Who Is James Toney?
James Nathaniel Toney, aka “The Dark Emperor”, aka “Lights Out” was born on the 24th of August 1968 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
James walked into a boxing gym for the first time in 1979, at the age of 11, but only started following his dream of boxing professionally after high school.
Not only was Toney talented in the ring, but he was also considered a future star in American football.
He was even offered scholarships to play college football, which he turned down to become a boxer.
James didn’t have an easy upbringing as a child.
His father who was also a boxer at the time wasn’t around while he was growing up.
Without the proper guidance, Toney got involved with bad things, like street fights and selling drugs (cocaine).
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Toney had a remarkable amateur career, winning 33 fights and only losing 2.
James was known for being among the greatest defensive boxer of all time.
He was coached by Bill Miller, a veteran trainer who coached many champions during his time.
Toney started his professional career in 1988 at the age of 20 and eventually stopped fighting in 2017 when he was 39.
He held multiple world titles in three different weight divisions, including a Heavyweight title which he was stripped of for failing a drug test.
James had a crazy counterpunch and was an exceptional inside fighter.
Toney was ranked 10th as the best Middleweight titleholders in 50 years by The Ring magazine and was listed as their Fighter of The Year in 1991 and 2003.
He even had a fight in the UFC in 2010, but lost by submission and never returned.
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What Happened To James Toney?
The first question people ask is “How did James Toney Handle his first loss?” because he was so dominant in the ring and losing seemed almost impossible.
He explains in this video that it wasn’t easy for him, but he had to accept the loss and carry on.
Another question many people ask is “What happened in the John Ruiz fight?”
John Ruiz won the fight because James Toney tested positive for anabolic steroids, but very few people know that he was actually cleared after the fight for this accusation.
James’s doctor sent a long letter telling the Boxing Federation that he had an operation on his bicep and tricep 2 weeks before the fight, and was given medicine that would show up as steroids in the test.
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What Is James Toney Doing Now?
Toney has been training and keeping fit in the boxing gym with his two sons. He’s also part of a company called Blue Moon Entertainment, along with Zab Judah and Buddy McGirt.
They organize celebrity boxing matches and at the time of writing this article, Toney was scheduled to fight former Heavyweight World Champion, Jeremy Williams in October 2021.
So he’s still active on the boxing scene, even if it’s only for celebrity exhibition fights.
There have even been some back-and-forths between James and Mike Tyson, who’ve been talking about facing each other in the ring on social media.
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James Toney’s Net Worth?
James Toney has an estimated net worth of around $2 million. Officially, Toney doesn’t receive an income as he’s currently considered retired. He lives off the money he’s made from boxing, and also gets a pension from the Boxer’s Trustee Fund.
Having said that, it’s safe to assume he does make some level of income from his work with Blue Moon Entertainment.
Interestingly, he’s even made some of his money through acting.
He featured in the 2001 film Ali starring Will Smith, in which he played Smokin’ Joe Frazier.
Toney also appeared on Celebrity Family Feud in 2016.
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How Many Fights Has James Toney Lost?
James Toney only lost 10 of his 92 fights in his professional career.
These are the 8 fighters Toney lost to:
- Roy Jones Jr.
2. Montell Griffin (Twice)
3. Drake Thadzi
4. Samuel Peter (Twice)
5. Denis Lebedev
6. Lucas Browne
7. Jason Gavern
8. Charles Ellis
Let’s take a look at his most memorable professional fights.
James Toney Vs Mike McCallum
This fight for the WBU Cruiserweight title happened in Montville, Connecticut on the 22nd of February, 1997.
It was a tremendous fight between James and Mike, a war some would say.
There were heavy blows taken and given by both fighters, but both kept standing until the end.
James Toney was more dominant in the fight, landing more punches than Mike.
Toney’s defense and body movement was great, which made it hard for Mike to land any meaningful shots.
“Lights Out” Toney won the fight by Unanimous Decision.
