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Silver Star, big-time boxing lineup hits hard this weekend

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
March 14, 2001
It's time again for boxing at the Silver Star Resort and Casino. Saturday at 6 p.m. under the backdrop of Fox Sports Net, area boxing fans will experience another fully-charged night of fist-flying action.
One of the last big televised cards at the Silver Star saw a host of great matches. And the America Presents promoters promise this "No Mercy" card will deliver as well.
The headlining event will feature former WBO heavyweight champion Ray Mercer. Mercer, who has a record of 26-4-1 with 18 knockouts, is a 1988 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist and a retired Army sergeant.
He gained the title in 1991, just two years from his pro debut, but suffered his first defeat a year later to former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. His other defeats have come in split decisions to such big names as Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.
In a late turn of events, Mercer will go up against a relatively unknown in Donnie Steel.
Mercer was slated to fight Tonga's 1996 Olympic Super Heavyweight Silver Medalist in Wolfgramm, but Mercer reportedly backed off of that challenge within the last couple of weeks.
In another televised match, Lawrence Clay-Bey faces off against Ken Murphy.
Although one of the bigger fights of the night won't be televised, it will have a local flavor.
Meridian's Brad McNeil, the son of local boxing promoter David McNeil, will take on Mexico's Eduardo Martinez.
This match is for something more than bragging rights, as Martinez bested Brad's brother Clint during the last Silver Star card in October.
Martinez has beaten some other area boxers, as well, so don't be surprised if McNeil takes this welterweight grudge match a little personal.
There is a chance that this welterweight grudge match (both fighters are in the neighborhood of 150 pounds) may be a part of the Fox TV package.
Clint, McNeil's other son, has been on other TV cards before. Brad enters the match unbeaten at 5-0.
In an undercard match, Gulfport's Willie Lee will take on Anthony Greely from Monroe, La.
The Silver Star Conference Center doors open at 6 p.m., non-televised bouts begin at 7 p.m. and the televised bouts beginning at approximately 8 p.m.
But Saturday night's action certainly won't be all of the great boxing at the Silver Star this weekend.
The Mississippi State Golden Gloves Boxing Championship will take place at the Silver Star Sunday afternoon. Weigh-ins will begin at 10 a.m. and go until 1 p.m. The actual boxing starts at 3 p.m.
Winners of this competition will depart for the Mid-South competition in Little Rock, Ark. There they will compete as the Mississippi Golden Gloves champs.
Among some of the Meridian boxers that will be competing Sunday are Shawn Young, Zachary Bell, Charles Nicholas, Travis Phillips, Charles Dale, Brandon Chaney and Malcolm Martin.
There is no admission fee for the Golden Gloves Tournament, and the general public is encouraged to attend. Coaches for the group of boxers who train at the Meridian Boxing Club are David McNeil and Tic Griggs.
Tickets for the Saturday night event can be charged by phone at 1-800-557-0711 or purchased at the Silver Star box office.
Tickets to the event are $50 for ringside and $25 for al other seats.
You must be 21 years old or older to attend the Saturday card.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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