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[FIGHT BIO] James “Lights Out” Toney | The Dark Emperor

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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).

James Toney

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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.

His First Loss

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:

  1. 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.

James Toney vs Mike McCallum

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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.

James Toney vs Iran Barkley

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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.

James Toney vs Evander Holyfield

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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.

James Toney vs Rany Couture

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James Toney’s Profile

BornAugust 24, 1968
Super middleweight
Light heavyweight
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Reach78 in (198 cm)
Debut October 26, 1988

James Toney’s Professional Record

October 26, 1988Stephen LeeWin (TKO)
December 6, 1988 Ronnie YoeWin (KO)
January 10, 1989 Carl Penn Win (KO)
January 17, 1989 Sammy Jenkins Win (TKO)
February 16, 1989James Fernandez Win (UD)
May 2, 1989Arthur Willis Win (SD)
June 6, 1989Steve Chaney Win (KO)
July 20, 1989Mark Stephens Win (TKO)
September 7, 1989Lemark Davis Win (UD
September 21, 1989Joe Summers Win (TKO)
October 12, 1989Ricardo Simpson Win (KO)
October 26, 1989Robert Clinton Win (KO)
November 13, 1989Ron Amundsen Win (UD)
November 29, 1989 Joe Johnson Win (TKO)
January 20, 1990Danny Thomas Win (UD )
March 1, 1990Philip Morefield Win (KO)
April 5, 1990Toby Tyler Win (TKO)
April 27, 1990Jose Luis Estevan Win (TKO)
May 23, 1990Horacio Rene Brandan Win (KO)
June 27, 1990Ricardo Bryant Win (TKO)
July 26, 1990 Sanderline WilliamsDraw (MD)
August 24, 1990Kevin Brazier Win (TKO)
October 16, 1990Sanderline Williams Win (UD)
December 10, 1990Carlos Silva Win (TKO)
January 13, 1991 Merqui Sosa Win (SD)
March 31, 1991Alberto Gonzalez Win (TKO)
May 10, 1991Michael Nunn Win (TKO)
June 29, 1991 Reggie Johnson Win (SD)
October 12, 1991Francesco Dell’Aquila Win (TKO)
December 13, 1991Mike McCallumDraw (SD)
February 8, 1992Dave Tiberi Win (SD)
April 11, 1992Glenn Wolfe Win (UD)
May 26, 1992Ricky Stackhouse Win (TKO)
August 29, 1992Mike McCallum Win (MD)
December 5, 1992Doug DeWitt Win (RTD)
February 13, 1993Iran Barkley Win (RTD)
March 23, 1993Govoner Chavers Win (TKO)
April 17, 1993Ricky Thomas Win (TKO)
June 6, 1993Glenn Thomas Win (UD)
July 29, 1993Danny Garcia Win (RTD)
August 24, 1993Larry Prather Win (UD)
October 29, 1993Tony Thornton Win (UD)
January 16, 1994Anthony Hembrick Win (TKO)
March 5, 1994Tim Littles Win (TKO)
May 18, 1994Vinson Durham Win (UD)
July 29, 1994Charles Williams Win (KO)
November 18, 1994Roy Jones Jr.Loss (UD)
February 18, 1995Montell GriffinLoss (MD)
March 20, 1995Karl Willis Win (TKO)
April 30, 1995Anthony Hembrick Win (RTD)
June 18, 1995Freddie Delgado Win (TKO)
September 9, 1995Ernest Mateen Win (DQ)
December 8, 1995Greg Everett Win (KO)
March 1, 1996Richard Mason Win (UD)
May 14, 1996Earl Butler Win (TKO)
July 3, 1996Charles Oliver Win (UD)
August 9, 1996Duran Williams Win (TKO)
December 6, 1996 Montell Griffin Loss (UD)
February 22, 1997Mike McCallum Win (UD)
May 14, 1997Drake Thadzi Loss (MD)
June 14, 1997Steve Little Win (UD)
March 7, 1999Terry Porter Win (TKO)
July 30, 1999Adolpho Washington Win (TKO)
October 8, 1999Ramón Garbey Win (UD)
January 21, 2000Terry McGroom Win (MD)
November 3, 2000Courtney Butler Win (TKO)
March 29, 2001 Saúl Montana Win (TKO)
July 30, 2001Wesley Martin Win (TKO)
March 22, 2002Sione Asipeli Win (UD)
May 31, 2002Michael Rush Win (TKO)
August 18, 2002Jason Robinson Win (KO)
April 26, 2003Vassiliy Jirov Win (UD)
October 4, 2003Evander Holyfield Win (TKO)
September 23, 2004Rydell Booker Win (UD)
April 30, 2005(John RuizNC (UD)
October 1, 2005Dominick Guinn Win (UD)
March 18, 2006Hasim RahmanDraw (MD)
September 2, 2006Samuel PeterLoss (SD)
January 6, 2007Samuel PeterLoss (UD)
May 24, 2007Danny Batchelder Win (SD)
July 16, 2008Hasim RahmanNC (TKO)
December 13, 2008Fres Oquendo Win (SD)
September 12, 2009Matthew Greer Win (KO)
February 24, 2011Damon Reed Win (UD)
November 4, 2011Denis LebedevLoss (UD)
July 4, 2012Bobby Gunn Win (RTD)
April 28, 2013Lucas BrowneLoss (UD)
June 28, 2013Kenny Lemos Win (UD)
November 14, 2013Matt Legg Win (TKO)
November 14, 2013Jason GavernLoss (MD)
August 8, 2015Charles EllisLoss (UD)
May 13, 2017Mike Sheppard Win (TKO)

James Toney’s UFC Record

August 28, 2010 Randy CoutureLoss (Submission)

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