HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach thinks the UFC is using James Toney to prove MMA fighters are better than boxers. At least that is what he said in a recent interview with Crave Online:
I think they’re using James as a way to say MMA fighters are better than boxers. If he fights a quality ground guy, once he goes to the ground he’s gonna get killed. But If a guy chooses to stand up with James, James is gonna destroy him. That’s why they call him “Lights Out”. I really don’t think there’s one fighter in MMA that could stand with James.
First of all, James Toney hounded Dana White and the UFC to sign him. They did. So, they are not using him any more than he’s using them or more than any employer/employee uses one another.
And frankly, both Toney and the UFC are going to make a ton of money off the whole thing, so who really cares.
As far as proving MMA fighters are better than boxers, that was answered a long time ago.
As far as Roach thinking there is not one MMA fighter that could stand with Toney… he may be right if they only chose to box, but when you add knees, kicks, and elbows to the equation, it changes the game and the odds dramatically.
Roach had another interesting comment about Toney in this interview. They asked him who had the most physical talent out of all the fighters he has trained (and he’s trained a lot). Here’s what Roach said:
Physical Talent is James Toney. If he just had discipline he would’ve been the greatest fighter of all time. But he doesn’t.
When you consider all the great fighters Freddie Roach has worked with, that is an incredible statement. He has worked with such boxers as Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Vladimir Klitschko, Michael Moorer, and Amir Khan. And he has also worked with MMA fighters as well, including Andre Arlovski, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, and Tito Ortiz.
Roach is not working with Toney this time though. Instead, Toney is working with boxing/MMA trainer Juanito Ibarra, the man who helped Quinton “Rampage” Jackson win the UFC light heavyweight title by knocking out Chuck Liddell.
Much of how far Ibarra will be able to take Toney will depend on who he gets matched up with. All we can do now is wait to see who draws the Toney card.