Peter overcomes three knockdowns to retain title over McCline
Samuel Peter survived three trips to the canvas to grind out a hardfought victory over Jameel McCline.
NEW YORK -- Opportunity knocked at Madison Square Garden for Jameel McCline Saturday night. He declined to answer.Despite dropping WBC interim heavyweight champion Samuel Peter once at the end of the second round and twice in a third round in which Peter tumbled around the ring like he was wearing roller skates, McCline found a way to lose a unanimous decision and his fourth shot at the heavyweight title by an almost impossibly wide margin.
Rivera, 34, was unable to match Santos' punching power or his speed, plodding after the 29-year-old Santos to no good end. Rivera was in trouble in the fifth round and by midway through the sixth his right eye was beginning to swell badly.
By the seventh his face was a burning crimson and his back was covered with red blotches from the number of times he had been pushed back along the ropes. As Rivera began to fade into what he later said would be his retirement, Santos pressed him, finally stunning him with a solid right hand that stiffed his legs.
Rivera tottered backward into the ropes with Santos in hot pursuit until he was finally driven to his knees, his face pressed to the canvas. Rivera bravely got up at seven and held his hands above his head, demanding to go on despite the fact that his face was now swollen and in sad disrepair. But before referee Pete Santiago made the mistake of allowing the bout to continue, Rivera's trainer John Scully mercifully climbed onto the ring apron and threw in the towel, ending both the night and very likely Rivera's career.Ron Borges, who has won numerous Boxing Writers Association of America awards, covers boxing for HBO.com and for Boxing Monthly.