LT: Well, let's get right down to it, Steve. I have noticed on the message boards and some of the bigger sites in boxing and our sister site Bad Left Hook at SB Nation-- the Toney talk is picking up, and it's kind of changing a little bit. In your mind, to what extent is there interest in at least watching this Couture-Toney fight? And what would you say is the-- you know, listen, everyone's got a different opinion, but what is the general attitude in the boxing community about this upcoming fight?SK: I think, at the very least, there is some intrigue. 'Cause, let's face it, there's always been that argument over who would win. I think that James is way out of his element here, but I think one thing James Toney has done is really talk up this event. The guy knows how to promote an event, how to draw headlines, and I think Dana White's gotten exactly what he wanted out of this. But is there interest? Yeah, there is a curiosity factor that exists. Saturday, we'll be out there watching some other fights and if we can somehow switch over and watch James Toney against Randy Couture... I think that there's gonna be people, whether they admit it or not, that wanna see just how James Toney fares. You know, James is a character, there's no doubt about that. One day he will be in the Hall of Fame, but he's a guy that's very boisterous, he's very brash, so I think that he's created a lot of interest for himself. But, yeah, there is a curiosity at the very least.
I got my start at SB Nation writing for Bad Left Hook. I'm a lifelong boxing fan and have had the privilege of meeting one of my idols, Muhammad Ali, on multiple occasions including sitting next to him on a plane ride from South Bend, IN to Atlanta, GA.
It could be my background as a boxing fan that takes the "MMA vs. boxing" edge off of Saturday night. I mean, it is clearly a case of a pro boxing legend fighting a mixed martial arts legend, but it does little to "prove" something in the grand scheme of things about which sport is better. I think Steve Kim said it quite well in this same interview when he said:
You know, did it really prove anything that Michael Jordan was a .218 hitter for the Birmingham Barons in baseball? You can make your argument which sport is better, baseball or basketball, but I don't think Michael Jordan failing as a double- or triple-A ball player really proved much in terms of either sport. You're gonna have people that like basketball, you're gonna have people that like baseball, and you're gonna have a lot of people that probably like both. I don't think that the needle will significantly shift in either direction as it relates to that argument, not based on this fight.