|Thursday, January 12, 1995|
McNeeley, manager still
By LARRY BEAN
Between rounds of a sparring session at the South Shore Boxing Club Tuesday in Whitman, Vinnie Vecchione strolled over from the ring apron to a dozen onlookers watching "Hurricane" Peter McNeeley and his partner at work.
"Peter's 220 pounds," said Vecchione, McNeeley's manager/trainer, "and when he stands behind that guy, you can't even see him. I don't think McCall's that big, is he?"
That guy is Garing Lane, the sparring partner who worked with McNeeley in Florida last month and, based on that performance, got a trip to Whitman courtesy of Vecchione.
"It's tough to find a sparring partner as good as Garing Lane," said Vecchione. "I brought him up here. I paid his fare. And I'm going to get him on a local card."
The McCall to whom Vecchione referred is Oliver McCall, the reigning World Boxing Council heavyweight champion.
If the future had unfolded according to the fall hype, McNeeley would be spending this month getting ready to fight McCall for the WBC belt.
And that might be exactly what McNeeley is still doing.
McCall's next opponent isn't McNeeley, it's former champ Larry Holmes. McNeeley is scheduled to face Kansas City's Kevin Wyrick (19-6) Friday, Jan. 20 at Foxboro Raceway. Vecchione has also lined up fights for McNeeley in February in Arkansas and a St. Patrick's Day date back here in March.
And after that...
"I just talked with Don King today and I'm gonna meet with him later this month," said Vecchione.
The subject of that meeting, said Vecchione, will be a match for McNeeley against the winner of the McCall-Holmes fight, possibly at the Boston Garden.
It was pointed out to Vecchione that, because McCall and Holmes are fighting in April, a match involving McNeeley couldn't take place until the summer — not the ideal time to stage any type of show in the Garden.
"I've had my guys fight at Foxboro in the summer and in Plymouth [at the sweat box known as Memorial Hall]. Do you think I'd mind going into the Garden in the summer?" said Vecchione.
Back in the ring, McNeeley is sneaking in some stinging jabs between the gloves of the shorter but much wider Lane, and doing his best to knock away or stay away from Lane's uppercuts.
"This is a whole other level," said McNeeley, shadow boxing in front of a mirrored wall after the sparring session. "This guy has sparred or fought just about everyone."
The 31-year-old Lane, who will also be on the Jan. 20 Foxboro card, has a 13-12 record, but his list of opponents includes Riddick Bowe (twice), Ray Mercer, Trevor Berbick, Renaldo Snipes and Jeremy Williams.
"The other guys I've been sparring against are good, but I know them," said McNeeley. "This guy shows me a lot of different things. It's a new look, a more professional look."
Lane said his mediocre record is deceiving, that a lot of his losses have come because he's accepted fights on short notice and not had time to prepare.
"He's a real good fighter," Lane said of McNeeley, "and he'll get even better with time. He's still in the growing stage. He'll be ready to fight a top contender very soon, and I'm here to help him get ready to do that."
This story ran on page 16 of The Medfield Suburban Press on 01/12/95