|Thursday, July 21, 1994|
McNeeley's Number Comes Up
WBC ranks Hurricane in Top 20
By LARRY BEAN
PETER McNEELEY, left, dresses for success with the help of his manager/trainer Vinnie Vecchione prior to McNeeley's second-round knockout of J.B. Williamson last month. McNeeley fights again Friday in Plymouth. (Staff photo by J. Kiely Jr.)
Only 19 fighters on the planet could get into the ring with Hurricane Peter McNeeley and come out with a victory, so says the World Boxing Council.
McNeeley (28-1, 22 knockouts), who has a rematch with Dwayne Hall scheduled for Friday night at the Plymouth Memorial Auditorium, was No. 20 when the WBC's latest heavyweight rankings came out last week.
"I'm completely ecstatic over it," said McNeeley. "The way I look at it, I'm on a ladder and there are 19 rungs in front of me."
Vinnie Vecchione, McNeeley's manager and trainer, thinks his fighter might be able to skip over at least a couple of those rungs.
"Picture this. A year from now, three or four of the Top 10 guys will have lost and dropped out of the rankings," said Vecchione. "And if Peter could move up just four spots, he would actually move up eight and be No. 12 by the end of the year."
But just by getting into the Top 20, McNeeley's stock has taken a sharp upward turn.
"He'll get some notice from promoters throughout the country and throughout the world now," said Vecchione. "Guys in the Top 10 usually don't fight it out. It costs too much for the promoters to put the fights together. It's the guys in the second 10 that get the shot.
"And no," added Vecchione, "if we got a shot, we wouldn't turn it down."
The Top 20 ranking comes just about a month after McNeeley signed a four-year promotional deal with Don King Productions. For McNeeley, who is coming off a second-round TKO of former WBC light heavyweight champion J.B. Williamson last month, the ranking is the first fruit plucked from the King contract.
"I'm sure my win over J.B. Williamson helped a little bit, and being signed with Don also helped," said McNeeley.
McNeeley goes into Friday's fight trying to extend a streak of four straight knockouts. None of those four fights lasted longer than two rounds.
The 32-year-old Hall, a veteran of 150 amateur fights, took a flu-weakened McNeeley the six round distance before losing a unanimous decision when the two fighters met in November at Foxboro Park. McNeeley won five of the six rounds. The other was scored a draw.
McNeeley said there will be no need for the judges to consult their scorecards this time around.
"Having gone the distance with him [Hall] last time, I really want to knock him out," said McNeeley. "As a matter of fact, I am going to knock him out."
Tickets for the fight are available at the door in Plymouth.
King courted by the law
Last week, a federal grand jury handed down a nine-count indictment against King for allegedly filing a fraudulent insurance claim after a 1991 match between Julio Cesar Chavez and Harold Brazier was canceled.
If convicted, King would face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the counts.
Vecchione said he and McNeeley knew an indictment could be coming when they signed the contract with King. But he said he didn't know enough about the case to offer any further comment.
"We're just going to keep our eyes on the situation and hope for the best for Don," said Vecchione.
This story ran on page 16 of The Medfield Suburban Press on 07/21/94