2002-11-16 Erik Morales w pts 12 Paulie Ayala, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC

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2002-11-16 Erik Morales w pts 12 Paulie Ayala, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC. Referee: Kenny Bayless. Scorecards: 117-111, 117-111, 116-112. Billed for the vacant title following Marco Antonio Barrera’s decision to move on immediately after becoming champion, Morales (126), given another chance to regain his old title, took full advantage of the situation when emphatically beating the big-hearted Ayala (126) over the full course. Despite what it said on the scorecards several of the rounds were fiercely contested, but ultimately Morales was just too strong with too much ability for his rival, often connecting with jabs, straight rights, hooks and uppercuts that fairly sliced their way through Ayala’s guard. Ayala finished the contest with his left eye almost closed.