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franklin county times

McNeil captures first title

By Staff
HARD LICK n Meridian's Tony Young takes a hard right lick from Billy Gates of Mobile, Ala. Young came back to win the lightweight bout Thursday night in boxing action at the Frank Cochran Center. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
MAY 25, 2001
With all hometown eyes on him, Brad McNeil delivered.
He delivered power, speed and bonecrushing punishment. But most importantly, McNeil delivered to the fans of Meridian a middleweight championship.
The Irish Bull stopped Atlanta's Daimeon "The Sarge" Turner just 44 seconds into the sixth round to claim the Southeastern Boxing Federation's Middleweight championship in the main event at the latest Brawlin' at the Frank' Thursday night at the Frank Cochran Center.
The fight was awarded when McNeil dropped a struggling Turner for the third time in the round, and fifth time in the fight.
When the TKO win was announced, a crowd of approximately 1,000 fans erupted and McNeil was jubilant in the middle of the ring as he accepted the belt.
McNeil said he knew from the outset, the match with the toe-to-toe puncher in Turner, would be a tough one.
The tide began to turn in favor of McNeil in the second round after Turner went to one knee after the two were tied up in the corner. Turner put his hand near his eye while down after what looked to be a headbutt. No knockdown was issued and the fight continued, but Turner was never the same.
McNeil came on strong over the next two rounds, before unleashing mercilessly on Turner in the fifth, as the fight was nearly stopped.
Tony Young def. Billy Gates, unanimous decision: In what was arguably the most evenly contested bout of the night, Meridian native Tony Young edged out the slightly quicker Gates who hails from Mobile, Ala.
Young (6-4) came out methodically in the opening round, content to pick his spots when they became available. Conversely, Gates displayed plenty of aggressiveness, seemingly intent on throwing as many punches as he could.
It paid off for him in the second round, as his style marked the action and tone of the three-minute frame. He seemed to have Young in trouble at one point, but could not close the deal. In the third, a big shot by Young put an exclamation point on the action and set the tone for him, who continued to sit back and measure the hard-charging Gates.
Gates had plenty of punches for the Meridian Boxing Club member, but it was the few that Young threw that found the target.
Young edged Gates 58-56 on all three judges' cards.
Abel Hernandez def. Phillip Hammac, unanimous decision: Hernandez, a native of Forest won the four-round decision by staying patient. After wearing down Hammac for three rounds, Hernandez went after him hard in the fourth, settling the issue. Hammac took some major punishment in that frame, losing his mouthpiece twice in the frame.
The judges scored it 39-37 on each card.
J.D. Young def. Chuck Orso, TKO Rd. 2: The flamboyant J.D. Young seemed to have the fight in hand all along, coming to the ring with his signature style. In the second, he began the round by taking a punch from Orso, only to respond with a smile. Then, Young mauled his counterpart with three quick knockdowns for the TKO stoppage.
James "Lights Out" Orso def. Tyrone Richard, TKO in Round 1: In the first bout of the night, it didn't take long as Orso owned the inexperienced Richard, who hailed from Seminary. Richard was caught with his hands down on several occasions and the fight was stopped after a knockdown with one second left in Round One.
The scheduled bout between Meridian's Tim Myers and Welterweight Tyrone Stringfellow, also from Meridian, did not take place as Stringfellow had to pull out with an injury.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. You can call him at 693 1551, ext. 3234 or E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.