Monday, February 1, 1993

Veteran Foe No Deterrent to McNeeley

By Jay N. Miller
For The Patriot Ledger

CHELSEA, MA — Peter McNeeley had been winning too many first-round knockouts, so people clamored for tougher competition.

Ron Drinkwater provided the opposition Saturday night before 800 fans at the Chelsea Armory, and the 15-4 Malden slugger charged McNeeley right away and managed to tag him early.

The result was the same, however, as the product of Whitman's South Shore Boxing Club won by TKO at 2:08 of the first round when Drinkwater's corner threw in the towel to rescue their battered and blood-drenched warrior.

SLUGFEST IN WHITMAN — Peter McNeeley (right) bangs away at opponent Ron Drinkwater in their heavyweight fight Saturday night at the Whitman Armory.

McNeeley boosted his record to 14-0, with his 11th knockout, but the 34-year-old Drinkwater engaged him in a torrid brawl. A Drinkwater right cross caught McNeeley in the bout's opening seconds as Drinkwater rushed in. Moments later, though, the 24-year-old McNeeley burst off the ropes with a hard left-right-left hook combination. The final blow landed flush on the veteran's jaw.

Drinkwater desperately tried to cover up while he staggered around the ring but a relentless attack by McNeeley forced him to the canvas. Up at the count of three, Drinkwater gamely fired back, but by then blood was pouring from his nose and mouth and covering both men. McNeeley switched his focus to the body, and after some more punishment was inflicted, Drinkwater's corner called it off.

"He hit me with something, maybe a forearm, and it shook me a little," McNeeley admitted later. "Coming off the ropes, I knew my left hook got him and he was really rocked."

Boston promoter Al Valenti will run a live card at Foxboro Raceway, Feb. 20 with the closed circuit viewing of Julio Cesar Chavez-Greg Haugen. On that live card, Valenti has matched McNeeley with seven-footer Stanley Wright.

TAKE THAT, DRINKWATER — Peter McNeeley (left) stuns Ron Drinkwater with a torrid left-right-left hook combination that ended the fight at 2:08 of the first round. McNeeley boosted his record to 14-0 with his eleventh knockout.

In Saturday's co-feature, welterweight Franco DiOrio of Somerville went to 25-3 when his right hand to the ribs let the air out of Julio Torres of Hartford at 2:42 of round two. Hometown boxers did well in other bouts, as cruiserweight John Ruiz defeated Miguel Rosa and middleweight George "The Animal" Heckley got a draw many in attendance thought he didn't deserve against Tiverton's Anthony Riviera.

Trainer Goody Petronelli went home to Brockton happy, as middleweight Brian Barboza flattened Lowell's Edwin Montalvo and debuting welterweight Fitz Vanderpool, fresh from the Canadian Olympic team, needed just two rounds to dispose of Hartford's Tino Cruz.

Saturday's program was dedicated to Brockton's Al Nayer, the beloved, rotund cutman who was a fixture at New England shows. Nayer, who spent much of his spare time working in boxers' corners, was 54 when he died of a heart attack early in January.

See also:
'Hurricane' Flattens His 14th Foe   [The Suburban Press]
New Phase In Boxer McNeeley's Career   [The Boston Patriot Ledger]
'Hurricane' Leaves A Path Of Destruction   [The Suburban Press]

This story ran on page 24 of The Boston Patriot Ledger on 02/01/93