Ayala has heavy task

Nov 12, 2002 2:42 AM

   Paulie Ayala tries to move up in weight class Saturday when he takes on Erik Morales for the vacant WBC featherweight title at Mandalay Bay.

   Ayala is a +250 underdog in the bout as he moves up from the 122-pound super bantamweight class to the power-packed 126-pound division. Morales is fighting for the first time since a controversial split decision loss to Marco Antonio Barrera.

   The fight comes two weeks after the Barrera-Johnny Tapia featherweight bout to redefine the ultimate champion. Barrera won an easy 12-round decision and Morales figures to do the same in what should be an action bout.

It’s interesting to note that both Ayala and Morales are promoted by Tom Rank’s Bob Arum.

Shamrock +140 underdog

   Ken Shamrock, the most famous name in Ultimate Fighting, is a

surprising +140 underdog for his Nov. 22 fight with light-heavyweight

champion Tito Ortiz at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

   The live-pay-per-view event is gaining more media attention, evidenced

with the hiring of USA Today sports analyst and oddsmaker Danny Sheridan

as a commentator. MGM Grand lists Ortiz as a —180 favorite to retain his title.

   Joe Rogan, of the NBC television show Fear Factor and will join Sheridan and Minnesota Wild hockey play-by-play broadcaster Mike Goldberg on the telecast.

   UFC 40 is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. PST.

 

Also: GamingToday has broken through the alphabet soup and defined its boxing rankings based upon what is considered the best fighters at that weight.

  

   GT’s best of the best

Division   Top fighter       weight

Heavyweight   Lennox Lewis      200 +              

Cruiserweight   Roy Jones        190

Light-heavy   Roy Jones        175

Super-middle   Roy Jones        168

Middleweight   Bernard Hopkins              160

Super-welter   Oscar de la Hoya    154

Welterweight   Vernon Forrest    147

Super-light   Kostya Tszyu      140

Lightweight   Jose Luis Castillo   135

Super-feather   Marco Antonio Barrera 130

Featherweight   Erik Morales    126

Super-bantam   Paulie Ayala    122

Bantamweight   Tim Austin       118

(Unfamiliar with fighters below bantams)

 

    VEGAS PUNCHCARD

 

Nov.16 - At The Mandalay Bay Casino

               (WBC Featherweight belt)

   Erik Morales (41-1) vs. Paulie Ayala (34-1)

          

Dec. 7 - At Mandalay Bay Casino

               (WBC Lightweight belt)

   Floyd Mayweather (28-0) vs. Jose Luis Castillo (46-5-1)

               (WBO Heavyweight belt)

    Wladimir Klitschko (39-1) vs. Jameel McCline (28-2-3)