The Boston Herald - Sports Saturday, April 18, 1998


Ted Bodenrader

Peter McNeeley displayed courage in shrugging off a nagging injury of his left hand and winning a unanimous decision over gutsy whipping post Dan Kosmicki of Lincoln, Neb., in an ugly and brutal fight at the Mohegan Sun Friday night.

Post-fight X-rays revealed that the hand had been broken. "I felt it snap in the first round with a jab," said McNeeley. "It affected everything I did out there, especially my jab and my hook. My left hand is my bread and butter."

McNeeley's scheduled opponent for last night's card was "Wimpy" Halstead, a boxing veteran whose ring record includes over 100 victories. Four days ago, however, an injury by Halstead forced the replacement. On a somewhat ironic note, McNeeley reportedly entered the ring with a broken nose sustained in training for the bout.

The fight opened with a bang when a powerful right by McNeeley dropped Kosmicki on his rear only 10 seconds into the action. As McNeeley swarmed in for the kill in what looked to be an early finish, Kosmicki crashed a surprise right hand to the jaw that appeared to stun McNeeley momentarily and jolted the crowd to life.

Quickly regaining his senses, McNeeley proceeded to punish Kosmicki for the remainder of the fight.

As McNeeley pounded him at will against the ropes in the second round, Kosmicki was saved by the bell. This was not necessarily a lucky break for the Mid-Westerner, however.

Although visibly favoring his right hand, McNeeley continued his assault through the third round. A hard straight right opened a gash on Kosmicki's hairline. McNeeley's uppercut was particularly effective and jolted Kosmicki repeatedly. In the fifth, he added a cut above Kosmicki's right eye and by the last round, Kosmicki's beaten face looked like raw hamburger.

The final bell eventually ended the carnage and McNeeley was awarded the victory by unanimous decision, scoring 59-54 on two cards and 60-53 on the third.

The most jarring blows McNeeley sustained came from the fired-up crowd. While the majority supported the Massachusetts-based McNeeley, a sizable portion of the audience taunted him with jeers throughout the fight, a phenomenon that has plagued McNeeley since his infamous disqualification loss to Mike Tyson.

"I guess Peter is going to be controversial now, no matter what happens," said trainer/manager Vinnie Vecchione. "But I'm very happy with him. He's a local athlete who has been under tremendous pressure and he's handling it the best way he can. We're going to keep fighting."

This marked the third bout in McNeeley's comeback from recent battles with alcohol and cocaine addictions. The layoff, which came a year after the Tyson fight, kept him out of boxing for 16 months.

Related articles:
McNeeley Fights To Remain Sober   [The Boston Globe]
McNeeley Beats Up Kosmicki   [International Boxing Digest]

This story was published in the Boston Herald on 04/18/98.