The Medfield Suburban Press
Thursday, October 13, 1994  

Former Champ Still No Match For McNeeley


Vinnie Vecchione, the manager/trainer of Hurricane Peter McNeeley, was hoping to get his money's worth out of J.B. Williamson Saturday night at the Whitman National Guard armory.


Vecchione wanted the former World Boxing Council light heavyweight champion to give his fighter a workout, to keep McNeeley sharp while they wait for Don King to come calling with a pen in hand and a dotted line to sign for a title shot.

But McNeeley had other plans for Williamson.

"Do you know how much that cost me?" Vecchione rhetorically asked a reporter in the locker room after McNeeley dropped Williamson three times in the first round, winning by technical knockout 1:01 into the bout. "Forty-seven hundred dollars. Does anyone want to pitch in and help me pay?"

Paying Williamson's purse wasn't really a problem, not with a full house packing the armory for the first "storm watch" since King announced tentative plans for a title fight between the Hurricane and newly-crowned WBC heavyweight champion Oliver McCall.

The overflow crowd saw McNeeley at his brawling best — briefly. McNeeley went right after Williamson, knocking him down with a series of body shots in the opening 15 seconds, then dropping him again 10 seconds later with a right overhand shot to the side of the head.

Seconds after Williamson struggled to his feet, he was knocked to the canvas again, causing the referee to call it a night for the former champ.

"When was the turning point?" said McNeeley, when a reporter jokingly posed the question to him after the fight. "The turning point was 1990 when I hooked up with Vinnie Vecchione."

McNeeley also earned a TKO against Williamson in June at Foxboro Park when a battered Williamson was unable to answer the bell for the third round.

"I knew what to expect from him, so I just got right on him," said McNeeley, who improved his record to 31-1 with his 18th first-round knockout and 25th knockout overall. "The first time I didn't know what to expect and I let him get into his rhythm. This time I didn't even give him a chance to break a sweat."

Williamson, who held the WBC light heavyweight title for parts of 1985 and 1986 after Michael Spinks moved up to the heavyweight division, came into the fight with a record of 23-10.

"Am I completely satisfied?" said Vecchione. "No. I would have liked to have seen Peter use some feints and some defense. But he's just going to jump on the guy no matter who he fights. I don't care if it's McCall or Tyson or whoever.

"He's just a vicious, vicious guy when he gets in there. He's no more a boxer than Rocky Marciano. He's just a purebred puncher and he doesn't care who's on the other side."

McNeeley said he did give some thought to sparring with Williamson for a couple rounds but changed his mind once the fight started.

"I thought about working on my defense and my head movement," said McNeeley.

"But then I thought, with a championship shot coming up, why should I fool around with this guy and take the chance of getting a head-butt?"

McNeeley has now fought seven times since losing on a cut in February. None of these seven fights has lasted longer than two rounds.

"He's at the height of his confidence now," said Vecchione.

"I'll take on anybody," said McNeeley. "I fear no man."

See also:   McNeeley Annihilates Former Champ Williamson   [South Look]

This story ran on page 21 of The Medfield Suburban Press on 10/13/94