Sam Peters Gets Past Lights Out Toney
By Michael Amakor -September 3, 2006
In another cross roads fight that helped showcase a dominant contender aspiring to become the Supreme overlord of the heavyweight division, NABF Champion Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peters annexed the IBA title from the rugged trash talking James "Lights Out" Toney on September 2nd at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in a fight featured on Showtime.
Here is how I called the fight from the relative safety, and obscurity of my living room -
Round 1: Peters lands the first punch as Toney tries to bob and weave forward and although Peters jabs sends Toney slightly backward he is unable to catch the slippery Toney flush. Peters lands some solid jabs, Toney fires back but we are all amazed at how amazingly quick Peters is, but Toney is quicker, near the end of the round Peters misses several head shots as the bobbing and weaving Toney corners him against the ropes at the end of the round. Peters wins on my scorecard.
Round 2: Toney takes command and begins landing with his jab, however Peters is the one that moves Toney back whenever he lands. Peters slightly wobbled Toney, and crowds him trying to land one of his trademark heavy handed overhand bombs with a few of them landing not quite flush as he tries to steal the round. Toney Wins.
Round 3: Toney continues with his jab peppering Peters who begins pawing at his nose. Toney rocks Peters with a headshot and Peters counters immediately and steps up the pressure wobbling Toney back and into the ropes but Toney picks him apart on the inside. Down the round Peters again wobbles Toney and tries to line up a right shot as Toney momentarily slows down and fires off a right that lands. Peters chases Toney but is unable to land a flush shot. Round to Peters.
Round 4: Peters begins the rounds jabbing and firing round house shots that do not catch the slippery Toney who begins to land very accurately with his jab bloodying up Sam Peters nose illiciting a taunting smile from an increasing more confident Toney, a couple of shots from Toney catches Peters flush and off balance. Peters beginning to show signs of fatigue and is gasping for breath. In spite of the cleaner shots by Toney it is a difficult round to score, I leaned towards Toney for this round.
Round 5: Peters shakes Toney with a big right as Toney uses the ropes for support. Peters shakes up Toney whenever he lands backing Toney up as he pecks away with his heavy handed jabs, but Toney fires off some cleans jabs. Peters returns back with some jabs to the body along with some overhand rights that don’t quite find their mark, Peters gets busier flurrying on the inside near the end of the round. Peters Wins
Round 6: Peters again beginning to show signs of fatigue in this round as Toney lands more shots to bloody his mouth and nose. Toney lands a flush home run right that does not quite faze Peters who moves forward imposing his size while trying to bully Toney against the ropes. Toney slows down momentarily as Toney catches him with some head shots and rigidly tries to line him up as he looks to land a kayo punch, he fires but the slippery Toney weaves through them but Toney returns with some accurate jabs and body shot. Toney wins
Round 7: This round is fought at a slow pace but Toney’s really begins to land his jabs with more consistency even playing around, this round is fought in the center of the ring. Peters tries to land some clubbing rights that Toney weaves and roles with. Peters momentarily catches Toney against the ropes and paws with the jab and not finding a headshot bangs away at the body and eventually lands some flush head shots trying to steal the round which went to Toney.
Round 8: Very difficult round to score as both guys had their moments, Peters amateurishly tried to adjust his trunks in the middle of flurry and got caught immediately by Toney. Toney lands cleaner jabs and Peter’s tries to bum rush Toney to steal the round after another infuriating clean and powerful jab by Toney. Draw
Round 9: Toney frustrates Peters and begins to hook and jab but tires momentarily leaning against Peters and backing him into the ropes. Peters who missed most of his counters was by then incensed and angrily popped with both hands on the ears, an illegal blow that earns him a point deduction, he tries to beat Toney for it but lands against the wind. Toney Wins this round.
Round 10: Peters comes on strong in this round landing some powerful body shots and tries to line up his shots for another knockout bomb, some of his punches catch Toney and shake him to the bone crowding Toney and trying to end the fight with some wild swings, Toney is visibly fading in this round. Peters wins
Round 11: Another difficult round to score but Toney lands the more accurate jabs that do not faze Sam Peters who lumbers on after Toney. I scored this round a draw with a slight edge to Toney.
Round 12: Trainer roach informed Toney that he needed a kayo to win the fight as the scores were quite close and he launched the first assault by landing some combinations against Peters body but he seemed to tire as the stronger seemingly better conditioned Peter fires back landing some single digit head and body shots and his trade mark overhand rights. Another difficult round to score but Peters finished strongly. Peters Wins.
The judges however scored the bout 116-111 twice and 115-111 for Peters.
I have to admit that I scored the bout for Peter following his strong finish in the twelfth round, but during the fight I got lost in the drama and watched the fight as a fan and completely forgot to tabulate my scores properly, but after the decision was announced following the disapproving press row scores and Toney's extremely disgusted expression and recriminations post fight, I was forced to review the tape of the fight, turning in my score card at the end of each round, and I wish to state that I was mildly shocked that I had to agree with them. Toney won this fight, or it was at least a draw, but certainly not by the wide margin declared by the judges.
However professional boxing judges can sometimes wave aside clean punches in favor of being impressed as I was by the more heavier, and powerful punches landed by Sam Peters who although was out jabbed for most of the fight was not at any time in any serious danger, and neither was Toney for that matter but you did get the sense that Peters was the more dominant and physically stronger ring General landing the more dangerous blows.
For too long judges have awarded gift decisions to boxers who simply pile on the points while dancing in and out of danger without actually doing any real physical damage to their opponent, a situation I believe that has left boxing with some of the most pathetic excuses for champion in recent memory who not only infuriate boxing fans with their lame performances but who actually have no staying power forcing the belt to needless rotate to other uninspiring fighters who drive away non hard core fans away from the sport, it is time to put a stop to these types of poor cosmetic inspired decisions . Period.
This victory lines up the new unified champion - Sam Peters now 27-1, 22ko's for a clear the decks showdown with recently crowned Oleg Maskaev who holds the more recognized WBA title Belt. The significance of this bout was highlighted by the fact that the WBO champion Sergie Liahkovich, and the monstrously tall freak of nature Nikolay Valuev, the WBC champion were present at ringside.
As for the 38 year old James Toney who fell to 69-5-3, 43ko's I believe his run for the heavyweight title is now over, and considering his excellent career and current awe inspiring status as a real heavyweight, he should consider temporarily hanging up his gloves for a rest, and a well timed straight title shot that could open up down the road, before any more unnecessary losses, or poor performances against prime and younger true heavyweights derails his ambition of ruling the division for good.
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