Seeking return to ring, Ayala denied in parole bid after 15 years in prison


NEW YORK -- The New Jersey State Parole Board denied the parole yesterday of Tony Ayala Jr., the former junior middleweight contender who has served 15 years of a 30-year sentence on a 1981 rape conviction. Unless the decision is overturned on appeal, Ayala, 35, will spend at least another 12 months behind bars and will be released outright around June 1999.

The decision followed a meeting between Ayala and two members of the parole board -- Andrew Consovoy, the vice chairman of the board, and Roland Gomez Rivera -- at the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J. They reached a decision within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the interview.

Bob Egles, director of the New Jersey State Parole Board, sat in on the hearing and said Ayala answered all the questions and appeared to answer honestly, but the parole board took into consideration several evaluations and factors, many of them confidential and unavailable to Ayala.

Both Egles and Ayala said the board told them that parole was denied because the board members thought Ayala would commit the same crime again if he were released today, as opposed to a year from now.

Ayala's lawyer, Milt Chwasky, has said his client is eager to return to boxing and has been flooded with offers from promoters. He exercises nearly two hours a day, doing 3,400 sit-ups and taking a two- to three-mile run.

Ayala was undefeated in 22 pro fights, winning 19 by knockout.

Pub Date: 5/22/98

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