The long career of one of the all time stars James “Lights Out” Toney 73-6-3 (44 kos) could possibly come to an end according to the bookies at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow on Friday afternoon when he meets the crude slugger Dennis Lebedev 22-1 (17kos).
Back in his heyday Toney was a joy to watch a true boxing craftsman. These day he is more of an average 43-year-old, and in recent performances he has been fat and looked like a guy who has been going through the motions.
Lebedev is probably known best by UK fans when he come over to these shores and battered Enzo Maccarinelli to submission in 3 rounds. He is a very slow one dimensional fighter but when he connects clean he can knock anybody out as the faded legend Roy Jones found out in the final round of their battle back in May. Jones was ahead on one card at the time and did appear to shake the Russian up a few times before Lebedev decided to go on the offensive.
Researching this fight on the Youtube, I was surprised to see Toneylooking in unbelievable shape. He looks 10 years younger and I think he believes this is his last chance at glory – a true Rocky v Ivan Drago moment. Also as the WBA have made this title bout this is a huge opportunity for Toney to put a massive feather in his cap and cement his belief that he is a great.
So what is going to happen in this scrap ?
The betting has an interesting look in that when the bookmakers priced this up they made Lebredev 4-7 the knockout (which has now drifted to 11/8) as Toney has not actually been rattled in his 82 fight career let alone stopped.
This is an excellent fight to bet on one of two things can possibly happen. Either Lebredev huffs and puffs around the ring swinging away at Toney on the ropes, Toney covers up well and hits him with the occasional chopping right hand and the Home fighter nicks a win or this shocking slim line Toney turns up manages to fight for 36 minutes and can outwork and out hustle the Slugger.
I know it’s a leap of faith at his age to suspect he can fight like he was 10 years ago but something tells me that if (and it’s a big if) he has watched his weight in the right manner and is back down at the weight he was in 2003 then he could bash up the big Russian monster and nick it.
Daily Sport recommended bets:
0.5 pts James Toney to beat Denis Lebedev – 6/1 Sky Bet, Paddy Power and VC
0.25 pts James Toney to Win in rounds 7-12 – 16/1 Sky Bet
0.25pts James Toney to win in rounds 10-12 – 33/1 bet365