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Ayala Jr. in Comeback Bid

March 23, 2000

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Texas boxer Tony Ayala Jr. is expected to sign a contract this week for a multifight deal that could take his comeback all the way to a world title fight by the end of the year.

No deal had been signed by Wednesday evening, said Lester Bedford, president of Boxing Management Inc. of Fort Worth, a promotional group.

Ayala is 3-0 during his boxing comeback since his release from a New Jersey prison. The 36-year-old is expected to sign the pact with Boxing Management Inc. for four fights during the next six months.

``It’s been a long time coming,″ Ayala told the San Antonio Express-News. ``I’m just happy to be able to start earning a living again.″

Ayala was 22-0, with 20 knockouts, and the WBA’s No. 1-ranked junior middleweight in the early 1980s when a sexual assault conviction sent him to prison for 16 years.

If Ayala is successful, he would fight again in May at Fort Worth, with bouts tentatively scheduled for this summer and again in the fall back in San Antonio, possibly at the Alamodome.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

However, ``if things go well, Tony can make up to $1 million or more″ in all for the four fights, Bedford said.

In Ayala’s first three fights _ all knockout victories _ he earned an estimated $400,000. Ayala scored an eighth-round technical knockout of Tony Menefee in his last fight, Dec. 12, with his overall record improving to 25-0 with 23 KOs.

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