy Jones, Jr..[13]

Jones won a landslide decision over Toney, an upset at the time, briefly flooring Toney for the first time with a flash knockdown in the 3rd round. Jones used one of his "cockfighting" feints to lure Toney in, and as Toney mocked Jones, Toney got caught with a leaping left hook.[14] After the fight Toney blamed making the weight for his flat performance and the loss of his cherished unbeaten record.[citation needed] It was his last fight at the weight.

His next fight saw him lose to Montell Griffin at light heavyweight in February 1995. After then winning a series of fights at light heavyweight, cruiserweight, and even heavyweight, he again faced Montell Griffin in December 1996 and once again lost a close decision. He beat old foe Mike McCallum in February 1997, but then lost to journeyman Drake Thadzi in his next fight.


After taking some time off from the ring, Toney came back in 1999, seemingly focused on reclaiming his status as an elite fighter. He defeated former title holders and title contenders Adolpho Washington, Steve Little, Ramón Garbey, Saul Montana, Sione Asipeli, Courtney Butler, and Michael Rush. In August 2002, Toney beat Jason Robinson in an IBF Cruiserweight title elimination fight. This set up a fight between Toney and the champion, Vassiliy Jirov. After a postponement, the fight happened on April 26, 2003. Going into the 12th and final round, with the scores fairly even and the fight in the balance, Toney knocked the undefeated Jirov down in the 12th. The Kazakh rose from the canvas to go to the distance, but Toney got the judges verdict and was now a three-weight World Champion.

For Toney's performance he was awarded comeback of the year and named fighter of the year. The fight itself was named "Fight Of The Year" by The Ring magazine. Immediately afterward, Toney moved up to heavyweight, where he campaigned for the next 7 years.

After stepping back down to Cruiserweight, on November 4, 2011, Toney stepped into the ring at 199 lbs, the lowest he has been since 2003 against Russian star Denis Lebedev in Russia for the interim WBA World cruiserweight title. Toney was never competitive throughout the bout after encountering problems with his left knee during round two, and the judges all had it 120–108 for Lebedev. A week after the fight it was revealed Toney needed surgery to repair his knee.[15]


As far back as Toney's middleweight years, he insisted that he would one day be the heavyweight champion of the world. His October 4, 2003, victory over aging former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was Toney's entry into the heavyweight division. After a shaky first round, Toney picked apart Holyfield with shots to the body and head before stopping him in the 9th round. After the fight Toney declared he was "undestructable", that he "got milk baby" and didn't want any "bad ass questions" from announcer Jim Gray.[16]

On September 23, 2004, Toney faced off with Rydell Booker. Although Toney injured his left arm, he was still able to defeat the clearly outmatched Booker, getting a 12-round unanimous decision for the fringe IBA heavyweight title.[17]

On April 30, 2005, he defeated John Ruiz by a unanimous decision in a 12-round match for the World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight Championship. However, Toney failed his post-fight drug test, testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. This led to the New York Athletic Commission changing the bout's official outcome to a "no-contest", deducting the win from Toney's career record and banning him from boxing for 90 days. The WBA ordered that Ruiz be reinstated as its champion and that Toney be ineligible for another WBA Heavyweight title shot for two years. Toney defended himself by claiming that the steroids were given to him by a doctor to treat the arm injury he suffered during the Rydell Booker fight.[18]

In his bout after the Ruiz fight, Toney won a unanimous decision victory over former heavyweight contender Dominic Guinn. Toney next fought against Hasim Rahman on March 18, 2006, for the WBC Heavyweight title. The result was a twelve-round majority draw.

Toney's next two outings were losses to Samuel Peter. The first fight was held in Los Angeles, California on September 2, 2006. Toney lost by split decision. The return bout was held in Hollywood, Florida, on January 6, 2007, and Toney once again lost to Peter, this time by unanimous decision. Both fights were WBC eliminator bouts for the belt held by Oleg Maskaev.

Toney's next bout came on December 13, 2008, against Fres Oquendo. Oquendo was penalized one point in round eight for a rabbit punch, which would prove to be the deciding factor in the fight. Toney won a close, controversial split decision. On September 12, 2009, James fought heavyweight fighter Matthew Greer (12–5–0 11KO) at the Pechanga Resort & Casino.[19] James won via TKO victory in round two.

