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The Inside Track

Ayala Ready for Barrera

June 17, 2004|Rob Fernas

Paulie Ayala and Marco Antonio Barrera, two former world champions at the crossroads of their boxing careers, will meet in a 12-round featherweight non-title bout Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

Ayala, 34, and Barrera, 30, each know that a defeat could be devastating.

"I don't have time in my life, at my age, to start over," Ayala said Wednesday. "I'm very focused on this fight, and it's very important."

The bout will be held at the Home Depot Center's outdoor tennis stadium as part of HBO's "Boxing After Dark" series. Undercard bouts begin at 5:45 p.m.

Barrera (57-4, 40 knockouts) said he was looking forward to fighting in Los Angeles for the first time since 1996. The popular Mexican boxer is trying to come back after a one-sided defeat against Manny Pacquiao in November.

Ayala (35-2, 12 knockouts) won his last fight in November in his hometown of Fort Worth by scoring a unanimous decision over Edel Ruiz.

The main event will follow a 6:45 p.m. 12-round bout between Jermain Taylor (20-0, 15 knockouts) and Raul Marquez (35-2, 24 knockouts) for the World Boxing Council Continental Americas middleweight title.

-- Rob Fernas

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