James Toney to Rumble with Bare Knuckle Champ Bobby GunnWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Former three-division world champion James Toney (73-7-3, 2NC, 44 KO) will fight Bobby Gunn (21-4-1-1NC, 18 KO) on April 7th at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.
The 43 year old fighter who calls himself "Lights Out" isn't finished with boxing yet. James Toney looks to rebound from his one-sided unanimous decsion loss to cruiserweight Denis Lebedev in November and prove to the world he's still an elite fighter - at least as a heavyweight.
While his skills may be in doubt these days, James Toney's mouth certainly isn't as his penchant for smack has yet to wane. However, after viewing parts of the Toney-Gunn presser, some viewers have noticed what may be a deterioration is James Toney's speech.
So who is Bobby Gunn?
The 38 year old gun is 5'11" and purportedly had a successful amateur career, winning many tournaments and defeating the likes of Mads Larsen, Syd Vanderpool and Oba Carr. He is also a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.
Bobby "The Celtic Warrior" Gunn is also believed to be the current World Heavyweight Bare Knuckle Boxing (BKB) Champion and has competed in over 70 bare knuckle fights.
A cruiserweight as a pro boxer, Gunn typically weighs between 185 and 195 for his bouts. Gunn, who debuted as a 154 lb jr middleweight in 1989, started fighting at a young age. With a record of 11-2, Bobby Gunn took an 11 year hiatus from boxing in 1993. Upon his return to the ring in 2004, the fighter dubbed "Celtic Warrior" weighed 182 lbs. He is 10-2-1, 1NC with 10 knockouts since his comeback.
Gunn is not exactly a 'tomato can' as he has a TKO win over former Thomas Hearns opponent Shannon Landberg (then 58-11-3) and his last 10 wins have come via stoppage.
His only loses since 2004 were a fourth round stoppage to former light heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion Tomasz Adamek in 2009 and a first round TKO loss to then WBO Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Maccarinelli (then 25-1) in 2007.
Of note, Gunn's last pro boxing match was the loss to Adamek in July 2009.
Not mincing words himself, Gunn had some interesting things to say about James Toney at their heated press conference February 22nd:
"He was just being him and I'm not a man that he's used to dealing with. I don't take it off anyone I fight on the street or in the ring. It doesn't make a difference to me I told him that and he backed off, with his friend John Arthurs saying 'James don't fight on the street' but Toney tells everybody he fights on the streets."
"He says he will fight anywhere. He says he's an all-time great, a Hall of Fame fighter. He says he's done incredible things in history but his mouth will keep his opponents from having the respect that they should.
"He has a self-destructive attitude and it will keep him out of people's minds. Toney will never get the proper respect that he deserves because with his mouth, he has no respect for anybody in my opinion and he's a bully.
"He chose the wrong man when he chose me though and he's not going to do that to me!"
"The words that were exchange at the press conference were just the usual James Toney," Gunn told World Boxing News.
Regardless of his confidence, James Toney - even a faded version of "Lights Out" - will definitely be a step up for Gunn.
Bare Knucke Boxing
Bare knuckle boxing is, according to some, the original form of boxing. Hand wraps are optional and can be worn at the discretion of the fighter.
James Toney vs Bobby Gunn April 7th!
Photo By JD Meredith