By David Baggs/Fightnews Canada
Photo by Herby Whyne/Fightnews Canada
Elvin Ayala was supposed to be the test that everyone wanted to see Canadian KO artist David Lemieux take. Ayala was a former world title challenger who had gone 12 rounds with Arthur Abraham in a losing effort and 10 rounds within the original “The Contender” TV show winner Sergio Mora, a battle that ended in a stalemate. While Ayala wasn’t expected to win in Montreal, he was expected to go some rounds. Twenty-two rounds with the likes of Abraham and Mora cemented just that fact.
On Friday night, under the bright outdoor lights of the GYM promoted card at Uniprix stadium, his night was over after a mere 2 minutes and 44 seconds. As Ayala (20-5-1, 9 KOs) made his way to the ring, he appeared confident and loose, wearing an ear to ear grin that immediately turned the crowd against him. Ayala must have known that a victory over his young adversary would put him right back into the middleweight picture and that Lemieux’s mythic punching power was just that…a myth.
Fireworks ignited the sky as Lemieux (23-0, 22 KOs) and his team made their way to the ring, his ring entrance was something to behold. The crowd on hand loved it, building their expectations for an exciting fight. Lemieux wouldn’t disappoint them. While Ayala waited for the Canadian to make his way through the crowd and into the ring, he warmed up and threw punches in bunches into the air, there was no look of anxiety or nervousness in his demeanor.
As a seven year pro, he has fought in hostile territory before. This was nothing new. As the bell sounded to start the main event, Lemieux met Ayala at the center of the ring, hands up in a defensive posture as taught by his long time trainer Russ Anber.
Ayala started quickly, in hopes of testing the chin of the 21-year-old Canuck. Most of his punches would land upon the gloves of Lemieux only. After 15 or so seconds, Lemieux came out of his shell and started to unleash his arsenal. The first two punches that Lemieux landed buckled the knees of Ayala immediately and sent him back into the ropes. One look into the eyes of Ayala and you could see the surprise, the acknowledgment of just how hard Lemieux hits. At that moment, everyone in attendance knew that this one was not going the distance.
Ayala began to throw wide, hard shots in hopes of landing something that would deter Lemieux from his seek and destroy mission. Again, whatever Ayala threw was picked off by Lemieux’s gloves. When Ayala sought temporary sanctuary in a corner, Lemieux saw his opportunity. He threw a hard jab that split the Ayala’s guard, followed by a right hook that found his chin. In a flash, Ayala found himself on the canvas, hurt and completely disoriented. He willed himself up at the count of eight and was allowed to continue but Lemieux was not in the mood for letting his prey off the hook.
Moments later Lemieux’s right hook again found the mark and Ayala, not fully recovered from his earlier trip to the canvas, was downed a second time. Ayala, forever the competitor, regained his feet, albeit on unsteady legs, and was given the opportunity to continue. Without the legs to move, he was little more than target practice. Lemieux had little difficulty in finding Ayala, the follow-up barrage of left and right hooks, dropped Ayala for the third time, ending matters at 2:44 of the opening round.
Ayala had a difficult time recovering from the beating he had taken, his corner men were very careful of putting him on his stool and allow his head to clear before they made their way back to the dressing room to ponder what went wrong.
For Lemieux, he made the most of his ESPN televised opportunity, showing poise and punching power that surely enthralled the viewers. As Lemieux’s name was being officially announced as the victor, long-time fight judge and Montreal icon Guy Jutras walked past the media table and summed up the action in a mere four words, “That boy can punch.”