It has been a little over a year and a half since Vaughn “The Animal” Alexander (10-0, 7 KOs) was released from prison after serving more than a decade behind bars. During that time, his daughter was born, he signed a promotional contract with Main Events, he hired his long-time friend, George Jakovic, as his manager and he made his television debut on HBO Latino Boxing in April. Throughout all of these changes, Vaughn has remained focused on leaving his old life behind him and tirelessly pushing towards his goal of becoming a world champion, like his younger brother Devon Alexander (former IBF Welterweight World Champion).
The next hurdle in Vaughn’s path to dominance is former world title contender and New Haven native Elvin Ayala (29-9-1, 13 KOs). The two are slated to face each other in a ten-round middleweight battle as the main event on theThursday, October 5 installment of the Mohegan Sun’s Rising Stars Boxing Series at the Arena at Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino. Ayala has been in the ring with some of the division’s toughest opposition, including his IBF World Title fight against Arthur Abraham, former IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux, Curtis Stevens, Sergio Mora, Sergiy Derevyachenko and Derrick Findley, so this fight is Vaughn’s biggest test in the ring since his return to boxing last year. Since then, he is 5-0 with three KOs, but against Ayala, Vaughn will be facing an opponent who brings world champion level experience and hometown crowd support with him.
Vaughn, however, is intensely confident and did not seem fazed when he said, “I respect him. He gets in the ring and he put his life on the line but that’s where it stops. He’s not intimidating to me because I’ve been doing this since I was eight years old. I’ve been around the best of them. Honestly, this is just another fight for me. There’s nothing special about him that don’t give me any type of problems or anything like that. I’m just looking to go ahead and take care of business. This definitely isn’t going the distance. I promise you that!”
According to Jakovic, Vaughn has settled into his new life with ease and is ready for whatever challenges come his way. He said, “His day-to-day is his family and boxing. Boxing is his full-time job and he takes it extremely seriously. He makes sure he gets his rest. He’s a family man but his dedication to training is just amazing. I’ve been around. I’ve seen hundreds of boxers train. His intensity and his dedication and his love and that’s what I think is different from a lot of people. You have to be a special kind of person to fight and he has a passion for it. It shows every time he’s fighting. It’s going to show on October 5th.”
When asked about all the changes in his life Vaughn replied, “I deal with things one day at a time. One thing about me is that when a situation arises, I handle it. After doing 11 years of my life in prison, I signed with Main Events and now I’m able to build on it and get my shot again. You can’t allow things to get the best of you. That’s just me, that’s just been me my whole life. Even with everything on my plate, it’s a blessing to even be back here to fight, to even have responsibilities that I can deal with.”
Vaughn’s intense confidence leads him to believe that not only will he be victorious against Ayala on Oct. 5 but he will also win over Ayala’s hometown fans. He added, “I’m very charismatic. From my entrance to me getting in the ring; I am poised in any situation. I’m in his backyard. I’m fighting him where he’s from. I’m going to be in control like I always do. I was built for these situations. It doesn’t make no difference where I fight at. If it’s in a backyard or if it’s in Vegas, then I just fought in a duel. It doesn’t make no difference where I fight at. The result is going to be the same. They are going to be raising my hand.”
About October 5: The Mohegan Sun’s Rising Stars Boxing Series hosts its third installment with a rare Thursday Night edition at the Arena at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. The Main Event features a ten-round middleweight match-up between Rising Stars’ staple Vaughn Alexander and former middleweight title contender Elvin Ayala. The series is presented by Mohegan Sun and Main Events and feature boxing prospects from New England and around the world. Tickets start at $40 and are available now through Ticketmaster and the Mohegan Sun box office.
Photo Credit: David Spagnolo/Main Events