Forrest Makes A Statement

By Tom Donelson
Updated: July 29, 2007

IOWA CITY, Ia. — When Vernon Forrest defeated Shane Mosley for a second time, he was considered the next great things in the Welterweight division and the world appear to be his for the getting. A tall fighter for his weight, Forrest was blessed with power to go with great boxing skills.

Then Ricardo Mayorga appeared and stopped Forrest in three rounds. Mayorga won the rematch and Forrest’s career went into the tail spin. From one of boxing brightest lights, Forrest disappeared.

Against Carlos Baldomir, Forrest was hoping to restart his career and become an elite fighter once again.

After suffering key defeats and recovering from shoulder surgeries, Forrest desperately needed to win.

Baldomir was similar to Mayorga in that both fighters were tough hombres but there were differences as well. Mayorga’s punches had more power than Baldomir and Baldomir’s victories often came as result of persistence.

Baldomir proved to be a more skilled technician than Mayorga and had only lost one fight in eight years and that to Floyd Mayweather. If Forrest won the fight, he would garner the WBC version of the junior Middleweight championship.

But a lost could effectively end his career as a championship contender. Since the Mayorga fight, he had only three fights but his last one was a close victory over the rugged Ike Quartey.

The opening round saw Forrest using his jab to maneuver Baldomir around the ring.

Mixing in a left hook and an occasional right, Forest kept the right distance from the pressuring Baldomir.

The next two rounds followed the pattern of the first but in the fourth, Forrest continuously found a home with his right as he nailed the Argentina. With 10 seconds left, a Forrest left hook forced Baldomir back to the ropes.

Baldomir appeared dazed but it more due to confusion as he thought the round ended. What he heard was the 10-second bell.

In the seventh round, Baldomir’s strength started to show near the end of round as his pressuring style looked like it was slowing down the quicker Forrest.

Round eight saw Forest moving around the ring and giving Baldomir angles.

These angles made it difficult for Baldomir to trap Forrest and wear him down with solid inside fighting.

In the ninth round, Baldomir hurt Forrest with a solid right and a low blow cost Forest a point.

Baldomir won a 10-8 round. The 10th and 11th round saw Forrest returning with excellent movement as he easily out boxed Baldomire.

There was a time that Baldomir caught Forrest for quick moments but those moments were far and few in between.

In the final stanza, Forrest put it altogether as he jabbed and moved for the first minute but after that, nailed Baldomir with combinations that sent Baldomir’s head jolting back.

This proved to be a easy unanimous decision as Forest connected on nearly half of his punches and his sharp punching gave him the WBC junior Middleweight crown. Forrest got his title over one of boxing’s toughest opponent.

Baldomir showed in 2006 that he was a quality fighter and this added a little glitter to Forrest’s victory. Forrest showed that he could box and move but when he needed to fight in the trenches, he did.

Forrest left the ring with a piece of the title and now with a title in hand and his future proved bright once again. He now joins Joachim Alcine (the WBA champion), Sergiy Dzinziruk (WBO champion), and Cory Spinks (IBF champion) at the top of the junior Middleweight.

With Floyd Mayweather moving back to welterweight, Forrest has the opportunity to rise to the top of the division.