Wednesday, December 13, 1995

Front Section — Page 1

McNeeley in one

Heavyweight Peter McNeeley, left, easily defeated Harold Reitman at the Memorial Auditorium in Punta Gorda Tuesday night.   See SPORTS Page 1.   (Staff photo by Paul Schmidt)

McNeeley 63 ticks better

Tyson victim continues successful comeback at Memorial Auditorium

Sports Writer

In the world of professional boxing, how things look depend on where you're standing.

To the standing-room-only crowd that shoe-horned itself into the Charlotte County Memorial Auditorium Tuesday night, the 10-round heavyweight bout between Peter McNeeley and Dr. Harold "Hackie" Reitman was a farce. A woefully over-matched doctor from Plantation, Fla., getting pounded by a contender from Medfield, Mass.

The final call was McNeeley (38-2, 32 knockouts) by technical knockout, 2 minutes, 32 seconds into the match.

Referee Brian Garry lifts Peter McNeeley's arm after the Massachusetts heavyweight scored a first-round TKO of Dr. Harold "Hackie" Reitman before a standing-room only crowd Tuesday night at the Charlotte County Auditorium.   McNeeley knocked down Reitman three times in 2 minutes, 32 seconds to earn his second victory since his loss to Mike Tyson in August.  (Staff photo by Paul Schmidt)

Used cups and some rolled up programs found their way into the ring as Reitman (12-4-4) was helped to his feet, and McNeeley raised his gloved fists over his head.

Reitman, however, had a different perspective on the brief affair.

"Both guys wanted to win at all costs," he said. "And nobody was going to leave anything on the table. That was a real professional heavyweight prize fight."

McNeeley, 26, is known worldwide for his 89-second bout with Mike Tyson that ended in his disqualification when McNeeley's manager/trainer Vinnie Vecchione stepped into the ring.

Despite his fame, McNeeley was clearly not the crowd favorite and some booing could be heard during the introductions. "It's still over the Tyson thing," Vecchione said of the booing.

Reitman, 40, is an orthopedic surgeon known throughout Broward County for his community work, especially with the Boys and Girls Club.

The hometown boxer had the crowd's backing. But he didn't have the goods to hang with McNeeley, who floored Reitman three times.

"I was very economic with my punches," McNeeley said. "I just threw the punches that I needed. I think he got worn down after about a minute-and-a-half."

Said Reitman: "He hits like a mule!"

Both fighters raced toward each other at the sound of the opening bell. "To beat a guy like McNeeley, you've got to bully him. You've got to get him going backwards," Reitman said

"My strategy was to knock him out in the first round."

After the fight, McNeeley held a quick press conference, then signed autographs in the hallway leading from the seating area to the dressing rooms. Reitman quickly headed to his dressing room and called his wife and daughter.

"My daughter Rebecca wanted to know if it was close to a draw," Reitman said with a smile. "I said no."

This story ran on page 1 of The Charlotte Sun Herald on 12/13/95