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James Toney faces Eric Martel Bahoeli on November 27th

By Jim Dower: 47-year-old former three division world champion James “Lights Out” Toney (76-10-3, 46 KOs) will be fighting next month on November 27th against 34-year-old heavyweight Eric “The Hammer” Martel Bahoeli (11-5, 7 KOs) in a scheduled 8 round fight at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

It’s hard to believe that Toney is still fighting at 47, because his career has been pretty much over since his two losses to Samuel Peter in 2006 and 2007. Those fights seemed to take the best of what’s left of Toney.

Nowadays, Toney is more of a journeyman fighter who mostly faces lesser heavyweights. Sadly, Toney has lost his last two fights against Jason Gavern and Charles Ellis. Those are guys that a prime Toney would have likely beaten with ease.

There are a lot of boxing fans who would like to see Toney retire because they feel that he’s taking too much punishment in the ring and starting to slur his words when he speaks. When you compare how Toney used to speak years ago when he was fighting at super middleweight against guys like Roy Jones Jr. in 1994 and compare it to how he speaks today, it’s like night and day. Toney sounds completely different.

Toney started his career out at middleweight in 1988. He then moved up to super middleweight in 1992 and found a lot of success in that weight class, beating the likes of Doug DeWitt, Iran Barkley, Tony Thornton, and Charles Williams before moving up to light heavyweight in 1994 to fight Roy Jones Jr.

Toney started at light heavyweight until 1997, and then moved up to cruiserweight. You can make an argument that Toney should have stayed at super middleweight because he was very hard to beat in that weight class, and he didn’t have to take as much punishment in that weight class like he did when he moved up to cruiserweight and eventually heavyweight. At 5’9”, Toney was small for cruiserweight, and he’s clearly too small to be fighting at heavyweight.

It’s unknown why Toney is still fighting at his age, because the money that he’s making in fights against the likes of Gavern, Ellis and Bahoeli can’t be that good, given that he’s not fighting for world titles anymore.

Bahoeli, 34, has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights in losses to Lucas Browne and Dillon Carman. However, Bahoeli can punch a little, and he could give Toney a lot of problems with his power. At 6’3”, Bahoeli will have a big size advantage over Toney.

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