“When you first get hit, you see a big black spot. Then the pain hits you. After the fight I’m like ‘damn, do I really want to do this?'”
This ESPN clip is a few years old, but still worth watching for the info on head trauma, and the profile on James Toney. According to Toney’s doctor, Lights Out has the testosterone levels of a 60-70 year old man. From studies, this has been tied into the effects of repeated head blow on the pituitary gland, which releases most of our important hormones into the body. When it’s out of wack, it can lead to many problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, mood swings, strokes and depression.
When you hear Toney’s medical issues, it’s more frightening to realize these conditions were diagnosed six years ago around the time of his fight with John Ruiz. Since then he’s fought eight times, including two tough fights with hard-punching Samuel Peter. In those bouts he took many hard blows, including several behind the head.
Just another reminder of how brutal the fight game is. No one gets away unscathed, especially when you’re talking careers that span well over 10 years.