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franklin county times

McNeil may get his big TV break

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
June 27, 2001
Many in the boxing profession fight for years and never get the opportunity to showcase their skills on national television.
Meridian's Brad McNeil hopes to get that chance Friday night.
McNeil is fighting on the undercard of the Eric Harding/Demetrius Jenkins fight Friday at the Grand Casino-Gulfport resort. The main bout will be televised by the ESPN family of networks at 7:30 p.m., and local promoter David McNeil said he thinks his son's fight might get some tube time.
"They're thinking that he'll get some air time," David McNeil said. "That'd be a first for him.
"They're talking highly of Brad and they're pushing this fight as one of the top undercard bouts," McNeil said. "The chance to get on ESPN and get some exposure is a step up."
A step up is what Brad McNeil is looking for, as he is unbeaten in seven professional fights with six of the wins coming by knockouts. Friday, he'll fight another unbeaten in Anthony Bowman (3-0) of Jackson, Tenn.
"It's a pretty tough guy," David McNeil said. "As (Brad) keeps stepping up, the quality of his opponents is going to get better."
Brad McNeil, 24, has fought on the Gulf Coast before, but this will be his first time there as a professional. His father, who runs McNeil Promotions and has produced the local favorite "Brawlin' at The Frank," said he thinks his son is ready to rumble.
"He's in good condition and his attitude's good," he said. "It's just up to him now. He's devoted. He's holding down a job and he's dedicated to this, too. Of course, it's a full-time job."
Harding, who lost a title bid to Roy Jones, Jr., last year, is looking to get back to the top against Jenkins in the main event.
The top undercard bout features Carl Handy (13-1-1) of New Orleans against Lee Fortune (23-16) in an eight-round fight.
In addition to the McNeil/Bowman bout, Greg Barrientes (5-0) of Biloxi goes against Marvin Hunt (7-4) of Tennessee, while in a middleweight bout, Dupree Strickland faces Anthony Greeley in a battle of Louisiana natives.
ESPN and Explosion Promotions, in association with Leslie Bonano, Inc., put the fight card together.
For ticket information, you may contact the Grand Casino Ticket Office by calling 1-228-870-7777. All tickets are $9.95.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.

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