Ittttttts Showtime! Redemption II Showdown, Preview

Hollywood- After much anticipation, today marks the spot where boxing fans all around the world will get a chance to kick off the new year with what will undoubtedly be an epic battle for the ages. Thanks to Goosen Tutor Promotions, Don King Promotions, and Duva Boxing, residents as well as tourist at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino will be treated to what is easily the biggest fight card to date in Hollywood, Florida. In the main event, the two challenger’s will be no stranger to one another, and if tonight’s matchup is anything like the show they put on in the Staples Center last september in Los Angeles, there will be no let down. ‘Fighter Breakdowns’ James “Lights Out” Toney (69W-5L-3Dr-43Ko’s): One of the perinneal fighters of this modern day era in boxing. He began with an amatuer career that saw him win 33 of 35 fights, and it’s been literally ‘lights out’ for most of his opponents ever since. His pro career started out in spectactular fashion as he racked up 44 wins, 0 losses, and 2 draws prior to being temporarily derailed by Roy Jones Jr. in a 12 round decision where for the first time Toney was simply outboxed. Questions surrounded his camp leading up to the fight as words like “lack of focus” started to hit the media waves in light of him being well over weight 6weeks prior to the fight. This fight was the first indication that Toney was ‘human’ in the eyes of most boxing insider’s because prior to, it seemed as if Toney could do no wrong. When Toney has come in focused and prepared there hasn’t been too many to withstand his ring knowledge, and defensive skills which are only rivaled in today’s boxing world by the young “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins. His resume contains the best available competition in every weight class that he’s been a part of. As a middleweight he fought the likes of Roy Jones Jr, Iran Barkley, and Michael Nunn, as a lightheavyweight he fought Vassiliy Jirov, and as a heavyweight he fought Evander Holyfield, John Ruiz, Hasim Rachman, and Dominick Guinn. Quite a tall list of A, B, grade fighters, and in each matchup he dominated at most points, and more often than not, walked away with the “W”. His experience in the ring combined with the skill level encompassed within, sets him apart from most of the pack and keeps his name in the mix for title contention. The only thing that can stop Toney, is indeed Toney, and that has been evident throughout his career. Samuel “Nigerian Nightmare” Peter (27W-1L-22Ko’s): Easily one of the most powerful fighters in the heavyweight divison today. Viewed by some as one dimensional, but when you have the power he boast there isn’t a need for too many other dimensions, as few have walked away from his punching power. His resume doesn’t boast the big names that Toney’s does, which is why most didn’t initially give him a chance…That was until he was able to get the decision last september over Toney, albeit a questionable one. In the ring he is known to have excellent handspeed for a guy his size, but a past lack of stamina has typically been an area of importance. Many thought that he did enough to get past his biggest opponent aside from Toney, (Wladimir Klitschko), but after knocking the giant heavyweight down three times in the match, it was apparently the stamina issue that didn’t allow him to finish him off. The late rounds have proven to be a challenge, but in wake of losing 9 pounds from the last matchup, maybe he will finally find his way past this issue which appears to be, (like with James Toney), the only thing that can slow him down. ‘Predictions’ (Peter-Vs-Toney) I see a track meet from the beginning. Both fighter’s have made a concerted effort to condition themselves for 12 rounds and I expect them both to show the fruit’s of their labor in the ring. If conditioning isn’t an issue for either fighter this time around, I expect it to come down to skill level. (Advantage Toney). If James can use his defense to confuse and wear down the ‘plow-ahead’ Peter, it could be a long night for the “Nigerian Nightmare”. Flipside is that if James tries to do too much and gets caught early and often, it could be a long night for him. Im not a betting man but I put my money on Toney out-pointing Peter after weathering a mid-fight storm where Samuel will catch the attention of Toney and wake him from a mid-fight lapse. I see the Toney winning on minimal two scorecards, with a third in a draw, possibly leading to the Peter camp requesting a trilogy. (Jose Rivera-Vs-Travis Simms): In the undercard, I see a very good matchup between Jose Rivera and Travis Simms. Rust could affect Simms, but the rest he had could have helped him stay fresh and polished. I see him outpointing Jose Rivera, possibly even getting a late round stoppage using his ‘under-the-radar’ power and skill. Jose Rivera is a great fighter and will have his moments, but I think Simms’ will will be too much in the end. Remember where you heard it first!

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.