Saturday, 19 July 2014 15:59

Roy Jones Jr returns July 26: James Toney faces 6'10" 300+ lb opponent on same card

Written by
They are back....
Fight legend Roy Jones Jr (57-8, 40 KO) will step in the ring again next Saturday in Riga, Latvia.

And another fight legend, James Toney, will join him...

But they won't be fighting each other.

Jones, 45, told on Thursday that he will be facing a Brit named Courtney Fry (18-5, 6 KOs) in a 12-round cruiserweight bout.

"I know he'll give it all he got, which is what I want from any opponent," Jones said.

"I want to go out and do my thing and take what I've been doing in the gym to the boxing ring."

Jones vs Fry will be the main event while the former's nemesis, James Toney (76-9-3, 46 KOs), will battle 6'10" 330 lb Evgeny Orlov (15-12-1, 11 KOs), 35, of Russia in an undercard bout.

Twenty years ago Jones vs Toney (1994) was one of the most anticipated fights of the era as both men were widely considered Top 5 pound-for-pound warriors.

Roy Jones Jr (26-0) vs James Toney (44-0-2) was contested at super middleweight (168 lbs) and Jones won a lopsided decision over the latter who had problems making weight. (Toney purportedly entered training camp a mere 6 weeks prior to the fight weighing a whopping 214 lbs).

Now, at 45, both fighters are still gunning for spoils in the fight game.

So should we expect to see Jones vs Toney 2 anytime soon?

"I'm not doing that. For what reason? What do I gain from that? What am I gaining from that fight," Jones said.

"I already beat him and beating him again does nothing for me. Besides, I want to fight for the cruiserweight title. I ain't interested in going up to heavyweight again."

Currently ranked the No. 2 cruiserweight in the U.S. by BoxRec, Jones last fought in December, cruising to a twelve round unanimous decision over Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf (then 17-4-1, 8KOs). The win was Jones' third in a row but he is only 5-4 in his last nine bouts.

Despite showing flashes of brilliance he was, unsurprisingly, a far cry from even the diminished  version of the Roy Jones of 2004 or 2005.

And James Toney has not fared much better lately....

In April 2013, Lucas Browne (then 15-0, 14 KOs) soundly defeated Toney in Melbourne, Australia. The scores were 117-111, 119-109 and 120-108.

And in November, after KOing Matt Legg in the UK's famed Prizefighter tournament, Toney lost his subsequent bout - a three rounder - via a unanimous decision to Jason Gavern.

Russian big boy, Evgeny Orlov, left, pounds away


Can a shopworn 5'10" Toney muster enough skill to defeat a 6'10" pro who is 10 years his junior?

And will next Saturday serve as the 'swan song' for either legend?
Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.


{youtube}ISVHe1mjmHs{/youtube} Jones vs Benmakhlouf highlights - Dec 2013