That’s the word from John Arthur, James Toney’s trainer of 12 years. Despite barely putting up a fight against Randy Couture at UFC 118, James Toney’s camp says they are not done with MMA. Whether or not they’re done with the UFC is a different story. Dana White made it pretty clear following UFC 118 that he wouldn’t promote James Toney or any other professional boxer again. Arthur says if that’s the case, then send us the release papers, James Toney is going to be a two-sport athlete with or without the UFC.
“Well, then Dana needs to send me some release papers,” he said. “If we don’t plan on fighting in the UFC, send me the release paper and we’ll take it to the next level. I know the UFC is the No. 1 [promotion] in mixed martial arts, but if Dana voiced that we don’t fight for him anymore, send me the release papers. I don’t have any problem with that.”
“He’s going to be doing groundwork and boxing,” Arthur said. “He’s going to be a two-sport athlete. The reality is that he wants to do it, and he will do it again. I think the next time I match him up, I’ll make sure I’ll matchup at least 50-50 equal. The cards were stacked against him.”
Without naming names, Toney’s MMA trainer, Trevor Sherman says there’s “plenty of interest” in Toney from other MMA promotions, so if the UFC does in fact release him, he shouldn’t have too much trouble finding fights. Whether or not he’ll be able to find $500,000+ paydays like he found in the UFC is a different question entirely, and if he can’t, will his desire to be a “two-sport athlete” suddenly disappear?
That remains to be seen, but for now Toney is shifting his focus back to boxing. He’s scheduled to defend his IBA heavyweight title on Nov. 5 in New Orleans. He doesn’t have an opponent yet.
Image via CombatLifestyle.com