IBU Crowns New Heavyweight World Champion in James Toney
On April 7 at Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, the IBU crowned a new heavyweight world champion in James "Lights Out" Toney (74-7-3, 44 KOs), a 7-time world champion in multiple weight classes, when he defeated Bobby "The Celtic Warriorï" Gunn (21-5-1, 18 KOs). Toney entered the ring to Walking in Memphis, and walked out as an 8-time world champion and a new piece of 24-karat gold hardware thanks to his still-formidable power and veteran ring savvy.
Round 1 opened with Toney on the attack, stalking Gunn and keeping his left hand low to lure in his opponent, but Gunn would have none of it. Gunn continued to back pedal to lure Toney close so he could land his left hook-an effective weapon throughout the fight. Toney predominantly headhunted, landing the more telling shots and, sensing his dominance, picked up the pace in Round 4 with jolting jabs and left-right combinations-despite getting tagged by the powerful hook from Gunn-who had no problem eating Toney's punches-even smiling and egging Toney on. A stiff overhand right from Toney punctuated the fifth round, one in which Gunn failed to land little of note while only using the left hand with his right hand by his side. Unfortunately, the referee deemed Gunn unfit to answer the bell for Round 6, due to Gunn suffering a broken right hand in that fourth round.