The Boston Herald - Sports Tuesday, September 29, 1992

Mannion holds on, beats O'Han

McNeeley goes to 10-0 with latest K.O.

By Ed Gray

Irish eyes were smiling at the fights last night at Waltham's Vista International Hotel. Veteran middleweight Sean Mannion won in the main event and up-and-coming heavweight Peter McNeeley fired up the crowd with a first round knockout on the undercard.

The card was held to benefit the Muhammad Ali Foundation, but the heavyweight legend was unable to attend.

Nine years have passed since Sean Mannion unsuccessfully challenged Mike McCallum for the junior middleweight championship, but the heart of the former contender carried him to a comeback victory as Mannion outclassed a game Mike O'Han on his way to a unanimous eight-round decision.

Mannion consistently caught the 31-year-old O'Han coming in with crisp left-right combinations to pile up enough points to win his 41st victory in 55 pro fights.

O'Han (9-3-2), a former sparring partner for Marvelous Marvin Hagler, focused on pounding Mannion with body shots, which took some steam out of the aging Mannion, but not enough to win the fight.

An exhausted Mannion, who has never been on the canvas, said he'll continue a comeback.

"But next time I'm going to be in good shape," said the native Irishman, who resides in Dorchester. "I want more than three weeks to get ready."

Before Mannion and O'Han gave the crowd a look back, undefeated heavyweight prospect Peter McNeeley of Medfield provided a look at the future.

YOUNG MAN IN A HURRY — Undefeated heavyweight prospect Peter McNeeley (left) tore into opponent Van Dorsey from the opening bell as the crowd roared with approval. McNeeley knocked out his towering foe just 63 seconds into the first round.

The son of former heavyweight contender Tom McNeeley scored his 10th straight pro victory and knockout, sending last-minute opponent Van Dorsey crashing to the canvas at 1:02 of the first round of a scheduled five-round bout. Despite a significant height advantage, the towering Dorsey was no match for the hard-hitting McNeeley.

In the co-featured eight-round junior welterweight bout, Somerville's Franco Diorio (24-2-1) returned from a year-long hiatus to win an eight-round unanimous decision over Junior Rodriguez.

In other bouts, heavyweight Saribekian of Armenia, Watertown and Providence ran his professional record to 4-0 by stopping Peter Varias of Old Orchard, Maine, 1:42 into the first round of a scheduled four-rounder; Arlington junior welterweight Johnny Valminuto won a unanimous decision in his pro debut against Hartford's William Boaten; Chelsea's George Heckley and Lowell's Mike Tilton fought to a draw.

Related articles:
McNeeley Packing Some Punch   [The MetroWest Daily News]
Boxing Show Draws Characters In And Out Of Ring   [The Middlesex News]

This story was published on page 77 of the Boston Herald on 09/29/92.