The Medfield Suburban Press
Thursday, November 17, 1994  


McNeeley stops Boyd in 1st round


Foxboro Stadium may be Drew Bledsoe's house, but Peter McNeeley staked his claim to the adjacent parcel of real estate known as Foxboro Raceway.

"This is my house!," McNeeley screamed to the crowd after his heavyweight fight against Lorenzo Boyd, Friday night.

No one would dare argue with McNeeley's claim — especially Boyd.

PETER McNEELEY inspects the damage after flooring Lorenzo Boyd for the third and final time in the first round of their fight Friday night at Foxboro.   (Staff photo by J. Kiely Jr.)

McNeeley recorded the 18th first-round knockout of his professional career and improved his record to 32-1 with a technical knockout 1:53 into the fight.

The Hurricane hasn't had much work in the ring lately. He hasn't seen the second round in any of his last four fights. And in 33 pro bouts, McNeeley has yet to fight a total of 100 rounds.

McNeeley didn't seem bothered by the lack of ring time.

"At this point, when you're fighting a guy with Boyd's experience, you don't mess around," said McNeeley. "I'm on the eve of a heavyweight championship fight. I have over 30 fights in the ring. I get my work in the ring."

Boyd came into Foxboro with a record of 20-20 and had fought the likes of Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and Tommy Morrison. But Friday night it appeared that Woody Boyd might have given McNeeley a better fight.

McNeeley hurt Boyd almost before the first-round bell had even sounded, catching him with a surprising left hook to the jaw. The fight ended when McNeeley unleashed a lethal combination that sent Boyd crashing to the canvas for the third time in the first and final round.

"He was a little shorter than me," said McNeeley. "But once I stuck him with that left hook, that really got the crowd into it. I know I wasn't in the ring long, but I was able to work on some of my fakes."

McNeeley's management team was very happy with its star client.

"He is just a pure fighter, and when he gets in the ring we just turn him loose," said McNeeley's manager Vin Vecchione. "Be it Boyd, [WBC champion Oliver] McCall, [Larry] Holmes, he's going to be a pit bull in the ring.

"Does he make mistakes? Sure, he makes mistakes, but he overcomes those mistakes with power," said Vecchione.

The biggest news surrounding McNeeley took place outside the ring Friday night. Vecchione announced he was bringing in reinforcements for McNeeley's championship run.

Beau Williford, who has trained five champions, including James "Quick" Tillis, has been brought into the McNeeley camp to aid the efforts of Vecchione and South Shore Boxing Club director Cliff Phippen.

"It's time for someone else to be brought in to add a new perspective," said Vecchione. "Sometimes you reach a certain plateau, and I think we have reached that point. Beau knows champions, and anytime you can add someone like that to your camp, you have to take advantage of it."

Williford is based in New Orleans and had twice seen McNeeley fight. The third time came Friday night when Williford was in Boyd's corner.

"McNeeley goes to the body like Tyson," said Williford. "He needs to work on his defense, but he's a tough kid and a tremendous puncher. Peter has the opportunity to fool a lot of people."

McNeeley's life has been a whirlwind since it was announced that he was a prime contender for the WBC heavyweight crown. The distractions have been bothersome at times, but McNeeley and Vecchione were able to refocus their energies in the two weeks leading up to Friday's fight.

"I've been conditioned to handle this," said McNeeley. "I've not only been getting jerked around at the national level but also at the local level. This fight almost didn't come off. But I've worked [very diligently] in the last two weeks."

McNeeley's schedule won't get any easier as he waits for the winner of the McCall-Holmes WBC title bout in January.

McNeeley is in line to fight the winner in the spring of 1995, but in the meantime, he'll stay active.

McNeeley will fight November 26 at the Whitman Armory and then spend two weeks training in Florida before fighting again in mid December outside of Massachusetts.

McNeeley, who is currently ranked 11th in the world by the WBC, will most likely have to fight another boxer in the WBC's top 25 before facing the McCall-Holmes winner.

Related articles:
Boyd Is The Latest Fodder For McNeeley   [The Boston Globe]
Common Opponent Picks McNeeley Over Tyson   [The Lafayette Advertiser]

This story ran on page 25 of The Medfield Suburban Press on 11/17/94