On February 24, 2011, Toney made his return to boxing and won a ten-round unanimous decision against Damon Reed. All three judges scored the bout 100–90. For this bout Toney weighed in at a career high of 257 lbs.[20]

On April 7, 2012 Toney fought Bobby Gunn and won by a fifth round stoppage due to a hand injury sustained by Gunn.[21] This was recognized as a world title by the International Boxing Union, a minor boxing organization.

Toney travelled to Australia in April 2013 to face Lucas Browne for the WBF heavyweight title. Toney lost the fight by wide unanimous decision. Seven months later on November 14, Toney travelled to London, England to compete in the heavyweight Prizefighter Series held at the famous York Hall venue. It was a special UK vs USA tournament with six fighters facing off in three round bouts. In the quarter final, Toney faced English journeyman Matt Legg, and won by TKO in the third round, advancing to the semi finals. In the semi final, he faced fellow American Jason Gavern and lost by majority decision, and was eliminated from the tournament.

Toney's final bout came on May 13, 2017 at the age of 48. He defeated Mike Sheppard by sixth round stoppage; winning the WBF heavyweight title. After a career spanning 29 years and 92 professional bouts, Toney has confirmed he is officially retired. [22][23]

Boxing style[edit]

Toney is well known for his "old school" or "throwback" style of boxing, which consisted of frequent head movement and shoulder rolls to avoid punches, as well as his ability to fight off the ropes using slick upper body movement and in-fighting. As such, he is said to have possessed a very high ring IQ. Although Toney was considered a defensive fighter by many, he still applied pressure to his opponents and usually forced his style against them; in some ways he could be considered a defensive pressure fighter. Because of his experience, defensive skills and extremely durable chin, he was never stopped in his 29-year professional career and was rarely knocked down.[4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Toney was spotted in attendance at UFC 108 on January 2, 2010, which led to talks between him and UFC President Dana White regarding fighting in the organization. On March 3, it was confirmed by White that the two had agreed and signed a multi-fight deal with the company, at the age of 42.[24]

To help his transition into MMA, Toney was coached by trainer Juanito Ibarra.[25][26] Toney was later coached by Trevor Sherman.[27]

Toney vs. Couture[edit]

