Banks beats Ayala again

Ayala falls flat against Banks in rematch

By Alex Pierpaoli

originally published 2/26/07 on


Fighting closer to home certainly didn’t help matters for New Haven middleweight Elvin Ayala on Friday night when he met David Banks in the ten round Main Event at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun.  Banks had emerged victorious from their first meeting at Boston’s The Roxy back in November where a split decision resulted in the first professional loss for Elvin Ayala.  Banks left little doubt who the better fighter was on Friday when he defeated Ayala again, this time by unanimous decision.  The card was televised on Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo, the weekly Spanish language boxing broadcast that features talent from around the world with an emphasis on Latino pugilists.

Reports out of his training camp had suggested that Elvin Ayala was one hundred percent focused and ready for action but from the opening bell the New Haven native looked flat and uninspired versus Oregon’s David Banks.  Ayala, who weighed one sixty three and a half, pawed at Banks with jabs and let himself get bulled into the ropes again and again by the busier and more aggressive Banks.  Fighting with his back along the ropes Ayala was rarely able to land with anything significant and was unable to deflect or slip out of the way of Banks’ punches.  David Banks, who weighed one-sixty-one, used pressure and his muscular frame to keep Ayala on the defensive throughout the bout.  Other than an occasional flicking jab Ayala was never able to land anything significant and yet he was still able to win three rounds on one official scorecard and four on another.  Only Judge Clark Sammartino, who saw the bout at 99-91 for Banks, seemed to be watching the same fight the rest of the assembled witnessed.  Judges Steve Weisfeld and Tom Kaczmarek saw the fight 96-94 and 97-93, respectively, all for David Banks.

Banks is now 14-1-1 (2) while Ayala looks to regroup with a record of 16-2 (7).


In the opening bout on Telefutura, Castulo Gonzalez of Revere, MA, outworked Barbaro Zepeda of Chicago, in a rough and ugly match-up that saw referee Ken Ezzo doing lots of work tugging both guys out of numerous clinches.  Throughout Gonzalez was able to walk Zepeda down and dig to his body only to be caught up again and again in grappling clinches.  By the end of eight rounds the crowd had seen plenty and so had the three judges who scored the fight 80-72 and 78-74 twice all for Castulo Gonzalez.  Gonzalez’ record improved to 9-2 (3) while Zepeda dropped to 8-11-1 (2).


In the second televised bout of the night two flyweights made their professional debuts in an exciting four round slug-out.  Icender Beauchamp, of Revere, MA, got up from a first round knockdown at the hands of Gabriel Cruz, of Portland, Oregon, to score a unanimous decision win.  In round one both men exchanged hard shots and a snappy left hook from Cruz put Beauchamp flat on his back.  Beauchamp stepped up his attack in rounds two, three and four and rallied back, landing hard bolts to the head of Cruz in each round.  After four, the three judges saw the fight the same to the round, scoring it a 38-37 victory for Beauchamp.


Massachusetts Junior welterweights Sean Eklund of Lowell and Jeff Farmer of Holyoke would have probably done more damage to each other had they been able to use harsh language as neither fighter ever landed many solid blows.  Eklund was able to outwork and out maneuver Farmer over the four round distance and it was enough to come up with the unanimous decision.  Eklund is now 2-2 while Farmer drops to 1-5.


Featherweight Dat Nguyen was just what the Mohegan Sun crowd ordered; a pint-sized puncher who wings bombs with both hands and doesn’t like lulls in the action.  Nguyen, who is trained by the former junior welter and welterweight champion James Buddy McGirt, didn’t disappoint versus English southpaw Vineash Rungea.  In the first round Nguyen stung Rungea several times with looping power punches but by the fourth round Rungea had found a chopping right to the head of his own that catches Nguyen repeatedly, breaking his rhythm and stymieing his attack.  Rungea’s southpaw stance was hardly an advantage versus Nguyen because the Englishman squared his shoulders in front of his opponent and reduces any decisive advantage the southpaw angle would normally provide.  After six rounds it was Nguyen who came away with a lop-sided unanimous decision, improving his record to 8-0 (5) while Rungea falls to 2-6-2.


Southpaw Kaseem Wilson of Philadelphia, out pointed Hollister Elliot of Dorchester, MA, over the six round distance in the first fight of the night.  Using numerous lead left hands Wilson was able to keep Elliot off-balance and on the defensive for much of the bout.  The crowd didn’t enjoy the bout and were pretty vocal about it because few of the punches were thrown in anger and the action was never very heated.  Wilson improved 7-0-1 (3) with the win, while Elliot falls to 7-18-1 (2).


In the final fight of the night heavyweights Tyrone Smith of Boston and Tony Grano of Hartford rumbled in a rough but crowd pleasing decision win for the beloved Grano who got the remaining crowd on their feet for much of the action.  Grano was never able to get enough punching room against the taller and longer armed Smith who after round two, seemed content to do just enough to finish on his feet.  Grano attacked the body of Smith but was repeatedly tied up and he was never able to adapt to Smith’s clutching style.  At the end of six the judges tabbed Grano the winner by unanimous decision which sent his fans into a frenzy of cheers.  Grano improved to 7-0-1 (6) while Smith dropped to 5-4-1 (2).

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