The animal Elvin Ayala waited so long to unleash is finally on the loose.
Working with new trainer Marshall Kauffman for the first time, Ayala (26-5-1, 12 KOs) let his hands fly Saturday night and earned a convincing knockout win over dangerous veteran John Mackey (13-8-3), stopping his opponent with a series of unanswered flurries 53 seconds into the ninth round of their scheduled 10-round main event at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
Ayala, the reigning World Boxing Council U.S. National Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) middleweight champion from New Haven, Conn., who’s now ranked No. 20 in the world, came out more aggressive under the guidance of Kauffman, who helped lead Kermit Cintron to a world title. Ayala initiated the action from the opening bell, delivering on his promise to unleash his “inner animal,” and finally earned the stoppage once Mackey failed to fight back.
Ayala nearly ended the bout in the fifth, catching Mackey against the ropes, but ultimately ran out of time. Ayala again caught Mackey in the seventh after Mackey took his eye off his opponent and momentarily motioned to the referee after an alleged head-butt, but Mackey – a consummate counter-puncher – answered with two big left hands at the bell.
Throughout the week, Ayala spoke about wanting to score a knockout and looked impressive doing so; he delivered Saturday in grand fashion, taking another step closer toward his ultimate goal against a game opponent who took the fight on short notice.
Backed by another strong outpouring of fan support, unbeaten female bantamweight Shelito Vincent (4-0) of New London, Conn., and now training in Providence, R.I., kept her perfect record intact with a unanimous-decision win over Ivana Coleman (0-1) of Slidell, La., 40-36 across the board.
Coleman, a professional mixed martial arts fighter, couldn’t keep pace with the faster, more active Vincent, who out-worked her opponent and landed the majority of the power shots throughout the fight to record her fourth win in nine months.
Hartford, Conn., super featherweight Joseph “Chip” Perez (9-1, 3 KOs) put on a show in the six-round special attraction, stopping spirited challenger Johnny Frazier (3-10-2) of Akron, Ohio at the closing bell of the fourth round.
The two traded blows throughout the fight, often egging each other on after the opponent landed a clean shot, but Perez ultimately landed the most effective shot of the night, dropping Frazier for good with an overhand right at the 3:00-mark of the fourth round.
Bridgeport, Conn., lightweight Carlos Hernandez (3-2, 2 KO) won easily in the opening bout, stopping Alan Beeman (0-4) of Newport, R.I., at the 2:43 mark of the first round. Hernandez dropped Beeman with a left hook to the body late in the round and then kept applying the pressure until referee Danny Schiavone stepped in with 17 seconds remaining following a series of unanswered lefts by Hernandez. The Bridgeport native has now won three consecutive fights.
The professional debuts of both Donnie Palmer (0-0-1) of Boston and Springfield, Mass., native Moses Marshall (0-0-1) turned out to be one of the most exciting fights of the night as the two heavyweights traded blows through four back-and-forth rounds.
Marshall landed consistently to the head throughout the night despite at least a six-inch height disadvantage while Palmer used his jab and heavy overhand rights to keep Marshall at bay as often as possible. The fight ended in a majority draw with two judges scoring the bout 38-38 apiece and the third scoring it 39-37 in favor of Palmer.
Unbeaten lightweight Gabriel Duluc (6-0) of Boston and super middleweight Tylon Burris (3-0) of Hartford, Conn., each won lopsided decisions. Duluc outworked New Haven’s Christian Lao (4-2), scoring a first-round knockdown courtesy of a vicious body blow en route to a unanimous 40-35 decision across the board. Burris beat Providence’s Luis Felix (0-3), who took the fight on short notice, 40-36, 40-36, 40-36 to remain undefeated.
Framingham, Mass., middleweight Saul Almeida – one of the top-ranked featherweights in the northeast in mixed martial arts with 14 professional fights under his belt – and fellow newcomer Antonio Marrero of Hartford fought to a no-contest in their professional debuts after Almeida sustained a cut over his eye due to an accidental head-butt midway through the second round.
Antonio Chaves Fernandez (0-7-1) of Brockton, Mass., and Jair Ramos (2-0-1) of Waterbury, Conn., suffered the same fate as Palmer and Marshall in their four-round light welterweight bout, fighting to a majority draw with two judges scoring the bout 37-37 and the third scoring it 39-37 in favor of Ramos. Both fighters were deducted a point during the course of the fight, Fernandez for holding and Ramos for excessive low blows following the referee’s warning.