His debut fight was against UFC Hall of Famer and former UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight champion Randy Couture at UFC 118 on August 28, 2010.[28] Couture scored a takedown against Toney early in the first round, and went on to submit Toney with an arm-triangle choke.[29] Toney was subsequently released from his contract with the UFC.[30] The match achieved notoriety, though it drew criticisms of being a freak show fight, among them by UFC President Dana White himself.[31]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
92 fights 77 wins 10 losses
By knockout 47 0
By decision 30 10
Draws 3
No contests 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
92 Win 77–10–3 (2) United States Mike Sheppard TKO 6 (12) 0:26 May 13, 2017 United States Convocation Center, Ypsilanti, Michigan, U.S. Won vacant WBF (Foundation) heavyweight title
91 Loss 76–10–3 (2) United States Charles Ellis UD 10 Aug 8, 2015 United States The Chase Park Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
90 Loss 76–9–3 (2) United States Jason Gavern MD 3 Nov 14, 2013 United Kingdom York Hall, London, England Prizefighter 32: heavyweight semi-final
89 Win 76–8–3 (2) United Kingdom Matt Legg TKO 3 (3), 1:04 Nov 14, 2013 United Kingdom York Hall, London, England Prizefighter 32: heavyweight quarter-final
88 Win 75–8–3 (2) United States Kenny Lemos UD 8 Jun 28, 2013 United States Sky Ute Casino Resort, Ignacio, Colorado, U.S.
87 Loss 74–8–3 (2) Australia Lucas Browne UD 12 Apr 28, 2013 Australia Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia For vacant WBF (Foundation) heavyweight title
86 Win 74–7–3 (2) Canada Bobby Gunn RTD 5 (12), 3:00 Jul 4, 2012 United States Landers Center, Southaven, Mississippi, U.S. Won vacant IBU heavyweight title
85 Loss 73–7–2 (2) Russia Denis Lebedev UD 12 Nov 4, 2011 Russia Khodynka Arena, Moscow, Russia For WBA interim cruiserweight title
84 Win 73–6–3 (2) United States Damon Reed UD 10 Feb 24, 2011 United States San Manuel Indian Casino, Highland, California, U.S.
83 Win 72–6–3 (2) United States Matthew Greer KO 2 (10), 2:33 Sep 12, 2009 United States Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S.
82 Win 71–6–3 (2) United States Fres Oquendo SD 12 Dec 13, 2008 United States Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, Cabazon, California, U.S. Won vacant WBO–NABO and IBA heavyweight titles
81 NC 70–6–3 (2) United States Hasim Rahman TKO 3 (12), 3:00 Jul 16, 2008 United States Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S. Vacant WBONABO heavyweight title at stake;
Originally a TKO win for Toney, later ruled an NC after an incorrect referee call
80 Win 70–6–3 (1) United States Danny Batchelder SD 10 May 24, 2007 United States HP Pavilion, San Jose, California, U.S.
79 Loss 69–6–3 (1) Nigeria Samuel Peter UD 12 Jan 6, 2007 United States Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, Florida, U.S. For NABF heavyweight title
78 Loss 69–5–3 (1) Nigeria Samuel Peter SD 12 Sep 2, 2006 United States Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Lost IBA heavyweight title;
For NABF heavyweight title
77 Draw 69–4–3 (1) United States Hasim Rahman MD 12 Mar 18, 2006 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. For WBC heavyweight title
76 Win 69–4–2 (1) United States Dominick Guinn UD 12 Oct 1, 2005 United States Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBA heavyweight title
75 NC 68–4–2 (1) United States John Ruiz UD 12 Apr 30, 2005 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. WBA and IBA heavyweight titles at stake;
Originally a UD win for Toney, later ruled an NC after he failed a drug test
74 Win 68–4–2 United States Rydell Booker UD 12 Sep 23, 2004 United States Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S. Won vacant WBC Continental Americas and IBA heavyweight titles
73 Win 67–4–2 United States Evander Holyfield TKO 9 (12), 1:42 Oct 4, 2003 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
72 Win 66–4–2 Kazakhstan Vassiliy Jirov UD 12 Apr 26, 2003 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S. Won IBF cruiserweight title
71 Win 65–4–2 United States Jason Robinson KO 7 (12), 2:47 Aug 18, 2002 United States Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S.
70 Win 64–4–2 United States Michael Rush TKO 10 (10), 2:10 May 31, 2002 United States Chinook Winds Casino, Lincoln City, Oregon, U.S.
69 Win 63–4–2 Tonga Sione Asipeli UD 10 Mar 22, 2002 United States Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
68 Win 62–4–2 United States Wesley Martin TKO 3 (10), 1:08 Jul 30, 2001 United States Crystal Park Casino, Compton, California, U.S.
67 Win 61–4–2 Mexico Saúl Montana TKO 2 (12), 2:26 Mar 29, 2001 United States Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, U.S. Won vacant IBA super cruiserweight title
66 Win 60–4–2 United States Courtney Butler TKO 3 (10), 1:14 Nov 3, 2000 United States Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, New York, U.S.
65 Win 59–4–2 United States Terry McGroom MD 10 Jan 21, 2000 United States Alumni Hall, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
64 Win 58–4–2 Cuba Ramón Garbey UD 10 Oct 8, 1999 United States Roseland Ballroom, Taunton, Massachusetts, U.S.
63 Win 57–4–2 United States Adolpho Washington TKO 10 (10), 0:52 Jul 30, 1999 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.
62 Win 56–4–2 United States Terry Porter TKO 8 (10), 2:09 Mar 7, 1999 United States Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
61 Win 55–4–2 United States Steve Little UD 12 Jun 14, 1997 United States Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S. Won vacant IBO cruiserweight title
60 Loss 54–4–2 Malawi Drake Thadzi MD 12 May 14, 1997 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S. For vacant IBO light heavyweight title
59 Win 54–3–2 Jamaica Mike McCallum UD 12 Feb 22, 1997 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S. Won vacant WBU cruiserweight title
58 Loss 53–3–2 United States Montell Griffin UD 12 Dec 6, 1996 United States Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. Lost WBU light heavyweight title
57 Win 53–2–2 Jamaica Duran Williams TKO 9 (12), 2:06 Aug 9, 1996 United States Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S. Retained WBU light heavyweight title
56 Win 52–2–2 United States Charles Oliver UD 10 Jul 3, 1996 United States Station Casino, St. Charles, Missouri, U.S.
55 Win 51–2–2 United States Earl Butler TKO 4 (12), 0:46 May 14, 1996 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S. Won WBU light heavyweight title
54 Win 50–2–2 United States Richard Mason UD 10 Mar 1, 1996 United States Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
53 Win 49–2–2 United States Greg Everett KO 2 (12), 2:03 Dec 8, 1995 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S. Won WBU Continental cruiserweight title
