If there were ever any doubt that boxing is not an occupation for the easily discouraged, we offer the case of Samuel The Nigerian Nightmare Peter, a hammer-fisted 26-year-old with 22 KOs among his 27 wins and a lone loss, a controversial decision to heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. In September, Peter split a decision against James Lights Out Toney (69-5-3, 43 KOs), supposedly to determine who would be the mandatory challenger to the World Boxing Councils champion, Kazakhstans Oleg Maskaev. But damn if the match wasnt so close that the WBC wants to see a rematch before offering the winner a straight shot at Maskaev. Peter, quoted in promotional materials, has said of that first bout: I beat him the first time.... He wont improve.
Peters charge now is to whomp on Toney thoroughly enough to demonstrate he deserves a title shot. In that, Peter indeed will toil. Both he and Toney are highly regarded; both are among the top five or so heavyweights in the world. Also, for this rematch, Toney hired Billy Tae Bo Blanks to whip his 38-year-old self into fighting shape. Arrive on time if you want to check out the undercard, which includes a lesser title fight between José Antonio Rivera and Travis Simms. Your sweet science lesson begins at the Hard Rock Live.
Sat., Jan. 6, 4 p.m.