A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Forrest The Fighter
IOWA CITY (BASN) — Vernon Forrest was murdered in one of those unexplained aspects of life. It was the lottery of life that left him in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is much to celebrate about Forrest’s career, a career that included two championships at two different weights divisions.
In 2002, Forrest made his mark when he defeated Shane Mosley in a battle of the undefeated. Mosley, after having beating De La Hoya, was on the top of the world when he faced Forrest.
It was Forrest, using his height and boxing skills, that knocked Mosley down and almost out early in the fight. He not only defeated Mosley once, but twice and it was Forrest who had a date with greatness.
This ended in his next fight with Ricardo Mayorga, the crude brawling Nicaraguan. Mayorga knocked Forrest down and out in the third round of their bout. This represented the high water point of Mayorga’s career and in the rematch, he threw enough punches from all kind angles to sneak out a majority decision.
It was at this point that Forrest’s career entered into the wilderness. With surgery on an injured shoulder, his career looked imperiled.
It was here that he showed his character as he came back from this injuries and two year hiatus to campaign as a junior Middleweight. His first fight was a two round knockout against Sergio Rios followed by a 10-round TKO victory over Elco Garcia.
Forrest was now ready to challenge for a second title and his first big test came against Ike Quartey, another former Welterweight looking for a second title in another weight division. In a close bout, Forrest won a slim decision; complicated by a one point deduction for a low blow.
Forrest fought another former Welterweight champion when he challenged the tough Argentina fighter, Carlos Baldomir for the vacant WBC junior Middleweight title. Baldomir and his boxing skills overwhelmed Baldomir.
On two of the cards, Forrest took almost every round and won an easy victory to claim the title. His first defense of his new title came against Italian fighter Michele Piccirllo and Forrest defended his title with an 11th-round TKO.
He then faced the popular Middleweight and former Contender champion Sergio Mora. Forrest was now at the point in his career that he was closer to 40 than 30 and there were times, he looked old against the scrappy Mora.
Mora, never a big puncher, found a way to outhustle the older Forrest and it wasn’t until the last third of the fight that he looked like the Forrest of old with a snappy jab and his power right but it was too late and not enough.
In the rematch, Forrest’s jab and power came back against the awkward Mora and he won an easy decision victory to recapture his title. This would be his last fight, the last time we would see him fight in the ring and his last battle would result in a championship belt.
After his victory over Mosley put Forrest on the map but his defeat Mayorga and his injuries wounded his quest for boxing immortality but yet he would end his career as a potential Hall of Fame candidate.
If nothing else, his record would indicate a career that most fighters would be envious. For a brief moment, he was the best welterweight in a division that featured Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya at their peak and he would die as one of the top junior Middleweights in the world.
In the ring, Forrest was a masterful boxer with power and if he never injured his shoulder, maybe, we would be looking at him in a different light. He proved to a fighter in the ring and a gentleman outside of the ring.