52 Win 48–2–2 United States Ernest Mateen DQ 5 (12), 2:59 Sep 9, 1995 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBU light heavyweight title;
Mateen disqualified for repeated fouls
51 Win 47–2–2 Puerto Rico Freddie Delgado TKO 5 (12), 0:35 Jun 18, 1995 United States Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. Won WBU light heavyweight title
50 Win 46–2–2 United States Anthony Hembrick RTD 5 (12), 3:00 Apr 30, 1995 United States Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won USBA light heavyweight title
49 Win 45–2–2 United States Karl Willis TKO 8 (10), 1:42 Mar 20, 1995 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
48 Loss 44–2–2 United States Montell Griffin MD 12 Feb 18, 1995 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. For IBF Inter-Continental light heavyweight title
47 Loss 44–1–2 United States Roy Jones Jr. UD 12 Nov 18, 1994 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Lost IBF super middleweight title
46 Win 44–0–2 United States Charles Williams KO 12 (12), 2:45 Jul 29, 1994 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF super middleweight title
45 Win 43–0–2 United States Vinson Durham UD 10 May 18, 1994 United States Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois, U.S.
44 Win 42–0–2 United States Tim Littles TKO 4 (12), 1:03 Mar 5, 1994 United States Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Retained IBF super middleweight title
43 Win 41–0–2 United States Anthony Hembrick TKO 7 (10), 0:47 Jan 16, 1994 United States Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, Pennsylvania, U.S.
42 Win 40–0–2 United States Tony Thornton UD 12 Oct 29, 1993 United States Civic Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. Retained IBF super middleweight title
41 Win 39–0–2 United States Larry Prather UD 10 Aug 24, 1993 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
40 Win 38–0–2 Puerto Rico Danny Garcia RTD 6 (10), 3:00 Jul 29, 1993 United States Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, Pennsylvania, U.S.
39 Win 37–0–2 United States Glenn Thomas UD 10 Jun 6, 1993 United States The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
38 Win 36–0–2 United States Ricky Thomas TKO 10 (10), 0:51 Apr 17, 1993 United States Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, Pennsylvania, U.S.
37 Win 35–0–2 United States Govoner Chavers TKO 9 (10), 1:54 Mar 23, 1993 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
36 Win 34–0–2 United States Iran Barkley RTD 9 (12), 3:00 Feb 13, 1993 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won IBF super middleweight title
35 Win 33–0–2 United States Doug DeWitt RTD 6 (10), 3:00 Dec 5, 1992 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
34 Win 32–0–2 Jamaica Mike McCallum MD 12 Aug 29, 1992 United States Convention Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
33 Win 31–0–2 United States Ricky Stackhouse TKO 3 (10) May 26, 1992 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
32 Win 30–0–2 United States Glenn Wolfe UD 12 Apr 11, 1992 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
31 Win 29–0–2 United States Dave Tiberi SD 12 Feb 8, 1992 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
30 Draw 28–0–2 Jamaica Mike McCallum SD 12 Dec 13, 1991 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
29 Win 28–0–1 Italy Francesco Dell'Aquila TKO 4 (12), 0:43 Oct 12, 1991 Monaco Stade Louis II, Monte Carlo, Monaco Retained IBF middleweight title
28 Win 27–0–1 United States Reggie Johnson SD 12 Jun 29, 1991 United States Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Retained IBF middleweight title
27 Win 26–0–1 United States Michael Nunn TKO 11 (12), 2:14 May 10, 1991 United States John O'Donnell Stadium, Davenport, Iowa, U.S. Won IBF middleweight title
26 Win 25–0–1 United States Alberto Gonzalez TKO 5 (10), 2:00 Mar 31, 1991 United States Sands Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
25 Win 24–0–1 Dominican Republic Merqui Sosa SD 12 Jan 13, 1991 United States Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained IBC middleweight title
24 Win 23–0–1 Brazil Carlos Silva TKO 5 (10), 1:29 Dec 10, 1990 United States Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
23 Win 22–0–1 United States Sanderline Williams UD 10 Oct 16, 1990 United States Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.
22 Win 21–0–1 United States Kevin Brazier TKO 2 (10) Aug 24, 1990 United States Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
21 Draw 20–0–1 United States Sanderline Williams MD 10 Jul 26, 1990 United States Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
20 Win 20–0 United States Ricardo Bryant TKO 4 (12), 2:19 Jun 27, 1990 United States Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. Won IBC middleweight title
19 Win 19–0 Argentina Horacio Rene Brandan KO 2 (10), 2:06 May 23, 1990 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
18 Win 18–0 Venezuela Jose Luis Esteven TKO 5 (10), 1:25 Apr 27, 1990 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 United States Toby Tyler TKO 5 (6), 1:57 Apr 5, 1990 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 United States Philip Morefield KO 1 (10), 1:10 Mar 1, 1990 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S. Won vacant Michigan middleweight title
15 Win 15–0 United States Danny Thomas UD 8 Jan 20, 1990 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 United States Joe Johnson TKO 4 1:45 Nov 29, 1989 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 United States Ron Amundsen UD 10 Nov 13, 1989 United States Central Park Athletic Club, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 United States Robert Clinton KO 1 Oct 26, 1989 United States International Hotel & Resorts, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 United States Ricardo Simpson KO 2 Oct 12, 1989 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Joe Summers TKO 2 Sep 21, 1989 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Lemark Davis UD 6 Sep 7, 1989 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Mark Stephens TKO 2 (4) Jul 20, 1989 United States Boat Club, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Steve Chaney KO 1 (4) Jun 6, 1989 United States Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Arthur Willis SD 4 May 2, 1989 United States Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States James Fernandez UD 4 Feb 16, 1989 United States Premier Center, Sterling Heights, Michigan, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Sammy Jenkins TKO 4 (4) Jan 17, 1989 United States Premier Center, Sterling Heights, Michigan, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Carl Penn KO 1 (4) Jan 10, 1989 United States Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Ronnie Yoe KO 1 (4) Dec 6, 1988 United States The New Daisy Theatre, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Stephen Lee TKO 2 (4) Oct 26, 1988 United States Thomas Crystal Gardens, Mount Clemens, Michigan, U.S.

