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Death of Texas boxer Tony Ayala Jr. a suspected heroin overdose, police say

20 Aug 1999:  Tony Ayala Jr. connects with a left hook during the fight against Manuel Esparaza at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas. Tony Ayala Jr. wins by a Technical Knock Out in the third Round. Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez  /Allsport

20 Aug 1999: Tony Ayala Jr. connects with a left hook during the fight against Manuel Esparaza at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas. Tony Ayala Jr. wins by a Technical Knock Out in the third Round. Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez /Allsport

Heroin and a syringe were found next to the body of Tony Ayala Jr., San Antonio police disclosed Thursday in a report that says investigators suspect a drug overdose killed the troubled boxer.

According to a newly released police report, the items were found on a desk next to Ayala's body, which was found face-down on the floor. Investigators said the syringe contained what appeared to be a narcotic and that a ball of heroin wrapped in tape was found on the desk with a cooker cap and a spoon.

No sign of trauma was found on the body, police said.

According to the report, a woman whom officers found weeping over his body said she and Ayala had been drinking and quarrelling in a house they shared the night before. About 1 a.m. Tuesday, he left the house angry, she said. About 7:30 a.m., sensing that something was wrong, she went to the gym owned by the Ayala family where he trained and found his body.

The woman's name was blacked out in the report.

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Ayala, a 1979 Golden Gloves middleweight champion, was 19 when he was arrested and later convicted of raping a schoolteacher in New Jersey. He was undefeated in 22 bouts with 19 knockouts and set to fight Davey Moore for a junior middleweight title before the arrest.

After serving 16 years of a 35-year term for rape, Ayala repeatedly ran into legal trouble in Texas as he tried to revive his boxing career. He was shot in the left shoulder by a woman after allegedly breaking into her home and refusing to leave in 2000. He got probation and a short jail term in a plea agreement.

Four years later, Ayala went back to prison for 10 years when he violated parole in the Texas case. He was pulled over for speeding and charged with driving without a license, possession of heroin and possession of pornography.

Ayala was charged in 2003 with having sex with a 13-year-old girl, but the case was dismissed when the girl said she lied about the incident.

Known as "El Torito" (the Little Bull), Ayala had a 28-1 record.

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