|The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire -- Oct. 8, 2000|
Ayala vs Tapia II: The Fight and the ControversyAn age-old boxing maxim is "the rematch of a great fight is usually inferior to the original." While Ayala-Tapia II was not a bad match at all (with the unfortunate exception of the result), it definitely was inferior to the slugfest they had last June.
Tonight was just . . . different. Ayala did not look like the sole conquerer of Johnny Tapia, he looked like another victim of Tapia's flashy showmanship and ring skills. Ayala made it close with his gutsiness and will, but it seemed clear that Tapia dominated the majority of the rounds.
Still, Paulie Ayala was the winner: the judges said so. He is now 2-0 against Johnny Tapia, and claims that he will remain at Featherweight, despite having said prior to the fight that he would remain at Bantamweight.
Tapia, who fell to 48-2-2, was the clear victim in another chapter titled "boxing's lousiest decisions." The two went at it fairly evenly in the first three rounds. It was highly competitive, like the fight we saw about fifteen months ago.
However, after that it was mostly Tapia's fight. Ayala was inaccurate, missing many of the shots he attempted. Johnny was sharp, punched in bunches, and maintained his usual great defensive tactics.
In the last two rounds, Ayala came back from a very inactive run in the middle rounds. He fought it out very gamely with Tapia, mostly gaining the advantage. My final tally for the match was 117-112 for "Mi Vida Loca".
Following the match, Tapia was so livid that he had to be physically restrained and escorted back to his lockerroom. It was later reported that he refused to comment on the fight. Meanwhile, Ayala was in the ring saying that he knew that he had won the fight and there was no doubt in his mind before the decision was announced.
One thing that bugs me about things like this is what Ayala said following the fight. He was insistent that he landed all of the punches and that Tapia was the one who was missing constantly. He then said that the judges were seeing what he saw and that nobody except the two men in the ring could quite see.
I may not have been in the ring tonight in Las Vegas, but I know what I saw. It was the sight of Johnny Tapia being screwed out of a rather fringe title at his new weight of 126 pounds.
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