James Toney has gone from challenging the Klitschkos to challenging, errrr, me!
Cue up "Get In The Ring" by Guns and Roses.
Veteran heavyweight James "Lights Out" Toney was none too happy about some of the online articles that appeared after his plodding win over the not-so-dangerous Damon Reed last week in California, including one by this writer, that said Toney was not serious anymore and should get out of the fight game before he gets hurt by a Klitschko brother or someone else (read the article that got Toney so mad here).
Toney was apparently particularly incensed by my contention that he shouldn't be licensed to box in the future.
Being a James Toney fan who thought he beat Sam Peter in their first fight, I didn't make such a suggestion lightly, but based it on both his career-high weight in his last fight (257 pounds, 20 over his previous high weight) and the fact that I have noticed a bad deterioration in his speech patterns recently.
Toney's stated desire to fight one of the champion Klitschko brothers, who are (no matter what Toney thinks) big, strong, talented and in contrast to James, always in spectacular condition, seems to me to verge on the suicidal.
And Toney, 42, has answered back through his usual press organ, Fighthype.com.
After attributing his weight against Reed to be the result of "mistakes" made by "me and my nutritionist" (Ronald McDonald, perhaps?), Toney issued a profanity-laced tirade that included threats of physical violence and also a challenge to the writers who criticize him.
How much should I get for sparring three rounds with James Toney?
"For some of these b*tch *ss Web sites to be talking sh*t about me saying I shouldn't even be licensed is ridiculous. If I shouldn't be licensed, then Damon Reed should never pick up another pair of gloves considering I beat him every second of every round," Toney told Fighthype.
"Lights Out" then went on to evince great disdain for his critics in the boxing media with obscenity-laced bravado.
"They are pen-pushing puppets. In fact, I want you to put this out there. F*ck Eastside Boxing, f*ck Bleacher Report, f*ck Boxingscene and all of these other Web sites that talked sh*t afterwards. If I see them at a fight or something, I'm going to bring the streets to their *ss," Toney threatened.
"In fact, I got $10,000 for any one of these b*tch *ss writers that think they can spar three rounds with me. Let's see how many takers you get. I hate sh*t talkers that don't fight, whether it's a fan behind a keyboard or a b*tch *ss writer behind a pen. Any Web site that had something to say about James Toney, I will see you sooner or later and f*ck you!"
Well now, that's an interesting offer.
I suppose I could turn the tables and challenge James Toney to complete a Ph.D in English, to see if he could compete on my turf, but no doubt he'd consider that wussing out.
While I am not the pencil-necked geek who Toney envisions writing articles about him, and am taller if not heavier than him physically, I am also not a professional boxer, so I am at a great disadvantage getting in a ring with any version of a veteran like James Toney.
In fact, doing so would make me seem as foolhardy as I have accused Toney of being in continuing to fight.
However, I'm willing to be a fool if the price is right.
Add a zero to that figure of $10,000, and we'll talk, James.
You know where to find me.
<Johnny Walker also writes for Boxinginsider.com>