METROWEST DAILY NEWS Tuesday, April 30, 1996

McNeeley returns with a bang

By Stephen Tobey


WHITMAN — In the main event Saturday night at the Whitman Armory, Medfield's "Hurricane" Peter McNeeley notched his third straight knockout victory since his August, 1995 loss to current WBC heavyweight champion Mike Tyson with a second-round stoppage of former New England champion Juan Quintana of Springfield.

McNeeley (39-2, 35 KO's) spent the first round waiting and looking for an opening on the defensive-minded Quintana, who held his gloves close to his face and his elbows in tight, rarely throwing a punch.

Medfield heavyweight Peter McNeeley gave the enthusiastic throng at the Whitman Armory a typical result — a first round knockout, this time over former New England champion Juan Quintana.

At the start of the second round, McNeeley made an opening, hitting Quintana with a powerful left hook under the rib cage that dropped Quintana to the canvas. Referee Bob Benoit reached the count of 10 at 46 seconds into the second round.

"I was looking for that punch from straight on," said McNeeley. "But then I tried to get an angle. I took a half-step to the side and shortened up the punch."

In September of 1993, McNeeley won an eight-round unanimous decision over Quintana in Revere. Saturday's fight was scheduled for six.

"I expected it to go six rounds," said McNeeley. "Nobody really stops Juan Quintana except for elite big punchers. He was the only guy I didn't knock out or knock down and I always look for improvement when I fight guys again."

The Armory was the site of several of McNeeley's fights in the four years leading up to the Tyson bout. The place was packed for him, as always. The reaction to McNeeley was very favorable with only a few boos scattered throughout the room. It was in sharp contrast to McNeeley's appearance at the Fleet Center last October where he was booed by much of the crowd and fans hurled pizza at him, mocking his Pizza Hut commercial in which he was knocked out by a slice of pizza.

"It's our home crowd," he said. "I knew I'd be back home to start the climb back up. I'll get to bigger local venues before I go to big money bouts elsewhere."

Vecchione said he is looking for a fight between McNeeley and former world heavyweight champion James "Buster" Douglas sometime this summer.

This story ran on page 29 of The Middlesex Daily News on 04/30/96