... no one is discussing the James Toney vs. Randy Couture fight yet.
Toney is one of my favorite boxers of all time. I'd give Randy a slight edge due to the obvious experience standpoint... but at +500, my money would be on Toney. That betting line is straight up retarded.
"Dirty Boxing" is just another word for people who can't punch correctly... or well for that matter.
Toney has the advantage anywhere he can throw a punch, however, dirty boxing isn't just punches from a clinch, it's a clinch, pressed up against the cage and working the short upper-cut, elbows. Randy has the most effective dirty boxing in MMA, IF and a big IF, Randy gets Toney in a clinch and pressed against the cage, it won't be pretty. Randy was able to hold Brock in the dirty boxing clinch for a time and that's no small order.
In boxing, they get broken up a few seconds into a clinch, so James might be used to getting into a clinch, but he won't have a ref to let him out of it.
That said, I don't know that James will allow Randy that close without punishing him. Randy has never seen the likes of someone with James' hand speed and power in the ring. THAT BEING SAID, Randy isn't an ego driven, retarded fighter. He knows James will rule the strike game and Randy won't turn this into a striking war. Eventually, Randy will get the TD and James Toney will catch a GnP.
The fight either ends in a first round KO by James Toney or a third round TKO by Randy. Worst case scenario, a UD win for Randy.
I can virtually guarantee Couture will not land a meaningful punch on the feet all night... whether it be from the clinch or not.
Randy won't land anything from a short-mid-long range punch. Needless to say, James Toney is in another league as far as boxing is concerned. Randy isn't known to KO or TKO anyone from the clinch, it's more like a break down tactic, so I can get with that.
It's all about the TD. The fight will end on the ground or James will get a first round KO.
I shouldn't say James owns the strike game, that's too broad, he owns the boxing game. If he were to fight someone like Shogun, who can throw kicks, then its game over, but Randy has some lame ass kicks, so I don't think that's going to be anything then a distraction.
I love the definitions of dirty boxing... thanks. I just started learning about this MMA stuff yesterday along with cribbage and bocce.
Those of you who don't think "dirty boxing" exists in "boxing" haven't watched enough boxing... Or many Toney fights. The Jirov fight is as dirty as boxing gets.
Dirty boxing in pro boxing is more like punching from a hugging position and again, it's brief. An MT clinch in of itself is a pain to get out of and again, it's not just the clinch itself, it's the usage of the cage.
One of the biggest reasons Pride fighters had a hard time transitioning to the UFC was the dynamic of ring fighting vs cage fighting. Knowing how to use the cage is a huge advantage tactically, primarily when it comes to dirty boxing.
I'm not saying Toney is going to win the fight... there are two strategies that would totally work here, you've mentioned both. Toney getting taken to the ground - and some massive leg kicks.
That being said... on the feet... I'd be shocked to see Toney get dominated against the cage with punches. Toney isn't just some blown up middleweight - he is literally one of the top 10 most talented boxers of the decade (not saying best... saying talented - he never had the dedication to be an all time great - but he had the talent)... Toney grabs the backs of heads, swings with his shoulders and elbows, grabs lats and hips... he knows how to navigate the short game.
And if Couture got clipped by Liddell (who swings like a monkey) a Toney punch anywhere flush is going to put him out cold. I can also see him shutting sh*t down with a body shot.
I'm not even a couture fan. I could argue some legitimate points from either side, but James Toney only has one means of winning, whereas, Randy has multiple and multiple works out better in MMA. The big picture gives Randy the advantage.
The only real short fall about Randy's TD's, are that he's a Greco Roman wrestler, so he doesn't really shoot in from afar, which would be James' worst case scenario, but Randy's TD's are primarily from an upright, clinch position, with similarities to Judo, so again, well see if Randy will get in on him.
I'm not saying this fight is ALL Randy either. I think I give James Toney a better chance then most "MMA" fans, because I understand the gap between MMA boxing and Pro boxing. Randy has never faced anyone with James' hands. It'll depend on how quickly Randy figures out pace, distance & timing to work on Toney's weaknesses, but if Randy takes too long to feel James out, it could be too late. I think James will acclimate his pace & timing much quicker and sometimes, you don't get a chance to warm up before you get knocked out. Which is why I call a first round KO for Toney or a 2-3rd round TKO, potential UD for Randy.
You'd be hard pressed to find a gap in Toney's boxing... 83 pro fights, and been knocked on his ass exactly once.. by one of the nastiest uppercut combos in the history of boxing by a prime RJJ... which he popped right up from.
Should be an interesting fight. I've been waiting for a MMA fight with a real boxer. That being said, we may not be able to experience the boxing superiority if the fight goes immediately to the mat. Hopefully Toney took his training seriously enough and has some decent takedown defense prepared.