In September 1994, promoter Bob Arum officially announced the highly anticipated title fight between undefeated fighters James Toney and Roy Jones Jr. Toney came into the fight as the IBF super middleweight champion, having won the title on February 13, 1993, from Iran Barkley and having since successfully defended the title three times. Jones, the reigning IBF middleweight champion since defeating Bernard Hopkins on May 22, 1993, had defended the middleweight belt only once before vacating the title in order to move up to the super middleweight division and challenge Toney. The men were considered to be two of the top fighters in the sport. Toney was ranked number two in the pound-for-pound rankings, while Jones was number three. Only then-WBC welterweight champion Pernell Whitaker was ranked ahead of them.