5 Reasons Toney/Couture Won't Settle The Boxing/MMA DebateS

Next month at UFC 118, boxer James Toney will take on mixed martial artist Randy Couture, in a bout some are saying will decide which sport is tops. It will decide no such thing.



1. James Toney is 41 years old. Forty-one! Muhammad Ali was getting beaten by Trevor Berbick at 39. Mike Tyson, who never met a payday he didn't like, hasn't fought since he was 39. And Evander Holyfield, at 41 years old, was beaten by, yes, James Toney.

What does Toney have left in the tank? Whatever he's got, it's no longer an indicator of his talent.

2. Randy Couture is 47. Yikes. MMA allows fighters to fight on longer than in boxing, but since turning 40, Couture is 6-5. Even if he gets beaten by Toney, there was close to a 50 percent chance of that happening no matter who he's fighting.

3. It's an MMA match. We're pitting an MMA legend against a first time fighter, and not expecting it to be a massacre? Despite what Shaq Vs. would have you believe, the best athletes rarely lose at their own sport to first timers. Michael Jordan: awesome athlete. Would've lost a home run derby to David Eckstein.

Couture, is a ground-and-pound guy. One takedown on Toney, and Toney won't know what to do. If this were a boxing match, Toney might have the upper hand. But it's not. It's a lifelong MMA guy taking on, essentially, a guy who jumped out of the crowd.

4. Even Dana White says it's a joke.

The acrimony between the street-hardened Toney, 41, and White reached a peak this month when White confessed he "got caught up in the MMA-vs.-boxing thing," and considered Toney's participation a "freak show."

"Toney will get his ass kicked on August 28 and I'm counting the days," White said.


5. It's settling a debate that shouldn't exist.
MMA vs. Boxing? Who cares, other than the pay-per-view companies. Boxers box. MMAers, um, martial art. They're two very different sports, each with their own fanbases, their own histories, their own advantages and shortcomings, and there's more than enough room in the world for the both of them.