THE DAILY TRANSCRIPT Monday, May 2, 1994

McNeeley registers first-round KO

By Stephen Tobey

PETER McNEELEYWHITMAN — There's no place like home.

In his first local appearance since February, "Hurricane" Peter McNeeley of Medfield recorded his third straight knockout, stopping Wayne Perdue of Philadelphia in the first round of a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout Saturday night at the Whitman National Guard Armory.

"It's nice to come back after being on the road," said McNeeley, who trains at the South Shore Boxing Club, less than a mile from the site of Saturday's bout. "You don't realize the push you get from the home crowd."

A full house packed the armory for the eight-bout show and McNeeley was the clear favorite of the capacity gathering.

The 218-pound McNeeley (27-1, 21 KOs) registered his 15th first-round knockout when he caught the 230-pound Perdue on the chin with a left hook, sending him crashing to the canvas. Referee Doug Sheerin reached the count of 10 at 1:20 of the first round.

The winning blow came at the end of a three-punch combination aimed at the body but when the head shot became available, McNeeley took it.

"He looked a little soft in the body," said McNeeley. "I wanted to knock him out with a body punch. I wasn't really trying for a head shot, but it was there."

Perdue lost his second bout in a row. Two months ago, and 10 pounds lighter, he lasted four rounds against Worcester's Bobby Harris, a 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials finalist, losing by decision.

"It's not important that Harris didn't knock him out," said McNeeley. "Bobby is primarily a boxer while I'm more of a puncher. I don't compare myself to him. I'm getting to be an experienced pro."

In February, McNeeley suffered his first pro defeat, getting stopped on a cut in the eighth round against Brockton's Stanley Wright in a fight McNeeley dominated throughout. Since then, McNeeley has traveled to Arkansas, where he knocked out Herman Jackson in the second round and North Carolina, where he stopped Lopez McGee in the first.

"Peter showed real demolishing power," said his manager Vinnie Vecchione. "I can't see why we can't take on guys in the top 15 or 20 in the world ratings. But we have to continue building his experience."

In the immediate future, McNeeley could be testing himself against a pair of former champs. On June 24, he plans to fight at Foxboro Raceway, probably against J.B. Williamson, who held the World Boxing Council light heavyweight championship in 1985 and 1986. Later this month, McNeeley plans to return to North Carolina for a possible showdown with former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks.

Related articles:
McNeeley Scores Easy KO Over Perdue   [The Boston Herald]
McNeeley Combines Power With Patience   [The Suburban Press]

This story ran on page 30 of The Dedham Daily Transcript on 05/02/94