For some fighters, knowing when to call it quits is easy. When their reflexes are gone, and they're getting hit with punches that were either slipped or blocked two or three fights ago, they walk away. When punch resistance is gone, and the paychecks are getting smaller as the losses pile up, it's time to walk away.
But there are others, like Antwun Echols, Roy Jones Jr., and James Toney, who can't walk away.
Toney, who began his career as a slick, powerful middleweight out of Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1988, is still plying his trade 24 years later. Like Echols and Jones, signs of slowing down haven't recently begun to appear -- they've been around for a while. Unlike Echols and Jones, who nowadays get knocked out when their head hits their pillow too hard, Toney still finishes fights on his feet, no matter how exhausted he is at the end. In the six losses spread throughout his Hall of Fame career, Toney has never been knocked out.
It is easy for anyone to say it's time for Toney (...