The McNeeley Clown Show
When last we visited with Peter McNeeley, he was in his Las Vegas suite, celebrating his now infamous 89 seconds in the ring with Mike Tyson. "I'll be back," he promised, waving a wet stogie in one hand and a bottle of Budweiser in the other. After two months of partying and filming a pair of self-mocking television commercials designed to stretch his proverbial 15 minutes of fame, McNeeley—alas—came back. He returned to the ring Friday night for a 12-round preliminary bout on the first card at Boston's new FleetCenter. In less than five minutes McNeeley dispatched a skinny, 196-pound pug named Michael Sam, who, despite showing up at the arena in a black Grateful Dead T-shirt, failed the palooka acid test.
There was something pathetically familiar about the fight, what with McNeeley grinning dumbly and the crowd cheering for a convicted felon, in this case, the 37-year-old Sam, recently released after a seven-year prison term for armed robbery. "You should come hang out with us," McNeeley told Sam afterward. "You're kind of thuggy."
After the fight, McNeeley's manager, Vinny Vecchione, mentioned possible bouts with Larry Holmes and Carl (The Truth) Williams, even though McNeeley has offered no evidence that he can stand in even with those legless old men. Moreover, Hurricane McNeeley's stormy hometown reception—he was greeted by a round of boos and, on his way out, heard a chorus of "You suck! You suck!"—shows that however likable he may have been as a prime-time punching bag, he just doesn't play as a leading man.
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