Saturday, June 25, 1994



By Mark Singelais

FOXBOROUGH — Peter McNeeley couldn't stand still after beating former World Boxing Council light heavyweight champion J.B. Williamson in a heavyweight bout at Foxboro Park last night. He was constantly moving between rooms, shaking hands and posing for pictures.

McNeeley, normally excitable, was even more enthusiastic last night, and with good reason. It was his first fight since he signed a contract with promoter Don King, he was facing his best-known opponent yet, and he hadn't fought since April.

"I was really itching to fight," he said. "There's been a lot of extra publicity with the King deal. I felt a little bit of extra pressure."

Heavyweight Peter McNeeley (left) keeps the pressure on former champion J.B. Williamson with a punishing attack to the head and body last night at Foxboro. Williamson was unable to continue after two rounds.

McNeeley, 25, used the nervous energy to his advantage. He scored a technical knockout over Williamson (26-11), who was unable to answer the bell for the third round.

Although King wasn't present, he had associates in the crowd, according to Peter's father, former heavyweight contender Tom McNeeley.

Supported by the crowd, McNeeley (28-0, 22 knockouts) immediately backed the aging Williamson into a neutral corner and showered him with left hooks and jabs. Williamson was able to land only one effective punch, a solid uppercut.

In the second round, McNeeley continued to assault the outgunned Williamson. At the bell, he hammered Williamson with a hard left, and the ex-champion nearly fell before staggering back to his corner. He was unable to continue.

"The kid is a great puncher," said Williamson's manager, Joel Stephens. "He's going to be somebody."

After the fight, McNeeley was greeted by dozens of well-wishers as he walked back to his locker room. He told one person, "Get J.B. an ambulance," and another, "Are you going to have me back [in Foxborough]?" Most of his family was at the match.

McNeeley said one of his concerns was not getting cut or bruised so he would be attractive for his brother Tom's wedding today. He needn't have worried — his handsome mug remained unblemished.

In the night's first fight, Boston heavyweight Charles Livingston (5-0, 4 KOs) registered a first-round knockout of Keith Harthorne of Worcester in an embarrassing mismatch.

The flabby, 270-pound Harthorne put forth little effort and was knocked down three times by the much taller Livingston, a chiseled 227-pounder. The final time, Livingston simply kneeled and held a glove over his left eye as referee Charlie Dwyer counted him out with 2:28 left in the first. After the fight, the Massachusetts Boxing Commission announced that Harthorne's purse would be held pending investigation.

Whitman's Dan Phippen (3-0) knocked out Hector Rodriguez of Hartford in the first round of a welterweight bout.

Related articles:
McNeeley TKOs Foe   [The Brockton Enterprise]
McNeeley Ready For Next Level   [The Boston Patriot-Ledger]
No Bumps, No Bruises, No Sweat For McNeeley   [Medfield Suburban Press]
Like Father, Like Son   [The Daily Transcript]

This story ran on page 35 of the Boston Globe on 06/25/94.