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
1 match 0 wins 1 loss
By submission 0 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0–1 Randy Couture Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC 118 August 28, 2010 1 3:19 Boston, Massachusetts, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dooley, Terence (February 12, 2018). "James Toney: I Would Have Knocked Bernard Hopkins Out!". BoxingScene. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "10: Best middleweight titleholders of the last 50 years". RingTV. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  3. ^ http://tss.ib.tv/articles-of-2005/1982-was-james-toney-ever-young
  4. ^ a b c "James Toney". BoxRec.
  5. ^ https://www.boxingscene.com/james-toney-even-turned-out-neon-deions-lights--15497
  6. ^ James Toney. BoxingInsider.com. Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
  7. ^ "If Anything, Toney Knows How to Fight". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ "The Lineal Middleweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  9. ^ Nunn Out
  10. ^ "Ring Magazine's Fighters Of The Year". BoxRec.
  11. ^ James Toney vs. Dave Tiberi – Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia. BoxRec. Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "James Toney vs. Iran Barkley". BoxRec.
  13. ^ "Toney vs. Williams". BoxRec.
  14. ^ James Toney vs. Roy Jones, Round 3. YouTube. Retrieved on June 19, 2014.
  15. ^ Crawford, Percy (November 8, 2011). "Toney to undergo Knee Surgery". Fight Hype. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  16. ^ "10 funniest post-fight interviews in boxing history: James Toney". Complex.com.
  17. ^ "James Toney Punishes Rydell Booker". Thesweetscience.com.
  18. ^ "Toney Fails Drug Test and Is Stripped of Title". The New York Times.
  19. ^ James Toney: He ain't heavy; He's a heavyweight! FightFan News Wire (September 11, 2009)
  20. ^ Haskin, Kevin (February 25, 2011). "Reed loses decision to Toney". Topeka Capital Journal. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  21. ^ Jake Donovan, James Toney Stops Bobby Gunn In Five Rounds. Boxing Scene, 8 April 2012.
  22. ^ Stumberg, Patrick. "James Toney (apparently) retires with (apparent) knockout victory". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  23. ^ Simpson, Bakari. "James Toney: "If I get 6 or 7 figures, They Ass is Knocked Out"". 3 Kings Boxing. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Toney signs multifight deal with CCFC". ESPN. Associated Press. March 3, 2010.
  25. ^ Marrocco, Steven (March 3, 2010). "Trainer Juanito Ibarra to coach UFC signee James Toney in transition to MMA". MMA Junkie. Archived from the original on June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  26. ^ Fontanez, Erik (March 4, 2010). "James Toney's Coach, Juanito Ibarra: "We're Gonna Shock The World"". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  27. ^ "Handicapping James Toney's Chances Against Jared Mellon at CCFC 6". Bloody Elbow.
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  29. ^ Greisman, David (August 28, 2010). "James Toney was destroyed by Randy Couture at UFC 118". Turtleface.com. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  30. ^ Greisman, David (September 9, 2010). "James Toney Officially Released By UFC". CagedInsider.com. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  31. ^ Mike Straka (2011). Fighting Words: In-Depth Interviews with the Biggest Names in Mixed Martial Arts. Triumph. ISBN 9781617495311.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Dwight Davison
Michigan middleweight champion
March 1, 1990 – April 1990
Title next held by
Joe Stevenson
Title last held by
Saúl Montana
WBC Continental Americas
heavyweight champion

