Originally created 12/20/97

McNeeley to dedicate next fight to Farley



MEDFIELD, Mass. AP -- Peter McNeeley, knocked out in the first round by Mike Tyson in 1995, plans to dedicate his next fight to the late comedian Chris Farley.

McNeeley, who was the first to fight Tyson after the heavyweight champion was released from prison two years ago, spent a month with Farley last year at a rehabilitation center. They were being treated for drug and alcohol abuse.

Farley, 33, was found dead Thursday in his Chicago apartment.

McNeeley was devastated by Farley's death.

"It scared me and hurt me," McNeeley said. "I knew Chris was headed in this direction."

McNeeley spent time with Farley at the Hazelden Clinic in Center City, Minn. He said Farley suffered from low self-esteem.

"His body was his best friend and worst enemy," McNeeley said. "He told us in therapy that as a child, he had to put on the clown suit to get people to like him because he was fat."

McNeeley's next fight is Jan. 16 against Larry Menafee at Atlantic City. McNeeley lasted only 89 seconds against Tyson.