READY FOR TYSON — Young heavyweight contender Peter McNeeley (second from right) was honored with a barbequed steak supper at the home of Mike Shoffiett last week. Pictured, from left, are Shoffiett, McNeeley's manager-trainer Vinnie Vecchione, McNeeley, and Lafayette promoter Beau Williford, who is assisting in McNeeley's preparations for his August 19th bout with former champion Mike Tyson.

McNeeley Makes Stop Here While Training For Tyson

Up-and-coming heavyweight boxer Peter McNeeley spent some time in Rayne last week and enjoyed a barbequed steak supper with friends and supporters at the Mike Shoffiett home.

McNeeley, a relative unknown up until now, will jump into the spotlight on Aug. 19th when he fights former champion Mike Tyson at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

McNeeley has been training in Lafayette recently at the home of promoter-trainer Beau Williford, who is working with him along with McNeeley's manager-trainer, Vinnie Vecchione.

Interviewed during the pool-side barbeque at the Shoffiett home, McNeeley said he was "in great shape and ready for Tyson."

Williford interjected, "I'm hoping Tyson will be in the worst shape of his life, but Peter is hoping for him (Tyson) to be at his best. Peter's really looking forward to this opportunity."

McNeeley has a sparkling 36-1 record as a pro, with 30 knockouts — 21 of them in the first round.

Tyson was recently released from prison after serving a 3-year sentence for a rape conviction. "It's tough for a fighter to come back after a long layoff," said Williford. "But this is Mike Tyson we're talking about and, even when not at his best, he presents a tough challenge."

McNeeley is a third generation boxer. His grandfather was a member of the 1928 Olympic boxing team and fought on the card held during the grand opening of the venerable Boston Garden. Peter's father, Tom McNeeley, fought Floyd Patterson in 1961 for the heavyweight crown.

Peter, who hails from Medfield, Mass., has an education to fall back on when his boxing career eventually ends. He has a college degree in political science.

Related articles:
McNeeley Faces Unusual Working Conditions   [Lafayette Advertiser]
Peter McNeeley Training In Lafayette  [KLFY-TV Profile]
McNeeley Enjoys Break From Intense Training Session   [Rayne Acadian]
McNeeley Catches Fire In Louisiana   [Middlesex Daily News]
Common Opponent Picks McNeeley Over Tyson   [Lafayette Advertiser]
How Could We Not Root For McNeeley?   [The Suburban Press]

This story ran on page 9 of The Rayne Independent on 07/20/95