Mike Tyson called out by Peter ‘The Hurricane’ McNeeley – the man Iron Mike battered after release from prison

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MIKE TYSON has been teasing a return to the ring – and the man who faced him for his most famous comeback fight is ready to try and avenge his loss.Peter “The Hurricane” McNeeley says he is on board to go toe-to-toe with the man dubbed the GOAT for an exhibition match.Mike Tyson smashed Peter McNeeley within 90 seconds of his first fight back from his prison termThe pair fought out a real mismatch in 1995 – after Tyson had spent three years in prisonTyson famously battered McNeeley in less than 90 seconds during his famous comeback fight in 1995 – when he made his professional return after a three-year prison sentence having been convicted of rape.Now in an exclusive interview, McNeeley vowed to avenge his defeat and meet “force with force” should Tyson agree to the rematch.Reports have already claimed Iron Mike is weighing up a deal for a four round exhibition bout with Evander Holyfield.Tyson Fury’s dad John, as well as Shannon Briggs, have thrown their names into the running for a fight with Iron Mike.But Boston brawler McNeeley says that he is ready to “stick it” to Tyson, but not throw bombs – event though he knows that the New Yorker has a superior skill set.In an in-depth interview, McNeeley opened up about their initial fight in Las Vegas, where he was knocked down twice before his trainer threw in the towel.Cheerful McNeely reveals he was terrified before the match, even though publicly he’d promised to wreck Tyson’s comeback.McNeeley was devastated by Tyson’s speed and precision, but also insists his trainers had prepared him well to avoid “damage from power left hooks”.After the demolition, Tyson and McNeeley became friends three years later with the loser confirming he still has “huge respect and love” for Iron Mike.But McNeeley feels Muhammed Ali is the greatest to have ever stepped inside a ring, not his friend Tyson.Like all things in Mike’s life, this whole thing takes on a life of it own and it rolls into a monster.McNeeley on Tyson’s return to boxingOn a potential rematch, McNeeley told SunSport: “Of course I would do it again. It would be a fairytale.“But the bottom line for the world to be entertained by these Gods, it comes down to one thing – money. It is all about the money!“It is all about Mike. I can say things, but it is about what he wants to do, because that is what will happen.“According to Mike he just wants three or four rounds exhibitions for charity. And of course that could be fun.“But like all things in Mike’s life, this whole thing takes on a life of it own and it rolls into a monster.“People are saying that he may come back from retirement and is going to fight Holyfield, I mean come on.“Mike is 53, not in his prime like when we fought 25 years ago. He looks in great shape and maybe he is returning as a pro?“I do not believe that the WBC would rank him, of course Mike could walk into a press conference tomorrow and say he was signing real contracts and everything changes.“But hey I am the same weight and size I was back then, but I am not sure if I can throw or take punches like I did then. You only know that when you step in the ring.“I am not worried for his ring return, but I am not worried. He has huge experience and knows himself.”McNeeley knows Holyfield may be Tyson’s first challenger given figures of £16million have been raised.But he urged Tyson to reconsider, saying: “This is the odd thing, Evander already beat Mike 2 and 0, including he one we all remember as the pay per chew – where he bit his ear off.“So come on, this is not a real No3 fight. People have to got to realise what is real. So I’m not sure if they both need money – that is their business.“Evander does not have a vast fortune, who really knows. But there is no way it can match what we saw in their fights.”Reflecting on his own skillset, McNeeley – whose career saw him have a record of 47 fights and seven losses – said: “Have I got gas in the tank? I am walking – so there is gas in the tank.“I am in good shape – weighing 225lbs – but I am smart enough to know my body was a whole different ball game back then.“I am lean and mean. At 51 my body is not the same, but who knows – maybe I can take a punch better than I did back then.“I last sparred about two and a half years, but I work with younger boxers most days.“I coach a lot of youngsters at the 978 IntenZe (CORR) gym in Lawrence, Massachusetts. I run defence a lot, to aid them their offence. It never leaves you.“These are great guys at the gym, who do a lot of good for the community especially in this tough city keeping kids, teens and early 20s out of trouble. So this would be nice for them too.”In 1995, the then-highest ever pay per view TV audience watched clinic Tyson dismantle McNeeley in 89 seconds in Las Vegas.McNeeley vows that he will repeat the same tactics he adopted that night, despite his disastrous defeat.Peter McNeeley hasn’t ruled out a rematch with Mike TysonMike Tyson looks in great shape as he prepares to return to boxingMcNeeley’s trainer threw in the towel to prevent his star from any hurtHe added: “Look I was the only boxer to ever go after Mike from the bell in round one.“I stuck it to him and I would do the same again if we fought today. You have to meet force with force.“In a real fight someone is looking to knock you out, set you up and hurt you. Look obviously it is an exhibition match no-one will be throwing bombs, trying to kill.