Heavyweight ex-contender James "Lights Out" Toney—when he’s not offering to fight boxing scribes for writing the truth about him and his career, trash-talking successful heavyweight champions who won’t give him the time of day, and hoodwinking gullible MMA fans into paying to watch him fight some of that sport’s relics—seems to be spreading light and sunshine wherever he goes.
Toney is supposedly fighting fellow combat sports veteran Ken Shamrock sometime, somewhere, later this year, in a rules-altered bout that apparently will severely limit the amount of time both men can spend rolling around on the ground to 30 seconds.
This should be good news for Toney, who showed all of the wrestling skill of an utter novice against Randy Couture while getting his out-of-shape butt handed to him last year in a farce UFC contest in Boston.
You’d think that rules change would cheer Toney up, but he seems to be in a fouler mood than ever. After creating quite a hubbub when Shamrock got a little aggressive with him at the presser—if you can call it that—for their supposed fight somewhere in the vague future, Toney has now lost his composure—and his membership—at his local gym as well.
According to Larry Brown Sports, Toney has been ejected from the California gym he normally trains at due to “an incident with another member.” Toney apparently got unruly and “made another member feel uncomfortable with a verbal and/or physical threat.” Toney’s membership at the 360 Health Club in Reseda, Calif., has now been revoked.
All joking aside, boxing fans can only hope this is not a further sign of the mental deterioration of James Toney. One side effect of pugilistic dementia, which Toney shows definite signs of through his slurred and garbled speech, is the inability to control one’s temper.
The incidents at the Shamrock presser and the gym definitely show an increasingly volatile Toney who often seems to be at the mercy of his emotions.
Toney should no longer be fighting in any version of combat sports, as most of us know by now.
That this once-great boxing champion continues doing so, and that no one seems to be trying to stop him, makes Toney’s decline a very public sports tragedy.