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franklin county times

Pro boxing returns to Meridian

By By Austin Bishop / EMG regional sports director
July 25, 2002
Professional boxing returns to Meridian on Saturday night at the Frank Cochran Center as McNeil Promotions puts on its 14th "Brawlin' at the Frank."
Highlighting the card as the main event is Meridian's James Hard to Beat' Jones who will be putting his Mississippi Heavyweight title on the line in a 10-round bout against Willie Washington of Jackson.
The co-main event has Brad McNeil of Meridian taking on Mac Willis of Atlanta in a six-round light heavyweight bout. McNeil goes into the fight with a 12-1-3 record.
In all, there are seven bouts scheduled for the event, which begins at 7 p.m. The doors open at 6 p.m. General admission seats are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Ringside tables and individual table seats are also available. Children 8-under are free, while those 9-12 are $5.
Ticket outlets are at Stephon's Auto Service and Robert Earl's Pit Stop.
McNeil said while the big fights at the large venues are fun to watch, that the real excitement can be found at places like the Frank Cochran Center.
The main event between Jones and Washington can certainly be called a grudge match.
Brad McNeil, the promoter's son, said he really didn't know a whole lot about his opponent, other than he was a journeyman with a lot of experience.
The other five scheduled fights Q all of which are subject to change Q are four-round events.
Philip Hammac of Philadelphia will try to exact some revenge against Chuck Orso of McIntosh, Ala., in a welterweight bout. Orso already has a knockout win over Hammac.
Rick Franklin of Jackson will face Michael Shaffer of Pascagoula in a welterweight fight, while supper middleweight Bo Skipper of Laurel will take on Charles Chaney of Hammond, La.
The other two fights both involve Meridian boxers.
Big John Peters of Meridian will face Joe Johnson in a heavyweight match, while featherweight Freddie Collins of Meridian will take on Mike Sloboda of Shreveport.
In other boxing news, three Meridian boxers will be on the Aug. 17 card at the Tunica Grand Casino in the Delta dubbed "The Thriller on the River."
The main event will have Meridian's Jones taking on Greg Pickrom of Houston, Texas for the USBO Heavyweight Championship. On the same card Q which is scheduled to be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast Q Collins will take on Antonio Smith for the Mississippi State Featherweight Championship.
Also, Meridian heavyweight George Burrage will make his pro debut against John Phillips.