July 1998  


McCullough beats Salas,

McNeeley beats up Kosmicki

UNCASVILLE, CT — Mohegan Sun Casino — After a 15-month hiatus from the ring due to injuries and promotional snafus, Wayne "Pocket Rocket" McCullough, 125, Belfast, Ireland, seethed, snarled and snorted his way past Antonio Salas, 126, Acupulco, Mexico, winning a unanimous decision after 10. Salas' best work came in the ninth and tenth rounds, as McCullough tired late and threw sloppier, wider punches. All in all, it was what could be expected from a fighter after a lengthy layoff; the power wasn't 100%, the timing off a tad.

"I knew he'd come to fight," said McCullough. "All Mexicans come to fight." Scores: Harold Gomes, Bob O'Brien and John Lawson, all 100-90.


The man you either love or hate (there's no middle ground), Peter McNeeley, 220, Medfield, Mass., met a tangible opponent, Dan Kosmicki, 228, Lincoln, Neb. Continually battling the agony of substance abuse that developed following the Tyson fight, McNeeley had much less trouble with this physical test.

Kosmicki, a veteran of the rough and tumble Midwestern fight circuit, entered the bout with a listed 14-15 record. McNeeley, true to form, charged Kosmicki at the opening bell and promptly started his attack. Midway through the round, however, Kosmicki stepped to the right and landed a hard right hook that momentarily stunned McNeeley and brought the shocked crowd to its feet.

After that it was all McNeeley, as the Hurricane administered a vicious beating in a non-balletic six rounder. The 6'5" Kosmicki swallowed a continuous stream of hard jabs and uppercuts en route to the loss. McNeeley blew kisses to the crowd as many booed his celebratory posing after he was awarded a unanimous decision.

McNeeley, who is known for his potent left hook, uncharacteristically favored his right throughout the bout. He revealed in a post-fight interview that his left hand was badly injured in the first round and he was unable to use it much. X-rays later confirmed that it had been broken.

In another contest that left mouths agape, Hector Sanjurjo, 182, Taunton, MA, 7-3-4, dominated unbeaten Derrick Harmon, 181, Chicago, IL. The shocker came in the eighth of a scheduled eight-rounder, when Sanjuro's street bullying tactics surfaced and he touched gloves to start the round and pearl harbored Harmon immediately after the "gentlemanly" gesture. Harmon's trainer, Joe Goossen, hopped onto the apron to protest and Sanjuro showed his derision by spewing a wad of spit in Goossen's direction. Referee Ezzo tried to restore order but chose to disqualify Sanjuro for resisting his call to break and unsportsmanlike spitting. Goossen, at one point, drew back his bareknuckled right, brandishing it at the rampaging Pit Bull. The end officially came at 0:33, with Harmon the winner by disqualification.

In the co-feature, Edwin Santana, 130, Lawrence, MA, had to do nothing but dance for 63 seconds and he would have owned the IBA Americas lightweight belt. Instead, Ben Tackie, 135, Los Angeles via Ghana, threw a short, improbable right hand that separated Santana from his senses and championship hopes. How improbable was the punch, you ask? Three judges had awarded Tackie only six of 27 elapsed rounds. Santana had been outworking, outslicking, out and out slaying Tackie in a concise clinic. With directions to think knockout, Tackie obeyed his corner at 1:57 of the final round. Referee Smoger hesitated a millisecond to let Santana arise but he had been caught with his trunks down. Tackie's record is now 16-0, 10 kayoes.

Lawrence Clay-Bey, 228, Hartford, CT, picked apart Abdul Muhaymin, 235, Cleveland, OH. The doctor stopped the fight at 2:23 of the second, as Muhaymin was cut. Clay-Bey was starting to step it up, working Muyaymin's paunchy abs. C-B left the ring shaking his left and grimacing. X-rays showed damage and he, like McNeeley, will be shelved for an indeterminate period.

Duncan Dokiwari, 235, Nigeria, is muscled in a long, streamlined way, and moved like an athlete during the brief time he spent destroying Larry Cureton, 250, Jersey City, NJ. A heavy right dropped Cureton for the second time just 0:57 seconds into the first round. These were legit shots, and Cureton's corner threw in the towel to prove it. Dokiwari ups the ledger to 9-0, all kayoes.

Brian Adams, 136, Brooklyn, NY, TKO'd Khalil Shakeel, 135, Fayetteville, NC, in the first round of a scheduled six.

Glenn Robinson, 177, Bronx, NY, bombed out Tyrone Wallace, 179, Durham, NC, after three rounds were completed. Robinson threw bombs and snappy jabs all the way from Rhode Island, using half an arm's length of reach to his favor. Wallace fell to the canvas twice and didn't rise to start the fourth round of the stated six.

Promoter — America Presents

Referees — Dick Flaherty, Steve Smoger, Kenny Ezzo.

Judges — Harold Gomes, Bob O'Brien, John Lawson, George Smith, George Degabriel, Garry Merritt, Clark Sammartino.

Timekeeper — Lou Dell.

Ring Announcer — Thomas Triber.

Ringside Physicians — Michael Schwartz, Anthony Allessi, Joseph Carpintieri.

Matchmaker — Tom Brown.

At Ringside — Michael J. Woods.


Related articles:
McNeeley Fights To Remain Sober   [The Boston Globe]
McNeeley Sinks Sub With One Hand   [The Boston Herald]

This story appeared on page 45 of the July 1998 International Boxing Digest.