“But I would not hold back. These types of fights are like light sparring. You show your boxing skills and then get behind your jab for a bit.“Sure I can box a little, but I am not known for the finesse of someone like Ali.“Mike has been around the block and can handle himself so it could be fun. Maybe for the second one I could achieve the things I failed to in the first match.”He added with his enigmatic Boston charm: “It‘d be nice to see Mike again, but to avoid that upper cut.”McNeeley was lifted from virtual obscurity to face Tyson, the former undisputed heavyweight champion, in front of 16,113 fans at the MGM Grand Garden on August 19, 1995.The spectacle grossed almost £85million worldwide and set multiple domestic pay-per-view records.Underdog McNeeley adopted the same tactics as he approached every one of his previous 37 fights.I had STD to be honest – I was scared to death!McNeeley on squaring up to TysonMcNeeley continued: “I always felt the best way to start was to be as warmed up, worked out and wound up.“I went in there sweating, feeling I could get right on him, while he was cold and get him out of there quick.“And Mike had been away for a while. So maybe he would be Rusty Mike, and less Iron Mike. And also Don King, my then promoter, told me that I had nothing to lose.“It was a lottery ticket for me. Don said ‘if Peter beats Mike Tyson he will get £8m for the next fight.“And I took my shot – and he was a better fighter than me. Short and simple.”Fans watched fearless McNeeley run across the ring, physically smashing into Tyson, before throwing a wild right cross and left hook.But his unrattled opponent fended him off, ducked away from a fraught left hook from the Bostonian before pivoting back up to deliver a thumping right cross, which sent him sprawling backwards.McNeeley recalled: “I had STD to be honest – I was scared to death… not a sexually transmitted disease!“I may not have acted nor looked it, but the truth is I was scared before every fight. If you aren’t then you should not be there.“I stuck with the plan ‘f*** it I am going right at him’. And you look closely you can actually see me saying it in the corner.“Mike weighed 216lbs that night and was all speed – frankly blinding fast speed.“I was trying to get him out of there early, but I didn’t see that really good right cross coming; although the first knockdown I was off balance.“I felt OK because I bounced up and just wanted to get back to him. The referee had no choice to start the count, but I wasn’t out or really hurt.”Mike Tyson took just 89 seconds to beat Peter McNallyMike Tyson was one of the most feared fighters on the planetCredit: Getty Peter McNeeley has opened up about his friendship with Mike TysonThe referee gave McNeeley a seven-count, before he again tore across the canvas to attack Tyson.The American continued: “I’ve got film of the footage afterwards from Showtime, and I saw how the speed overwhelmed me.“I hit Mike with a couple of head shots, but it did not matter. His trainers had him prepare well too.“My great career punch was a left hook, either to the head or the body. And Mike held on to that arm, which was a smart thing to do avoid getting hurt.“Still, I didn’t stop trying. Probably I should have changed up my routine and gone to jab… but life ain’t about ‘what if’.”Tyson shied away from the wild hooks and crosses for just over a minute longer.And at the 74-second mark he began to unload a flurry of six stinging left and right hooks, before smashing a devastating right upper cut on his chin.McNeeley remembered: “It became clear in his mind that this kid will throw bombs at me, so let’s get him out of here.“If I would have caught him, given his contract with Showtime and MGM, it would have cost him a lot.“So he came at me, he switched to southpaw and got me clean with his best punch – that career punch – the right upper cut point blank on the chin.“I don’t remember this, but if you look at the film closely I went down on my face as I couldn’t get my hands up to stop my fall.“You know something is wrong. When I did get up at the count of four I was out of my face. I was mixed up, my pupils were dilated as s*** and concussed.“[Trainer Vinnie Vecchione] was a foot away from me, because I got knocked down in my own corner, and he saw my eyes.”Vecchione stepped into the ring to protect his fighter from more damage as boos rang out across the arena.And McNeeley added: “People were mad when Vinnie jumped and stopped the fight and I feel Vinnie did the right thing stopping the fight.“At the time I was p***ed, but I understand why he did that. My instinct was I wanted to go at him a third time.“But when Mike Tyson has you hurt, he is like a shark in blood infested waters. When you are hurt – he is going to f*** you up. That is the bottom line.“If I would continued maybe he would have hurt me real bad.”McNeeley, raised in Medfield, laughed: “I respect Vinnie for that. Afterwards, I went up to Mike and said you will be champion again. And since that moment I was tied to Mike for life.”And he enjoyed the fame for a couple of years – earning over £230,000 for commercial deals with brands like Pizza Hut and AOL.He continued: “I am smart enough and man enough to know I was just the co-star. But I have always been a confident kid and being out with media came easy for me.“Everyone loved to joke about Vinnie stopping the fight, but it turned out well.