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James Toney Vs Iran Barkley
Toney fought Barkley in Nevada on February 13th, 1993 for the IBF Super-Middleweight Title.
Iran came out thinking he could overpower James, but he wasn’t able to.
James took full control of the fight, dominating the entire time and making it hard for Iran to gain any momentum for a counter-attack.
Barkley was hurt in the 8th round, forcing the referee had to call the fight.
Toney won the fight and claimed the IBF Super-Middleweight Title.
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James Toney Vs Evander Holyfield
James and Evander fought in Paradise, Nevada on the 4th of October 2003.
The fight was scheduled for 12 rounds but was stopped in the 9th.
Holyfield was very strong and dominant in the first few rounds of the fight, landing more significant blows than James.
Toney wasn’t shaken, he started coming back with some power shots of his own.
This was an extremely exciting fight to watch.
James pushed the pace later in the fight, exhausting and hurting Holyfield.
Holyfield was dropped in the 9th and struggled to get back up.
The fight was stopped and James Toney won by TKO.
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James Toney vs Randy Couture
Toney’s first and last MMA fight was against Randy Couture at UFC 118.
It happened on August 28th, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Toney entered the octagon as the most feared boxer in the UFC, attempting to make his mark on the MMA scene.
Randy took the challenge to fight Toney, motivated to show the world what MMA is all about.
Within the first few seconds of the fight, Randy took Toney down with a single-leg attack and started controlling Toney on the floor.
Couture dominated the entire match, not allowing any space for James to fight back.
Randy worked his way to Toney’s neck and finally submitted him in the first round.
James Toney never fought in MMA again.
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James Toney’s Profile
|Born||August 24, 1968|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Reach||78 in (198 cm)|
|Debut||October 26, 1988|
James Toney’s Professional Record
|October 26, 1988||Stephen Lee||Win (TKO)|
|December 6, 1988||Ronnie Yoe||Win (KO)|
|January 10, 1989||Carl Penn||Win (KO)|
|January 17, 1989||Sammy Jenkins||Win (TKO)|
|February 16, 1989||James Fernandez||Win (UD)|
|May 2, 1989||Arthur Willis||Win (SD)|
|June 6, 1989||Steve Chaney||Win (KO)|
|July 20, 1989||Mark Stephens||Win (TKO)|
|September 7, 1989||Lemark Davis||Win (UD|
|September 21, 1989||Joe Summers||Win (TKO)|
|October 12, 1989||Ricardo Simpson||Win (KO)|
|October 26, 1989||Robert Clinton||Win (KO)|
|November 13, 1989||Ron Amundsen||Win (UD)|
|November 29, 1989||Joe Johnson||Win (TKO)|
|January 20, 1990||Danny Thomas||Win (UD )|
|March 1, 1990||Philip Morefield||Win (KO)|
|April 5, 1990||Toby Tyler||Win (TKO)|
|April 27, 1990||Jose Luis Estevan||Win (TKO)|
|May 23, 1990||Horacio Rene Brandan||Win (KO)|
|June 27, 1990||Ricardo Bryant||Win (TKO)|
|July 26, 1990||Sanderline Williams||Draw (MD)|
|August 24, 1990||Kevin Brazier||Win (TKO)|
