He’s shown glimpses from time to time, but reigning WBC USNBC middleweight beltholder Elvin Ayala has yet to unleash the inner beast that earned him the nickname, “The Lycan.”
“I’m looking forward to being an animal,” Ayala (25-5-1, 11 KOs) said. “I know I have it in me.” Ayala hopes to let it all out tonight against late sub John Mackey (13-7-3, 6 KOs) in the 10-round main event of “The Fire Within,” a fitting title for Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ latest live professional boxing event at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Mackey is no pushover; he recently fought to a draw against Providence, R.I., super middleweight Vladine Biosse and fought six hard rounds against undefeated prospect John Thompson. Ayala, now ranked #20 in the WBC, expects to have his hands full Saturday despite the fact Mackey took the fight on short notice.
“I’ve always said if you want to be a world champion you have to beat whoever they put in front of you, and this is no different,” Ayala said. “I’m in shape and ready for whatever.”
“He’s a heck of a competitor,” added Mackey. “He’s been in there with some big names. He’s used to the bright lights. I think his style will match well with mine. I’m still giving up some things, but I’m just blessed to be in a fight of this magnitude.”