“We ended up getting two commercials after the fight. Him stopping it like that by stepping one ring made us more money.“I did a famous Pizza Hut commercial. And the other thing I will never forget Vinnie called me up and said ‘you’ve been offered this other computer thing America Online – who the hell knows what it is!“That was back in 1995 and let’s be honest who knew that it would become this big thing. It was fun times and I take it all in good spirits.”We used to call each other, and every time without fail he would ask: ‘Peter how is your father’. That is respect.McNeeley on ‘respectful’ TysonMcNeeley won the USBF heavyweight title a few weeks later, while Tyson retained his WBC and WBA crowns.The Boston star felt he may never get to express his thanks to Tyson, until a bizarre connection played out in September 1998.McNeeley said: “This one time Mike was in Boston and by coincidence he happened to be driven by my old limo driver Dave.“And Dave called me up and said: ‘Pete you’re never going to believe this… I am driving Mike Tyson. Should I say anything about you?’“I said ‘hell yeah… you might help me get the rematch!’“I just got a message that Mike thought it was funny and he would like to have dinner one time if I had time.“Some time passed and Dave came by and said Mike wants to take me out to dinner. I got home and Tyson was on my voicemail asking if I wanted to hook up.“Next thing I know, the limo driver was banging on my door saying Tyson was at his hotel room in Cambridge, with his second wife and their kids.“Mike shook my hand, hugged me and talked to me for about 15 minutes. I am still grateful I got that time with him, because things were going on in his life far greater than meeting me.“It was nice to be with him without it being TV cameras, a press conference or anything fight-related.“These things get blown out of proportion around these fights and Mike. People are just people. They all put their pants on the same way.“He came across as a kind, down to earth, humble guy. It was pretty special.“I did not hear from until nine years later, in 2007 when he got my landline phone number from somebody and called me and we ended talking for a few months.“We used to call each other, and every time without fail he would ask: ‘Peter how is your father’. That is respect.“He knew that my dad fought Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres, who were two of his mentor Cus D’Amato’s fighters. And of course Mike knows his boxing history.“It is nice to talk to him on a normal level. I am not one of his best friends, but it was great to have connected like we did.”Grinning, he added: “Mike has talked about me in public and has always said nice things about me. He is a great guy – I love the guy.“I am glad he is doing so well. And when Mike is doing good. I am doing good. And our names are attached henceforth.“Tyson was my hero when I was in college. I still won’t forget at the weigh in, his stare, his presence and the tension.“And he very calmly said, ‘good luck’, and shook my hand. That says it all.”But McNeeley revealed he still regards Ali as the best ever, saying: “Me, personally, I think Ali in the 1960s was best.“He had speed and he could punch. That fight he had with Cleveland Williams in 1966 that was the greatest heavyweight performance ever.”In the last 25 years, McNeeley has had a small negative reaction over his swift defeat.He revealed: “Can you believe people are still prank calling me about that fight. They ring up calling me bum, saying I sucked. I am not joking.“I try to talk to these idiots, but these people aren’t kids they are adults. I am like, ‘you are making a prank call – what is wrong with you? Why are you are wasting your time talking to me.’“It is hilarious. Someone told me once if you get prank calls you it means you made a difference.“People think I am punch drunk and I took too many punches. I had 54 pro fights and I am proud of that – I am a third generation McNeeley fighter. The trickle down effect has been wonderful.”By the late 1990s McNeeley was overcome with addictions to drink and drugs.At one point he claims to have lived in a crack house in Brockton, blowing £30,000 in six weeks.In 2006 he was arrested for a couple of petty crimes, the first for punching a man and stealing his wallet containing £160, and the second for driving the getaway car used in a robbery of a Walgreens store.His distraught mum saved him from lifetime money woes, essentially taking over his bank accounts.McNeeley said: “It is no big secret I had my alcohol and drug problems back then. I trained hard, fought hard and I played hard.“I couldn’t say why I did all that. It was all in my head. I needed to grow up and say ‘why are doing that?“I can sit here and point the finger at this and that, but at the end of that was the way I was that day. Today I couldn’t care less if I never had a beer again.“I miss smoking the green stuff. But say if I did that again who knows what would happen. I feel stable now.“I put my issues on the shelf. My mother seizing my money was the best thing that ever happened to me.“But I don’t run around Boston like I used to. I was always in Boston drinking and doing coke in the 90s.“Today when I go there it’s to hang with my six-year-old daughter, who is the greatest thing in my life.”Mike Tyson shows off shredded physique aged 53 in gym workout with MMA legend Vitor Belfort ahead of boxing return last_img

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