|October 16, 1990||Sanderline Williams||Win (UD)|
|December 10, 1990||Carlos Silva||Win (TKO)|
|January 13, 1991||Merqui Sosa||Win (SD)|
|March 31, 1991||Alberto Gonzalez||Win (TKO)|
|May 10, 1991||Michael Nunn||Win (TKO)|
|June 29, 1991||Reggie Johnson||Win (SD)|
|October 12, 1991||Francesco Dell’Aquila||Win (TKO)|
|December 13, 1991||Mike McCallum||Draw (SD)|
|February 8, 1992||Dave Tiberi||Win (SD)|
|April 11, 1992||Glenn Wolfe||Win (UD)|
|May 26, 1992||Ricky Stackhouse||Win (TKO)|
|August 29, 1992||Mike McCallum||Win (MD)|
|December 5, 1992||Doug DeWitt||Win (RTD)|
|February 13, 1993||Iran Barkley||Win (RTD)|
|March 23, 1993||Govoner Chavers||Win (TKO)|
|April 17, 1993||Ricky Thomas||Win (TKO)|
|June 6, 1993||Glenn Thomas||Win (UD)|
|July 29, 1993||Danny Garcia||Win (RTD)|
|August 24, 1993||Larry Prather||Win (UD)|
|October 29, 1993||Tony Thornton||Win (UD)|
|January 16, 1994||Anthony Hembrick||Win (TKO)|
|March 5, 1994||Tim Littles||Win (TKO)|
|May 18, 1994||Vinson Durham||Win (UD)|
|July 29, 1994||Charles Williams||Win (KO)|
|November 18, 1994||Roy Jones Jr.||Loss (UD)|
|February 18, 1995||Montell Griffin||Loss (MD)|
|March 20, 1995||Karl Willis||Win (TKO)|
|April 30, 1995||Anthony Hembrick||Win (RTD)|
|June 18, 1995||Freddie Delgado||Win (TKO)|
|September 9, 1995||Ernest Mateen||Win (DQ)|
|December 8, 1995||Greg Everett||Win (KO)|
|March 1, 1996||Richard Mason||Win (UD)|
|May 14, 1996||Earl Butler||Win (TKO)|
|July 3, 1996||Charles Oliver||Win (UD)|
|August 9, 1996||Duran Williams||Win (TKO)|
|December 6, 1996||Montell Griffin||Loss (UD)|
|February 22, 1997||Mike McCallum||Win (UD)|
|May 14, 1997||Drake Thadzi||Loss (MD)|
|June 14, 1997||Steve Little||Win (UD)|
|March 7, 1999||Terry Porter||Win (TKO)|
|July 30, 1999||Adolpho Washington||Win (TKO)|
|October 8, 1999||Ramón Garbey||Win (UD)|
|January 21, 2000||Terry McGroom||Win (MD)|
|November 3, 2000||Courtney Butler||Win (TKO)|
|March 29, 2001||Saúl Montana||Win (TKO)|
|July 30, 2001||Wesley Martin||Win (TKO)|
|March 22, 2002||Sione Asipeli||Win (UD)|
|May 31, 2002||Michael Rush||Win (TKO)|
|August 18, 2002||Jason Robinson||Win (KO)|
|April 26, 2003||Vassiliy Jirov||Win (UD)|
|October 4, 2003||Evander Holyfield||Win (TKO)|
|September 23, 2004||Rydell Booker||Win (UD)|
|April 30, 2005(||John Ruiz||NC (UD)|
|October 1, 2005||Dominick Guinn||Win (UD)|
|March 18, 2006||Hasim Rahman||Draw (MD)|
|September 2, 2006||Samuel Peter||Loss (SD)|
|January 6, 2007||Samuel Peter||Loss (UD)|
|May 24, 2007||Danny Batchelder||Win (SD)|
|July 16, 2008||Hasim Rahman||NC (TKO)|
|December 13, 2008||Fres Oquendo||Win (SD)|
|September 12, 2009||Matthew Greer||Win (KO)|
|February 24, 2011||Damon Reed||Win (UD)|
|November 4, 2011||Denis Lebedev||Loss (UD)|
|July 4, 2012||Bobby Gunn||Win (RTD)|
|April 28, 2013||Lucas Browne||Loss (UD)|
|June 28, 2013||Kenny Lemos||Win (UD)|
|November 14, 2013||Matt Legg||Win (TKO)|
|November 14, 2013||Jason Gavern||Loss (MD)|
|August 8, 2015||Charles Ellis||Loss (UD)|
|May 13, 2017||Mike Sheppard||Win (TKO)|
James Toney’s UFC Record
|August 28, 2010||Randy Couture||Loss (Submission)|
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