American former professional boxer who competed from 1988 to 2017. He held multiple world championships in three weight classes, including the IBF and lineal middleweight titles from 1991 to 1993, the IBF super middleweight title from 1993 to 1994, and the IBF cruiserweight title in 2003. Toney also challenged twice for a world heavyweight title in 2005 and 2006, and was victorious the first time but was later stripped due to a failed drug test. Overall, he competed in fifteen world title fights across four weight classes.
Stylistically a defensive boxer, Toney utilized the shoulder roll technique taught to him by veteran trainer Bill Miller, who had once trained heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles.
Toney was an exceptional counterpuncher and inside fighter, who often preferred to fight off the ropes. He possessed fast hand speed and respectable punching power throughout his career and is also noted for his toughness, having never lost any of his 92 professional bouts via stoppage.
In 1991 and 2003, Toney was voted Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. In 2011, The Ring magazine ranked him as tenth on their list of the “10 best middleweight title holders of the last 50 years.
He has also made a one-time appearance in mixed martial arts, losing to Randy Couture at UFC 118. In 2001, Toney played the role of Joe Frazier in the movie Ali alongside Will Smith.
Toney is well known for his “old school” or “throwback” style of boxing, which consisted of frequent head movement and shoulder rolls to avoid punches, as well as his ability to fight off the ropes using slick upper body movement and in-fighting.
As such, he is said to have possessed a very high ring IQ. Although Toney was considered a defensive fighter by many, he still applied pressure to his opponents and usually forced his style against them; in some ways he could be considered a defensive pressure fighter.
Because of his experience, defensive skills and extremely durable chin, he was never stopped in his 29-year professional career and was rarely knocked down.
Professional Boxing record of James Toney: Total 92 Wins 77 By knockout 47 Losses 10
Draws 3 No contests 2.