|Thursday, September 16, 1993|
Hurricane keeps cool
McNeeley takes 8-round decision
By LARRY BEAN
Peter McNeeley had his patience tested before, during, and after his heavyweight fight with Springfield's Juan Quintana Friday night at Wonderland Race Track in Revere.
And the Hurricane passed each test with the highest grades.
"They did everything to upset me, but I proved I'm a professional," said McNeeley, who raised his record to 21-0 with the unanimous eight-round decision. "I held my composure."
Quintana (no relation to Carlos) and his handlers kept McNeeley waiting in the ring for more than 20 minutes prior to the start of the fight.
"I didn't know anything (about the delay)," claimed Quintana, who sat in his dressing room while McNeeley conducted an over-extended shadow boxing display for the partisan crowd.
"They (his handlers) didn't tell me anything," said Quintana. "I didn't know I was supposed to be in the ring."
But once the bell sounded, McNeeley stuck to his custom-designed game plan against the wily veteran fighter, rather than go head-hunting as payback for the delay.
The devastating power of McNeeley's right hand is well documented (17 knockouts, 11 in the first round), but Friday he dipped deep into his arsenal and came up with another weapon for the stocky, stationary and iron-jawed Quintana. For seven of the eight rounds, McNeeley picked Quintana apart with a previously seldom-seen left jab.
"Tonight I showed that I'm not just a puncher," said McNeeley. "I showed that I can box, too."
That's not to say McNeeley was just piling up points and not delivering his usual pounding to Quintana. McNeeley opened a cut over Quintana's left eye in the second round and staggered him in the fourth.
"He's a very good puncher," said Quintana, who landed his best blows below the belt and after the final bell. "I've been fighting a long time and he's the best puncher I've ever gone against."
Quintana, who claimed to be 33, has been fighting since 1972.
"I knew right away I was going to have to be careful with this guy, because when he hit me he hurt me," said Quintana.
For McNeeley, Friday marked only the second time he had ever gone more than six rounds, though both fighters seemed to think the fight was over after the sixth round. After some mutual congratulations and a brief delay while the corners and officials argued over whether the bout was over, the two fighters went back to work for the seventh, the only round that didn't clearly belong to McNeeley.
McNeeley took complete charge again in the final round, until the bell ending the fight sounded. As McNeeley raised his arms in anticipation of victory, Quintana, who had been on the defensive all evening, suddenly came to life, landing a barrage of punches on the somewhat shocked McNeeley.
As McNeeley returned fire, backing up Quintana, both corners jumped in to separate the two fighters. Quintana then exchanged a few punches with one of McNeeley's sparring partners. McNeeley, his gloves raised in victory, walked away from the fracas. He had won another fight handily and had nothing left to prove.
This story ran on page 15 of The Medfield Suburban Press on 09/16/93