Tag Archives: james toney

Time to Laugh–The Povetkin vs Rahman Comedy Hour.

Well, folks, The Povetkin vs Rahman Comedy Hour is almost upon us as Saturday winds down. The real fight action of course will be provided by the defacto main event when undefeated Kubrat Pulev, 16-0, 8KO rumbles with the former kickboxer, Alexander Ustinov, 27-0, 21 KO, a mountain of 300+ solid pounds spread out uniformly on his 6-8 Russian grizzlybear frame.  

The much awaited comedy hour endured delays from alleged injuries sustained by Hasim Rahman when he attempted to drop the blubber of some 300 lbs of inactivity. It was way back in the Pleistocene era when Rahman last beat a Ring ranked fighter though to be fair, since then all his losses were at least against contender types or champs such as Wlad Klitschko. It must also be noted that Rahman was quite literally robbed after landing a 1001 jabs along with a stiff right hand that knocked James Toney clear across the ring in the reverse ring waddle of the year. Unfortunately the routine nature of true robberies gets mixed into the howls of lesser robberies that typically accompany most every fight card in the world, so Rahman never got credit, the last fight he was in any semblance of shape.

Well, folks, the current WBA champ Alexander Povetkin is very much like all the previous WBA champs going back well over a decade now, he desperately needs a 40ish tubby former American champ or contender well past his best in order hold on to his Comedy Crown. It should be noted that Wlad Klitschko easily dismissed the last two WBA champs, Ruslan Chagaev and David Haye, but then Klitschko is so much more than a mere WBA champ that he is excluded from any comparison.

Povetkin was signed to fight Wlad a few years ago, but the fight fell out on a supposed tear of an ankle tendon, an Achilles heel as it turned out for Povetkin. He has since gone from being the touted Olympic Gold Medalist and top contender to a running joke trained by everyone’s favorite Uncle Teddy into a disaster case.

When he faced the best ever fighter of his career, fellow Sauerland stablemate and Cruiser champ Marco Huck, he resembled more the drunken Russian sailor on shore with his head between his knees for defense as his guts convulsed in horror. Poor Huck was reduced to bouncing Povetkin’s noggin off the canvas with rabbit shots, the only punch available to him to crack Povetkin’s illegal defense that he was never warned penalized for.

Teletubbies 256 lbs vs 229 lbs

Teletubbies 256 lbs vs 229 lbs

Never seen a fighter more punch drunk reeling about the ring on spaghetti legs than Povetkin, yet he won the decision, natch. Enter long time Don King fighter Hasim Rahman into this fetid mess with a chance to tie Muhammed Ali’s three heavyweight titles won.

Yup, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and you laugh at the WBA matchups so hard that you cry.

Well, folks should be well set up  in a fine fettle after the colossal battle between the Bulgarian Pulev and the Russian Ustinov who may be of Belarus origin. Both are classic come forward offensive fighters swinging some serious clubs, so short of a draw, someone’s zero is got to go since the stakes are the EBU heavy title and IBF International title.

Three of these four heavyweights are Eastern Europeans of undefeated contender status as befits the current international intrusion on the former American stronghold. Hasim Rahman may no longer be in their class, but he knows that he could well deliver another peach of a right hand to make the history, so laugh at your own risk, or cry, or grin and bear it, the choice is yours. 

Battle of Mixed Martial Arts vs Boxing, Couture vs Toney

Or we could call this the Battle of the UFC vs IBF since those are the two primary professional titles the combatants have held, Randy “The Natural” Couture being the 5x UFC titlist in 2 weight divisions and James “Lights Out” Toney being the 3x IBF titlist in 3 weight divisions.

Couture vs Toney

Couture vs Toney

Or we could call this the battle of grizzled old veterans with Couture being 47 years of age and Toney being 42. Neither is willing to ride off into the sunset without a fight, so, like my old friend Lyndon used to throw out in the slowest, thickest Texas accent imaginable as he drew himself up to his full 6-3 stature……””Well, C’mon!””

That being said, I must confess that I am not the mixed martial arts go to guy, boxing is my thing. Ground and pound and rolling around in the most unseemly positions imaginable does not strike that higher sense of nobility and honor that boxing represents. I preferred the original mma format when the contestants were specialists in one background, like a kick boxer vs a judo black belt or a wrestler against a jui jitsu blackbelt.

I remember one down home feller from San Antone way that made it to the semi finals against Royce Gracie with no better background than behind the bar scraps in Nuevo Laredo.

But he could fight, which was quite enough. That was interesting.

Now the fighters may come out of one background, but they cross train in all the backgrounds, so there are no “purists” left in the sport unless we want to count Toney.

Couture is a former collegiate wrestling champ having grown into the sport in stages, adding on disciplines as he became a fan favorite and legend. Toney comes from a highschool football background and been a boxer all his adult life. He briefly became boxing’s top pound for pound fighter before moving to infamous after literally eating his way out of the 5 divisions he has fought in not to mention being busted twice for steroid use.

So, here we are, UFC 118, that’s 118 UFC promotions as of the conclusion of tonight’s festivities, Couture vs Toney, so how did we get here?

Dana White and his partners deserve a mention here. They have literally created UFC from dust after seeing the success of early mma events staged in Japan. The US of course had a good but limited background in kickboxing and mma prior, but to promote the UFC into the popular successful cult sport it has become speaks to being in the right place at the right time and making the most of opportunity.

All the while, White has weighed in on boxing, alternately offering his views on various fighters or having a pop at the sport. The demographics suggest that there is little overlap in the types of viewers with UFC being very young and boxing’s viewers being closer to Couture’s age than Toney’s age on average.

James Toney, 237 lbs

James Toney, 237 lbs

Couture and Toney deserve some mention for staying somewhat relevant in their aging years, Couture by his deeds and Toney by his mouth. Last I saw Toney in a fight he was literally dropped like a rock by a Fres Oquendo shoulder and rolled out of the ring like a barrel, one of the funniest ring moments ever.

So the UFC fight has something of a farcical quality to it since Toney has no experience in mma save what he has been adding on in training for this fight. It’s widely assumed Couture will avoid a standup fight, taking Toney to the ground at first chance and quickly submit him. Toney doesn’t have a knockout punch, but he has the puncher’s chance in this fight since he has superior punching technique to anyone in UFC history, but can he land a few to turn the fight to his favor?

Like most of the planet who will bother with this, I strongly favor Couture.

Randy Couture, 220 lbs

Randy Couture, 220 lbs

White has set up a win/win for UFC regardless of who wins. Most likely he will rub it in when Couture wins, but if Toney wins, he will only have beaten a much older man well past his best, no big deal. Toney will be moved up the UFC food chain into a bigger promotion where he might be the headliner instead of being cast in a supporting bout. All to ultimately be exposed as a boxing legend not good enough for UFC.

Toney hasn’t been a ranked boxing contender in years, but his rabid fans don’t see it that way, and his mouth don’t see it that way, so the average UFC fan won’t see it that way. He’s legend to all of them which is all that counts to Dana White.

Never say never, so when the smoke clears, we’ll have our answer.

Some may want to stick around for the main event, Frankie Edgar defending against another UFC legend, BJ Penn for the UFC welter belt. That’s gonna be some real action with more fire than smoke.

Easy Work

Easy Work