Pony International (pony.com), the California-based manufacturer of men’s and women’s athletic footwear and apparel, announced Tuesday that nine-time world boxing champion James "Lights Out" Toney will endorse the brand through next year and into 2006 and will be featured in the brand’s 2005 global advertising campaign.

Toney, who was named "2003 Fighter of the Year" by the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been a competitive boxer for more than 30 years. He wore Pony’s Center Ring Middleweight shoe during his 12-round unanimous decision win over Rydell Booker for the IBA World Heavyweight Title on September 23, 2004, marking the first time the Pony brand has been worn in a professional boxing ring for almost a decade.

As part of the sponsorship, Toney will promote Pony with retail and promotional appearances in 2005 and the brand will become his exclusive footwear supplier.

"Pony’s history in heavyweight boxing is unmatched by any other footwear brand and we are excited to re-establish that link with such a colorful and engaging personality," said Killick Datta, CEO of Global Brand Marketing, Inc., the majority owner of Pony International, in a statement announcing the partnership. "Boxing embodies much of what Pony is all about – and so does James – excitement, authenticity, street attitude and Americana."

At present, Pony offers two boxing-shoe styles: the Center Ring Middleweight (low-top) and Heavyweight (high-top). Both shoes blend modern performance with retro fashion.