|Tuesday, November 9, 1993|
McNeeley survives rocky bout
By Tim Flaherty
Peter McNeeley came into his bout against Dwayne Hall Saturday, Nov. 6 at Foxboro Stadium with a spotless 21-0 record, looking fit and in shape, a picture of perfect health. But sometimes looks can be deceiving.
According to people close to him, McNeeley, the Medfield-based heavyweight, was just getting over a case of the flu.
Hall, a heavyweight from upstate New York, on the other hand, took a lackluster 8-5 record into the bout. Hall, a low-keyed individual, looked solid with good body definition. He appeared a good match for McNeeley in terms of size and weight.
There was supposedly an age difference of seven years, with McNeeley being 25 years old and Hall being 32. However, Hall looked weary and seemed to epitomize the song "Old Man River," somehow he "just kept rolling along." There were a lot of miles on those legs.
When both fighters were introduced, clearly McNeeley enjoyed the sound of his partisan crowd. Hall took this in stride with his face remaining placid. Little did McNeeley realize the ferocity that this man would soon display in the ring.
Round 1 started with both fighters trading leather. As most of his fans know, McNeeley can take a punch as well as he can give one. As the round ended, the crowd was excited, hungry for a knockout. But they were perhaps also disappointed in McNeeley's slow start.
The second round was an explosive one for McNeeley, who threw a solid left that caught Hall flush on the jaw. McNeeley was clearly measuring his opponent. Each man traded punches until Hall was knocked down and took the mandatory count. The bell sounded soon afterward. Due to McNeeley's spirited burst of energy, he hit Hall with a late punch.
As the third round started, McNeeley looked like a raging bull, sweat and determination emerging from his body. Hall had been deceptive, nearly unflappable. However, as McNeeley was finding the range, Hall was beginning to show signs of fatigue.
In the fourth round, the two fighters were fairly even, with Hall surviving some heavy body shots. Hall seemed to be talking to McNeeley, whose stone face and menacing glare revealed his gutsy courage.
In round 5, both fighters stood toe-to-toe, slugging away with a fury. Occasionally, McNeeley would briefly step back a few feet to survey the scene, giving Hall an unexpected rest. With these short respites, Hall was able to recover from the onslaught. At the end of the round, Hall landed a good right, assuring his survival.
During the sixth and final round, McNeeley's fans were on their feet, chanting their fighter's name. McNeeley was fighting with a vengeance, like a man possessed, throwing every combination he knew, followed with his devastating body punch.
This story ran on page 1D of The Middlesex Daily News on 11/09/93