Counterpunching is an art that is very hard to master. James Toney is good as any to learn how to counterpunch. He knows when to keep his head inside and when to pull back. In either case, he bates his opponents into making desperate, wild shots then he punishes them for it.
Watch how James Toney stays just out of punching range with his head movement. That head placement is the foundation for counterpunching. You have to leave yourself vulnerable enough so that he thinks he has a chance.
One note: Toney tends to duck his head a lot. He can get away with it in boxing, but it’s not wise in MMA because of knees, takedowns, and chokes.
Takeaway: Practice staying in a safe range, but baiting your opponent to punch at you. As soon as he strikes, get in range and counter him.