Early interest ‘bone-dry’ for Adams-Ayala

Feb 19, 2002 5:22 AM

Boxing aficionados are anxiously awaiting Saturday’s rematch between Clarence “Bones” Adams and Paulie Ayala, but the general public has been slow to come around.

“We’re not even having odds on the fight,” said Jay Kornegay, race and sports manager at Imperial Palace. “I think the fight will be boring. Neither one will be able to knock the other out. It will be boring.”

Further south on the Strip at Mandalay Bay, where the fight will be held, the buzz is quite different.

“A lot of late money should be coming in on the fight, which we think will be a great matchup,” said Tom Kapics, the casino-resort’s race and sports director. “I think Bones will get the decision. He won the last fight, although the decision went the other way.”

Mandalay has made Adams a minus $1.30 favorite, while Ayala is an even money underdog. The first time the fighters met for the Super Bantamweight Title, Ayala won a split decision last August at the same Events Center site.

Judges Jerry Roth (115-112) and Dave Moretti (114-113) scored the fight for Ayala, while judge Duane Ford had Adams winning 114-113.

Mandalay has the fight at $2.50 for going the distance, while the price is plus $2.10 for not lasting the 12-round limit. Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened the fight as a pick, with the distance odds at minus $2.50 for lasting 12 and plus $2 for ending earlier.

Venetian race and sports book manager Rob Akers believes the fight will be another entertaining affair, similar to the first encounter.

“I think it will be a more strategic fight this time,” Akers said. “Last time, it was a war with Adams trying to overpower Ayala. I look for this fight to be more strategic. Boxing purists will really like this fight. I agreed with the judges on Ayala the first time around.”

The Venetian has Ayala as a minus $1.20 favorite, with Adams a slight underdog at minus $1.10. The race and sports book odds show a 12-round decision at minus $2.20 and a result by TKO or knockout at plus $1.80.

The general consensus is that this fight has not drawn the action deserving of a major title fight due to the several black eyes boxing has suffered in Nevada over the past six months. The Mike Tyson fiasco, along with the Zab Judah ring riot, has left a bad taste in this town toward the sport.

“I think the people are waiting for the De La Hoya-Vargas fight in May,” said John Avello, race and sports book director at Bally’s-Paris Las Vegas. “That will be some weekend with the Kentucky Derby going on. The handle should be huge. There just hasn’t been the interest around here in Adams-Ayala.”