James Toney vs Mike McCallum II – Highlights (Tactical Middleweight REMATCH)


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August 29th, 1992. 8 months after their underrated tactical warfare which resulted in a 3 way split, still undefeated James Toney and Mike McCallum met a rematch with Toney’s IBF Middleweight Title on the line once again.

Prefight records; Toney 31(21)-0-2, McCallum 43(34)-1-1.

Going into the fight, the Toney (who turned 24 just 4 days ago) had commendable victories over Dave Tiberi, Francesco Dell’Aquila, Glenn Wolfe, Merqui Sosa, Reggie Johnson & Michael Nunn.

On the other hand, the seasoned 35 year old McCallum had notable wins over top oppositions such as Ayub Kalule, Donald Curry, Herol Graham, Julian Jackson, Luigi Minchillo, Michael Watson, Milton McCrory, Sean Mannion, Steve Collins & Sumbu Kalambay.

** However, Toney’s MD12 win over Tiberi was highly controversial as most observers consider the verdict to be daylight robbery. The outcome resulted in the immediate retirement of Tiberi due to frustrations and prompted U.S. Senator William Roth to call for an investigation into the corruption of the sport.

In the opening round, both fighters fought cautiously but established their jabs and rhythms in the bout.

Through the first half, McCallum was technically more efficient particularly with jabs, infighting abilities and ring generalship. However, Toney (just as in their first meeting) was able to connect with the more telling blows due to his better hand speed, mobility and reflexes.

After the midpoint, Toney was arguably the more effective fighter by a small margin.

The second half was just as competitive as the first 18 minutes where both displayed dazzling technical skills, athleticism and ring intelligence till the final bell.

In the 8th, McCallum was penalized 1 point for repeated low blows by referee Joe Cortez.

Interestingly, timeout was called by Cortez 6 times throughout the bout all for McCallum; once to penalize him for shots below the belt, twice to retie his gloves and thrice to replace his mouthpiece.

After 36 minutes of brilliant tactical action, Toney retained his IBF Middleweight Championship for the 6th time via MD with scores of 117-110 (2x) & 114-114. Harold Lederman had it 115-112 for James Toney.

What do you think won this fight? And feel free to share your scorecard with me if you have one.

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