James Toney's best at Globe December 6
FOUR years after winning a Commonwealth boxing medal for Ghana, James Obedi Toney is still wild and in pursuit of an honour which eluded Victor Ativor and Prince Mama Mohammed.
In Ghana's rich boxing history, Ativor and Prince Mama came close to wining world titles for the country in the heavier weights. But they both lost to Tony Mundin and James Williamson respectively.
"I am young and still growing. So it is reasonable to look beyond Africa and aim at world titles in the middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions," he told Graphic Sports.
In 13 professional fights since his Commonwealth achievement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1998, Obedi has exhibited a savage instinct, clubbing down and out 12 of his 13 victims within the distance. Only one maintained consciousness till the end.
To the critics who doubt the credibility of his opponents so far, Obedi 'Hot Ice' Toney says "I have fought the best in Africa and two of the guys I've beaten went up in weight to win African titles. “What else do I have to prove?", he said.
To many, he still has a lot to prove and his managers, Landmark Promotions and Management Syndicate, have obliged to the sceptics demand to stage the 'Hot Ice' one more time at the Globe Cinema Hall in Accra next December 6. Having cleared the stables from Ghana to Nigeria to Benin; Togo to Congo, Obedi Toney has been at pains looking for the kind of puncher who is also durable enough to make him work all night.
"Someone who would bring out the best in me," he says. Landmark Promotions, a creation of the celebrated Kermah heritage, the makers of champions, complements Toney's claim, saying, "it is not in our tradition to wrap our fighters in wool."
Consequently, Obedi Toney will confront, probably, the toughest challenge yet in his career against Ivorian Jean Thomas, ranked third by the African Boxing Commission (ABC).
With a professional record of 8-2-0 and 6 kos, the Ivorian is said to be one of the most rugged Africans in middleweight prize fighting.
His fight against Toney tops a bill of nine bouts, packaged by Landmark Productions to climax the Islamic Ramadan and herald this year's Farmers Day.
In the undercards, lightweight Ange Adjaho will take on Safo Tyson while Abdulai Amidu engages Elol Cyrile of Cote d' Ivoire in an international super featherweight contest.
The rest are Joshua Clottey v Ayitey Powers; Malik Jabir v Ben Tutu; Philip Kotey v Ishmeal Tetteh; Alex Brew v Badoo Akuetteh and Mustapha Appiah v Alfred Odai.