Sunday, September 12, 1993

McNeeley wins his bout despite some obstacles

By Bob Buckley

REVERE — Juan Quintana was not the only obstacle Peter McNeeley had to overcome on Friday night.

"They did everything they could do to upset the kid," said McNeeley. "But they couldn't do it."

McNeeley had to overcome a 20-minute delay at the start of the fight, a mid-fight switch from six rounds to eight rounds, and an after-the-bell altercation to beat Quintana in a unanimous decision at Wonderland Park.

Heavyweight boxer Peter McNeeley is congratulated by fans as he leaves the ring after winning his fight with veteran Juan Quintana by unanimous decision Friday night at Wonderland Raceway in Revere.   McNeeley's ring record now stands at 21-0.

McNeeley's victory, which kept his professional record perfect at 21-0 was relatively routine in the ring but totally bizarre outside the ring. The South Shore Boxing Club (SSBC) fighter was never in a jam in the eight round decision as he used his jab effectively throughout the evening.

"Quintana is a durable fighter and after all my first round knockouts, a lot of people thought I was not tough enough mentally to fight a bout like this," said McNeeley. "I was a mental midget as an amateur but a mental giant as a professional."

McNeeley's fight, which was the third of five fights on the Wonderland card, got off to a slow start. The Medfield native entered the ring on time for the fight but spent 20 minutes shadow boxing and working the crowd waiting for Quintana to make an appearance.

Quintana, who has fought the likes of Mike Tyson and Razor Ruddick, finally made his appearance. The fight lacked any sort of intensity early except in the second round when McNeeley followed a series of left jabs with a solid right hand. The shot cut Quintana over the right eye but did little to hinder the Tyson-lookalike's performance over the final six rounds.

Both fighters showed signs of life in the fifth round as McNeeley took a shot to the face early in the round. The punch only served as a wakeup call for McNeeley, who pounded Quintana with three excellent combinations. The barrage staggered Quintana and set him into a clutch against the ropes. McNeeley ended the fifth with a good jab to secure the win.

McNeeley was ahead on all three cards by a significant margin going into the sixth when the SSBC contingent began to question the length of the fight. When Cliff Phippen, the director of the SSBC, was told that the fight would be eight rounds instead of six, he could not believe his ears.

"Peter did everything he had to do...twice!" fumed Phippen. "We agreed to six rounds much earlier in the week. First they made Peter wait 20 minutes for Quintana to show up and then to do that..."

But the fun was far from over.

The final two rounds did nothing to change the outcome as McNeeley continued to dominate. Things heated up in the last ten seconds of the eighth round. Then the final bell rang and Quintana kept on punching.

Aggravated by Quintana's actions, McNeeley responded — and got a little help from his friends as New England heavyweight champion and McNeeley sparring partner jumped into the fray, along with both fighter's entourages. It was pure bedlam.

"I defy anyone to put up with the (things) I had to put up with tonight," said McNeeley. "Quintana is usually a gentleman both in and out of the ring. He may have heard the bell, he may not have, but I wasn't about to let him get away with that."

New Bedford's Ray Oliveira, the IBF Intercontinental Junior Welterweight champion, retained his New England title with a unanimous decision over Manny Santiago. Oliveira's fight was similar in nature to McNeeley's as the New Bedford native pummeled Santiago in the second round and cruised from there.

The biggest disappointment of the night was the late scratch of Worcester heavyweight Bobby Harris' fight with Sigfredo Cruz. The Wonderland card was suppose to have eight fights but three were scratched.

See also:
McNeeley Improves To 21-0   [The Daily Transcript]
Hurricane Keeps His Cool   [The Suburban Press]
McNeeley Has The Right Stuff   [The MetroWest Daily News]
McNeeley Now 21-0   [The Middlesex Daily News]
Just how long is this fight, anyway?   [Hurricane Watch]

This story was published on Page 48 of The Brockton Enterprise on 09/12/93.