|Thursday, May 13, 1993  |
SEVEN WAS ENOUGH FOR 'TOUGH MAN'
McNEELEY UPS RECORD TO 18-0 WITH TKO IN 7th
By LARRY BEAN
The nickname attached to Marc Machain on the pre-fight publicity poster was "Tough Man." And now there's no doubt that the heavweight from Rutland, VT, is indeed a tough man - tough enough to withstand a relentless pounding from Medfield's "Hurricane" Peter McNeeley for 19 minutes and 40 seconds Saturday night at Foxboro Raceway.
But with 1:20 left in the seventh round of the scheduled eight-rounder, Machain's corner saw McNeeley drop their man to the canvas for the seventh time, and they had seen enough.
"After the fifth round my trainer told me I had won the first five rounds and I should just try to coast a little bit," said McNeeley, who had never been past the sixth round in a fight. "I was looking for the knockout in the first through fifth rounds but after that I was ready to go the distance."
In the sixth round, McNeeley, wearing his trademark Kelly green trunks, knocked down the black-clad Machain twice. The first knockdown followed a flurry to the head after McNeeley had trapped Machain in the corner.
Later in the round, McNeeley gave Machain a seat on the bottom rope with a left uppercut and sent him all the way to the floor with a crushing shot to the top of the head.
McNeeley ended it in the seventh with a staggering left jab followed by another flurry of head shots.
"I wasn't even looking for the knockout. It just happened," said McNeeley. "I straightened him up with the left jab and I hit him right on the button. I knew I caught him. His whole body started to crumble."
McNeeley, who has 11 first-round knockouts, appeared to be ready to record No. 12, as Machain chose to take a knee in the fight's opening minute.
"I expected a little more of a fight out of him," said McNeeley. "I started to think he took a knee on purpose, maybe to try to goad me in."
If that was Machain's strategy, it didn't work. Before the bell ending round one sounded, McNeeley scored two more knockdowns, both involuntary.
The second round was all McNeeley, then in round three, Machain took a point from McNeeley by taking a headbutt to the throat.
"He had my right arm wrapped up with his left arm and he was hitting me with his right while the ref was telling us to break," said McNeeley. "That's not legal and I'm not going to stand for it."
While Machain dramatized the incident by staggering around the ring clutching at his throat, the referee instructed the judges to subtract a point from McNeeley's already mounting total.
"They took a point away, big deal," said McNeeley. "I accomplished what I wanted to. He didn't do it (clutching and punching) again. He knew I wasn't fooling around."
Machain came out punching in the fourth round but failed to do any damage to McNeeley, who picked off most of Machain's punches before staggering him with a left jab late in the round.
Machain took another knee in the fifth, delaying the fight's inevitable conclusion, which followed two rounds later.
"People have been complaining that my fights are too fast, that his opponents aren't tough enough," McNeeley added. "But I think they got what they wanted and I hope everybody is happy."
Everybody except Marc Machain.
See also: Last Bout In Pugsville [The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine]
This story was published in the Medfield Suburban Press on 05/13/93.