James Toney v. Fres Oquendo Round by Round and Post-Fight Comments

December 14, 2008

Cabazon, California - James "Lights Out" Toney was given a controversial split decision over Fres Oquendo Saturday night in the main event at the beautiful Morongo Casino in Cabazon, California. The victory gave Toney some vacant title belts, but the bigger question was whether it put him in line to fight either Vitaly or Wladmir Klitschko. Here was the round by round as I saw it on press row:

Round 1

Both fighters attempt to establish a jab early. Toney lands a big right hand that wobbles Oquendo in the middle of the round, and forces Oquendo to hold on. However, he is unable to follow up and Oquendo is the more active boxer in the last minute of round. Close Round. 10-9 Toney

Round 2

Toney clearly has the faster hands and is comfortable leaving his hands at his side at times. This round he seems content to lay back and time Oquendo which he does effectively enough to win the round. Toney 10-9

Round 3

Toney starts the round fast and lands several stinging jabs to Oquendo's face. However, he seems content to showboat and play around with Oquendo and gets hit with several overhand rights this round. Oquendo maintains a busier pace and is the aggressor. 10-9 Oquendo

Round 4

Excitement here as Toney is pushed down by Oquendo and falls entirely out of the ring! Wow, he reminded me of how Shaq falls on the basketball court, you never realize how far he is going to go flying until the last second. The crowd is angry and starts chanting "Toney, Toney" an Lights Out tries to oblige by going on the attack. 10-9 Toney

Round 5

Toney constantly has a smile on his face and appears patient and in control. But, he isn't landing very effectively and Oquendo does well countering. Oquendo is the busier fighter this round. 10-9 Oquendo

Round 6

Toney lands a big right hand early in the round and Oquendo is forced to hold again. Toney doesn't follow up and instead is okay playing games as he fake wobbles when Oquendo lands a decent shot or lays back on the ropes intentionally. 10-9 Toney

Round 7

Toney starts the round slow this time and Oquendo is able to land some right hands. Toney closes the round with an uppercut and a short left, but was outworked once again. 10-9 Oquendo

Round 8

Oquendo is penalized a point for hitting Toney behind the head. He had been warned twice before. Nonetheless Oquendo stays the busier fighter and gets the better of Toney in the exchanges. 9-9 Even

Round 9

Toney begins the round with a strong counter right hand and tries to go on the attack but Oquendo blocks most of the shots. Oquendo lands several right hands in the middle of the round and Toney is beginning to look frustrated. He appears to be waiting for Oquendo to make a mistake or get tired and neither is happening. 10-9 Oquendo

Round 10

Toney starts out with some effective jabs that snap Oquendo's head back, but Oquendo lands several right hands and is the busier fighter again. 10-9 Oquendo

Round 11

Oquendo starts the round strong and lands some effective overhand rights. Now, Oquendo's jab is the more effective punch as he peppers Toney who may be running out of gas. Crowd chanting for JT but nothing is changing. Now when Toney goes to the ropes I'm not so sure its a ploy. Decisive round. 10-9 Oquendo

Round 12

Last round and this fight is closer than everyone expected. Toney waits and waits for a counter right but he has been waiting all night. Oquendo fills the time by throwing punches and wins the round. 10-9 Oquendo

TheDailySportsHerald.Com Card: 115-112 Oquendo
Winner: James Toney by Split Decision
Judges: David Mendoza (115-112), Marty Denkin (114-113), Tony Crebs (111-116)

CompuBox Stats
Punches Thrown: 491 (Toney) 740 (Oquendo)
Punches Landed: 154 (Toney) 222 (Oquendo)


What did we learn from this fight? It depends on who you ask.

1. Dan Goosen, the event's promoter was almost apologetic over the relatively uneventful fight, essentially blaming Oquendo's fighting style. In reference to having to replace injured heavyweight Tony Thompson on the card, he admitted "If it wasn't a week before the fight, Oquendo would not have been the change."

On Toney's future, "He earned his shot to fight for the Heavyweight Championship whereas Rahman got it without earning it."

On the close decision, "You're not going to win in California by holding and running."

2. James Toney, of course, had his own opinion on the fight, his future, and other boxers.

"I proved I could move....It was an ugly fight and I won. That one judge was blind."

"I'm the past, the present, and the future. I'm not going nowhere."

On the Klitschko-Rahman fight, "It was bum versus bum and may the best bum win. I have no respect for the Klitschkos."

"You guys (in the media) are always putting people up there like they're the greatest thing since sliced cheese. A-la the Klitschkos, a-la the De La Hoyas', a-la the Roy Jones' and then they fall flat on their face, and you all end up with your thumb up your ass. I'm the last of a dying breed. Me and Bernard Hopkins. Even Bernard Hopkins ain't on my level."

3. I asked Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola who he thought won the fight right before the decision was announced and he stated, "Oquendo," seconds later when the decision was announce he just shook his head and smiled.

4. I asked Fres Oquendo why he didn't get the decision.

"The boxing world needs to stand up and fight for fighters like myself...It's not fair."

"Politics...the black eye of the sport...he's promoted by Goosen and of course they pay the judges, you know, et cetera, et cetera"

"I did what Holyfied didn't do, I did what Ruiz didn't do, I dominated him."

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for The Daily Sports Herald

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