Tony Ayala Jr., a rising star in boxing before a 1983 rape conviction that led to the first of two prison terms, died in San Antonio Tuesday. He was 52. Bexar County medical examiner records indicate Ayala died at a family-owned gym where he was trying to build a career as a trainer. There was no immediate cause of death.
Ayala was 19 when he was arrested and convicted of raping a schoolteacher. After serving 16 years of a 35-year term for rape, Ayala spent 10 more years in prison in Texas on a parole violation in another case. He was released last year.
It was long an article of faith among sport cognoscenti that nothing in athletics approached the sheer electric drama and glamour of a heavyweight championship fight.
Well, if you missed it, they had one of those in no less a shrine than Madison Square Garden on Saturday. You could have watched it on plain old TV if you were not already analyzing the NFL draft, following the NBA or NHL playoffs or watching the baseball season unfold. Poor, ignored heavyweights.