Born: Aug. 24, 1968
Born James Nathaniel Toney on August 24, 1968 in Grand Rapids, MI. Following a 35-2 amateur career, Toney turned professional in 1988 and would win world titles in multiple weight divisions.
His first championship win came in 1991 via dramatic 11th round TKO over Michael Nunn for the IBF middleweight belt. He reigned for two years and defended successfully against Reggie Johnson (W 12), Mike McCallum (D 12, W 12) and Glenn Wolfe (W 12) among others before moving to 168 pounds to stop Iran Barkley for the IBF super middleweight strap via 9th round TKO. His epic 12 round decision win over IBF cruiserweight championship Vassiliy Jirov in 2003 was named “Fight of the Year” and earned Toney “Comeback of the Year” honors. Toney eventually campaigned at heavyweight, drawing with Hasim Rahman and defeating Rydell Booker, Dominick Guinn and Hall of Famer Evander Holyfield among others. Revered as an old school fighter, Toney was both technician and assassin in the ring, combining natural punching power, counterpunching prowess and deft defense, particularly his signature shoulder roll, to rack up victories with his throwback style.
Toney, who was managed by Jackie Kallen and trained by Bill Miller, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Freddie Roach for much of his career, hung up the gloves in 2017 with a 77-10-3 (47 KOs) professional record that includes wins over such notables as Anthony Hembrick, Tony Thornton, Doug DeWitt, Steve Little, Merqui Sosa, “Prince” Charles Williams and Fres Oquendo. Toney was named The Ring’s “Fighter of the Year” in 1991 and 2003.