2002-02-23 Paulie Ayala w pts 12 Clarence Adams, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - The Ring

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2002-02-23 Paulie Ayala w pts 12 Clarence Adams, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - The Ring. Referee: Kenny Bayless. Scorecards: 118-110, 117-111, 118-110. A return match, this involved The Ring magazine’s Championship Belt. Shooting out southpaw jabs from the beginning Ayala (122) made a better start than previously, and with Adams (121½) boxing far too defensively he slipped further and further behind. It was clear at the two-thirds stage that Adams needed to start taking the fight to Ayala, but while he connected with some good shots here and there it was not sustained. Disappointingly, the fight had not been a patch on their earlier go.

Although giving up the IBO title not long after winning, Ayala was recognised by The Ring magazine as the champion of the weight division until April 2004 despite making no further defences.