James Toney can talk all he wants about crossing over to MMA to prove to Dana White and everyone else that boxing is superior to MMA, but at the end of the day, the biggest reason he’s strapping on a pair of 4oz. gloves to fight a living legend in his own sport is money. He’s struggling to get fights and decent paydays in boxing, so he came looking for one in MMA. I’m not sure how much he made per fight in his boxing prime, but by today’s MMA pay standards, he’s estimated to make quite the paycheck according to Yahoo! Sports.
The UFC, led by former boxer-turned-promoter Dana White, has flourished. “MMA is the king of the [expletive] right now,” Toney said, which is another reason he’s here. He’ll make an estimated $750,000 to $1 million Saturday. In boxing, “I can’t get no fights.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve it. James Toney isn’t a Jose Canseco or a Dave Batista with zero pro fighting experience. He has paid his combat sports dues ten times over and managed to garner far more interest in this card than any of his fellow co-headliners have. I’d say that’s worth a paycheck on par with many of the sport’s top stars.