September 23, 2004 – December 2004
Title next held by
Michael Moorer
Title last held by
Derric Rossy
WBONABO heavyweight champion
December 13, 2008 – August 2009
Title next held by
Brian Minto
Preceded by
Anthony Hembrick
IBFUSBA light heavyweight champion
April 30, 1995 – February 1997
Title next held by
William Guthrie
Minor world boxing titles
Inaugural champion IBC middleweight champion
June 27, 1990 – March 1991
Title next held by
Danny Garcia
WBU light heavyweight champion
June 18, 1995 – December 6, 1996
Succeeded by
Montell Griffin
Title last held by
Thomas Hearns
WBU cruiserweight champion
February 22, 1997 – May 1997
Title next held by
Don Diego Poeder
Title last held by
Booker T Word
IBO cruiserweight champion
June 14, 1997 – May 1998
Title next held by
Robert Daniels
Title last held by
Lou Savarese
IBA heavyweight champion
September 23, 2004 – September 2, 2006
Succeeded by
Samuel Peter
Title last held by
Samuel Peter
IBA heavyweight champion
December 13, 2008 – November 2017
Title last held by
Gene Pukall
IBU heavyweight champion
April 7, 2012 – November 2017
Title last held by
Peter Graham
WBF (Foundation)
heavyweight champion

May 13, 2017 – November 2017
Major world boxing titles
Preceded by
Michael Nunn
IBF middleweight champion
May 10, 1991 – February 13, 1993
Title next held by
Roy Jones Jr.
Preceded by
Iran Barkley
IBF super middleweight champion
February 13, 1993 – November 18, 1994
Succeeded by
Roy Jones Jr.
Preceded by
Vassiliy Jirov
IBF cruiserweight champion
April 26, 2003 – September 2003
Title next held by
Kelvin Davis
Julio César Chávez
The Ring Fighter of the Year
Riddick Bowe
Evander Holyfield
BWAA Fighter of the Year
Vernon Forrest
The Ring Fighter of the Year
Glen Johnson
BWAA Fighter of the Year
Micky Ward vs.
Arturo Gatti
The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Vassiliy Jirov

Marco Antonio Barrera vs.
Érik Morales III
Arturo Gatti
The Ring Comeback of the Year
Marco Antonio Barrera