2001-03-30 Paulie Ayala w pts 12 Hugo Dianzo, Convention Centre, Fort Worth, Texas, USA - WBA

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2001-03-30 Paulie Ayala w pts 12 Hugo Dianzo, Convention Centre, Fort Worth, Texas, USA - WBA. Referee: Laurence Cole. Scorecards: 115-113, 115-113, 115-112. Distinctly lucky to retain his crown, the southpaw Ayala (118) appeared to have been outworked and outboxed throughout, something that was supported by the ring stats which showed Dianzo (118) to have thrown 465 more punches than the champion and landed 43 more. Down in the fourth, Ayala just could not get into the fight despite the verdict being a unanimous one in his favour.

Ayala forfeited the WBA version of the title in July for agreeing to meet Clarence Adams for the IBO junior featherweight championship, which he won on 4 August. Following that, Eidy Moya, the ‘interim’ champion, and Adan Vargas were matched to contest the vacant title.