I still don’t know what to make of Freddie Roach broaching the topic of MMA. On one hand, Roach is inarguably a legend of the boxing corner, having forged steel in an incredible training career. On the other hand, he dismissed Fedor Emelianenko’s stand-up ability prior to the fight with Roach pupil Andrei Arlovski. If he watched tape on Emelianenko before making that comment, it must’ve been fuzzy.
Because Roach can make a unique comment on James Toney’s entry into MMA, it was only a matter of time before someone asked him about it. And Roach obliged, telling CraveOnline that Toney was being positioned for a fall.
“I think they’re using James as a way to say MMA fighters are better than boxers,” he said. “If he fights a quality ground guy, once he goes to the ground he’s gonna get killed. But if a guy chooses to stand up with James, James is gonna destroy him. That’s why they call him ‘Lights Out.’ I really don’t think there’s one fighter in MMA that could stand with James.”
Like so much of what results from MMA, it depends on the fighter. If Toney stands and “trades” with Kimbo Slice or David Abbott, yes, he goes home happy. But boxers are not kickboxers, and the threat of a foot traveling at velocity towards your thigh, ribs, or head is not an offense Toney is used to.
We’ve seen solid boxers flail in K-1 for that very reason. Toney has two very good hands. They do not necessarily beat two hands, two feet, two elbows, and two knees.
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