Hard Times For The Former Champ
James Toney is a legend of boxings modern era. Toney's defensive skills have been described as magical over the past 20 years. His trademark shoulder role and chin tuck, made him a nightmare for offensive fighters to land clean power punches on. Despite earning huge money during his career James Toney is currently going through some tough times, if online reports are correct.
James Toney earnt huge money against big names such as Roy Jones Jr, Vassiliy Jirov, Evander Holyfield and John Ruiz. In these bouts Toney was earning purses consisting of several million dollars at a time. Toney was never one to hold back in pre and post fight interviews and press conferences and this generated a huge fan base and he was an attraction to see.
Recently several leading boxing writers and sources online were reporting that Toney was still fighting due to money issues. Despite Toney clearly speaking worse than ever before and leading boxing writers to describe the boxing legend as punch drunk and inadequate to fight, calls are growing for Toney to not get commissioned to fight in the future. But Toney's in a tough spot if all media reports are correct and Toney may in fact need the money. Boxing is the only thing Toney has ever known to do and he has entertained the masses over the years, to the detriment of his health at the moment.
Toney fought Lucas Browne in Australia a few years ago. His purse for this would have been estimated to be close to $100 000. Since then Toney has lost several times and he is now fighting on the club circuit in the US. It’s hard to imagine his most recent bout and loss to Charles Ellis in Missouri would have earnt Toney a purse of more than $10 000. I hope I’m wrong and Toney did get a solid payday, but unfortunately he is now restricted to fighting on the club circuit for minimal money. Toney is loosing to fighters who wouldn’t have been able to land a clean punch on him ten years ago.
So if estimates are correct Toney’s financial net worth could be minimal. We hope the sources which have been putting information online are wrong and I hope Toney has a lot of money stored away. Circumstances like this are another reason why boxing needs to create a retirement fund. If 1-5% of fighter’s purses were put away for retirement, fighters would be able to retire comfortably even after they spend all earnings before retirement. It’s time for boxing to start looking after the fighters who have helped grow the sport.