James Toney, the retired American professional boxer, has an estimated net worth of $2 million. Throughout his boxing career from 1988 to 2017, Toney achieved great success and held multiple world championships in three weight classes. He secured the IBF and lineal middleweight titles from 1991 to 1993, the IBF super middleweight title from 1993 to 1994, and the IBF cruiserweight title in 2003.
Toney’s style was characterized by his defensive tactics, utilizing the shoulder roll technique taught by his trainer, Bill Miller. Known for his exceptional counterpunching and inside fighting skills, Toney competed in fifteen world title fights across four weight classes and never suffered a stoppage defeat in his 92 professional bouts.
He was honored as Fighter of the Year in 1991 and 2003 by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America, respectively. Toney’s impressive career also included a notable appearance in mixed martial arts, as well as a role in the film “Ali” in 2001, where he portrayed Joe Frazier.
Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:
|Net Worth:||$2 Million|
|Monthly Salary:||$40 Thousand|
|Annual Income:||$1 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Professional Boxer|
Learn more: Richest Boxers in the World
Table of Contents
James Toney, born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had a tumultuous early life before becoming a renowned boxer. He first entered a boxing gym at age 11, but it wasn’t until after high school that he seriously pursued the sport.
Growing up, he lived alongside the families of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Buster Mathis Jr., and his absent father was a boxer. Toney was involved in street fighting and sold crack cocaine during his teenage years.
Despite receiving football scholarship offers, he chose boxing over football due to his independent nature. Toney also underwent a significant weight loss, shedding 205 lbs, and was involved in an altercation with Deion Sanders during a Michigan training camp.
James Toney had a successful amateur career, with a record of 33 wins, including 32 knockouts, and 2 losses. He made his professional debut on October 26, 1988, defeating Stephen Lee by technical knockout in the second round. Toney was scouted and trained by Gregory Owens during his teenage years, who also gave him the nickname “Lights Out.”
Unfortunately, Toney’s manager, Johnny “Ace” Smith, was killed after his seventh professional fight. Jackie Kallen then took over as his manager, and Toney also worked with legendary trainer Bill Miller, known for developing Toney’s unique “old school” fighting style.
James Toney had a successful middleweight career, winning the IBF and lineal titles by knocking out Michael Nunn in 1991. Despite being the underdog, Toney landed a powerful left hook in the eleventh round, securing a stoppage victory and earning the Ring Magazine Fighter Of The Year award.
He defended his titles with disputed victories, including a split decision win over Dave Tiberi that sparked controversy and an investigation into corruption. Toney’s last middleweight fight was against Mike McCallum in 1992.
After defeating Iran Barkley for the IBF super middleweight title, Toney won five fights in 1993 and successfully defended his title against Tony Thornton and Tim Littles. He faced former IBF Light Heavyweight champion Prince Charles Williams, overcoming a point deduction and a swollen eye to knock Williams out in the final round.
However, his undefeated record was tarnished by a loss to Roy Jones Jr. in a highly anticipated bout. Toney blamed his weight for the loss. He later moved up in weight classes and had mixed results, including a loss to Montell Griffin and a win against Mike McCallum.
James Toney made a successful comeback in 1999, defeating notable opponents in the cruiserweight division. He won against Adolpho Washington, Steve Little, Ramón Garbey, and others, setting up a fight against Vassiliy Jirov for the IBF Cruiserweight title.
In a thrilling battle, Toney knocked Jirov down in the 12th round and won the fight, becoming a three-weight World Champion. Toney received several accolades, including “Comeback of the Year” and “Fighter of the Year.” He later moved up to the heavyweight division but eventually returned to cruiserweight. However, in a match against Denis Lebedev, Toney struggled due to a knee injury and lost by unanimous decision.
James Toney, known for his success in lower weight divisions, made his move to the heavyweight division in 2003. He made a strong statement by defeating Evander Holyfield in the 9th round.
Toney continued his heavyweight journey with victories over Rydell Booker and John Ruiz, but the latter was overturned to a no-contest due to a failed drug test. Toney faced challenges against Samuel Peter, resulting in two losses. He had a controversial split decision win against Fres Oquendo and secured victories against Damon Reed and Bobby Gunn.
However, Toney faced defeats against Lucas Browne and Jason Gavern in the Prizefighter Series. His final bout took place in 2017, where he won the WBF heavyweight title by stopping Mike Sheppard in the 6th round. After a long career, Toney officially announced his retirement.
Mixed Martial Arts Career
James Toney, at the age of 42, signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC after talks with Dana White. With coaching from Juanito Ibarra and later Trevor Sherman, Toney made his MMA debut against Randy Couture at UFC 118.
However, Couture quickly took Toney down and submitted him with an arm-triangle choke in the first round. Following the loss, Toney was released from his UFC contract. The fight received attention but also criticism for being perceived as a freak show fight.
Throughout his boxing career, James Toney amassed considerable earnings, totaling at least $10 million from purses and Pay Per View (PPV) bonuses. While his precise financial details may vary, there are notable fights where Toney’s earnings are known.
One such significant bout was his encounter with Evander Holyfield in 2003. Toney reportedly received a purse of approximately $2 million for this fight. Toney showcased his skills and emerged victorious, defeating Holyfield by TKO in the ninth round.
Another notable fight was Toney’s first match against Samuel Peter in 2006. Toney is estimated to have earned around $1 million for this fight, excluding PPV bonuses. The bout ended in a controversial split decision win for Peter, resulting in a memorable encounter.
Their rematch took place in 2007, where Toney’s purse remained at approximately $1 million. Unfortunately, Toney was unable to secure victory this time, as Peter emerged triumphant in a unanimous decision.
James Toney ventured into the film industry with a notable appearance in the 2001 biographical sports film “Ali,” directed by Michael Mann. The film centered around the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, portrayed by Will Smith.
Toney had the opportunity to showcase his acting skills by portraying another iconic boxer, Joe Frazier. His role as Frazier in “Ali” allowed Toney to bring his firsthand knowledge and experience in the boxing world to the silver screen, adding an authentic touch to the portrayal of the famous rivalry between Ali and Frazier.