Tony Ayala, Jr. Arrested

Tony Ayala Jr., a once-promising boxer who had resumed his career after 16 years in prison, faces burglary charges after being shot by a woman in her home early today.

Ayala, 37, was shot in the shoulder with a .45-caliber pistol after entering the home of an 18-year-old woman in the middle of the night, police said. He was in stable condition under police guard at a hospital.

Deputy Police Chief Richard Gleinser said Ayala would be charged with burglary.

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Police said Ayala drove to the house to see the young woman, whom he had met at his father’s gym. He allegedly entered through an unlocked back door or window.

Alan Brown, Ayala’s lawyer, had no comment.

Ayala was released from a New Jersey prison in April 1999 after serving 16 years for raping a neighbor during a middle-of-the-night break-in on New Year’s Day in 1983.

Before his imprisonment, Ayala was a junior middleweight champion and was undefeated in 22 fights. He returned to the ring this year and won five more bouts before breaking his hand and losing his first pro-career fight last July.