What: Rumble in the Rockies II.
When: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 28. Fights start at 7 p.m.
Where: Sky Ute Casino, 14324 Colorado 172, Ignacio, Colo.
Tickets: Prices range from $25 to $45 and can be purchased at the Sky Ute Casino box office. For tickets, call 888-842-4180 or order online at skyutecasino.com.
FARMINGTON — Sky Ute Casino is preparing for one of its biggest nights of boxing in the 15 years it has been hosting fights.
Legendary boxer James "Lights Out" Toney will headline the Rumble in the Rockies II boxing card in a main event match against heavyweight Kenny Lemos of Denver on June 28.
The event is promoted by Prize Fight Boxing's Brian Young of Memphis, Tenn.
"This is our second fight with Sky Ute, and I feel very blessed to have them as great partners to work with," Young said. "Elco Garcia fell out of the match due to being heavy and out of shape, so we shopped around and got James Toney for the main event. It should be a good fight."
Toney, an 11-time world champion, is an unlikely replacement for Garcia, a Four Corners area fighter, but Young's long-standing relationship with Toney led to the deal.
"I have been friends with James for 20 years. I used to be his strength and conditioning coach in 1994," Young said. "I worked with him for a year in his heyday when he was the world super middleweight champ."
Toney has fought some of the biggest names in the sport, from Evander Holyfield to Roy Jones Jr.
Toney, who turns 45 in August, has been a pro since 1988. He has a professional record of 74-8-3 with two no contests. Of his 74 wins, 45 have come via knockout.
He is coming off a brutal loss on April 28 in Australia to Lucas Browne that left sports writers wondering if it would be Toney's last career fight.
"I talked to James, and he said his weight will be down for the Sky Ute fight," Young said. "He had a long flight over to Australia and said he didn't get there early enough to get his legs under him. He was not pleased with his weight, but, on any given night, James Toney can still beat anybody. … He is still fun and energetic, and his hand speed is still there for a big guy. With the skill set he displays, it is no wonder he was a two-time Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year."
Lemos, 12-7, 8 knockouts, is happy to have the chance at Toney while he is still active.
"I am very excited to have this opportunity with a legend," Lemos said in a prepared statement. "This isn't about money or bad blood. It is about me being fortunate enough to get this chance in my life. I am in great shape and coming out of the ring with the biggest win in my career."
Toney's corner man and stepfather, John Arthur, said the Toney camp is looking forward to its trip to the area.
"We realize that there is a huge and passionate fight fan base there. ... James is going to be in excellent shape and plans on putting on a heck of a show, " Arthur said in a prepared statement. "James is out to regain the heavyweight championship and this fight is huge for us -- a must win."
Young said having Toney on the card will also be a big benefit for the rest of the fighters on the card because they will have the chance to interact with him and pick his brain for insight.
Farmington-area fighter Cris Leyva hopes to take advantage of being on the undercard.
"I know there will be a lot of media involved with this event from all over," Leyva said. "I am planning on going out and having the best fight of the show with my new boxing skills I have developed under my new coach Jose Herrera. I am going to impress everyone out there. The fans, promoters and all the media."
Leyva is 2-0 in professional boxing and 10-5 as a professional mixed martial arts fighter.
He is fighting Gerardo Quintana of Hobbs. Quintana is 3-0, with three knockouts.
"I'm expecting the venue to be sold out and very loud and excited for each fight as the night goes on. My main goal for the night will be to give the crowd a finish by knockout or ref stoppage," Leyva said.
Leyva said the big winners on June 28 will be the fans in attendance.
"It is going to be nice for all the fight fans from around here to come out and watch this fight card. There are a lot of very good boxers from this area on the card and, to top it off, they get James Toney, a former champ, to watch and experience in a main event."
The undercard also features local fighters such as Chavira Jack, Zamir Young, Brittany Cruz, Steve Victor and brothers Jazzma and Suanita Hogue.
Young hopes the fight card will lead to bigger and better shows on a regular basis at Sky Ute.
"Sky Ute is supportive of what boxing can do for a casino property. We are bringing them a future hall of famer," Young said. "There is no question we hope to have a long and successful partnership with Sky Ute, and we are well on our way to doing that."
John Livingston covers sports for The Daily Tmes. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.