At Wednesday’s UFC 118 pre-fight press conference we reported that James Toney seemed in good spirits, but 24 hours later during an interview at the open workouts the boxers temper suddenly flared.
The incident happened during an interview with the mild mannered Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com who appeared to get under Toney’s skin while asking him how he felt about the fact that the MMA community are supporting his opponent Randy Couture, while boxing fans haven’t been quite as vocal in their support of Toney.
“These guys are clowns,” Toney said about the likes of Bernard Hopkins and David Haye who have suggested the boxers MMA debut is not going to end well for him. “I’m not even going to talk about these guys any more cos they’re not even worth it. My main concern right now is Randy Couture. He’s MMA’s great, I’m boxing’s great, we’ll see who’s number one.”
At that point Toney suddenly said, “give me the mike,” and tried to wrestle it from Helwani.
“I can’t get off the mike, that’s rule number one,” Helwani said as the two continued to battle for control of the microphone.
In the end Toney succeeded in wrenching the mike free and said, “This is James Toney reporting for this goddamn station, whatever it is. I’m outta here,” before attempting to walk off.
Helwani then bravely got back on the mike and tried to convince the boxer to answer a couple of other questions.
Asking him about a previous statement that he was going to knock out UFC president Dana White didn’t go down well though and Toney quickly exited the scene.
Whether he wins or loses, I can’t wait to see what happens if Toney’s gets interviewed by Helwani afterwards on Saturday night.