Monday, February 22, 1993

McNeeley Punches Out 15th Win

By Jay N. Miller
For The Patriot Ledger

FOXBORO — Heavyweight Peter McNeeley's showdown with seven-foot Stanley Wright never materialized, but McNeeley pushed his record to 15-0 anyway, and his sparring partner at Whitman's South Shore Boxing Club was a winner on the card's most exciting bout before 700 fans Saturday night at Foxboro Park.


Wright, of Brockton, was a late scratch from the five-bout program, held as a preliminary to the closed circuit Julio Cesar Chavez-Greg Haugen telecast. According to trainer Tony Petronelli, Wright injured his left shoulder sparring early in the week and the condition worsened to the point where he had to be pulled of the card Friday. Petronelli hopes to reschedule the matchup as soon as Wright recovers.

McNeeley's last-minute substitute opponent was Hartford's Jesus Rohena, a major letdown for all concerned since he's exactly the type of easy foe McNeeley has been criticized for beating. McNeeley, in fact, already owned a first-round KO of Rohena.

This time, Rohena survived until the second round by bicycling backwards at full speed, while McNeeley threw only jabs in the opening frame. A McNeeley barrage along the ropes, ending with a left hook to the ribs that actually lifted Rohena off his feet and sent him plummeting to the canvas, spelled curtains for the Hartford fighter at 1:11 of round two.

McNeeley, now 15-0 with 12 knockouts, may have carried Rohena through a round, but he was frustrated at having to box a sub. "It was a letdown, especially because Stanley Wright is usually dependable," McNeeley said. "But maybe I earned some respect from the Petronellis, because they seem to want to be careful about putting Stanley in with me."

McNeeley, of course, boxed his amateur career with the Brockton trainers.

"It was an emotional roller coaster this week," added trainer Vin Vecchione of Braintree. "I just wanted Peter to keep his composure. We've fought everybody we can at this level, and we're ready to progress."

In the night's main event, New England heavyweight champ Paul Poirier outboxed, and occasionally outbrawled, Vermont's Marc Machain in an eight-round non-title bout. Machain fought Poirier for the vacant title in 1991, at 250 pounds, but this time the 5-foot, 9-inch slugger was a trim 210, and he came out smashing body blows to Poirier's ribs. When Machain began to tire halfway through the match, Poirier began blistering him with combinations. A Machain forearm to the throat earned him a point deduction in round five, one of many tactics not found in the Marquis of Queensbury rules, but Machain-Poirier had the crowd roaring throughout.

Referee Bob Benoit scored it a Poirier shutout, while judge Nick Manzello gave Machain one round and judge Dave Sammataro gave Machain three. The victory leaves the New Bedford native 32-2.

Related articles:
McNeeley Pulls No Punches   [The Brockton Enterprise]
McNeeley Puts Replacement To Rest   [The Suburban Press]

This story ran on page 20 of The Boston Patriot Ledger on 02/22/93