By Cliff Clark
27.01 - Vernon Forrest is the undefeated man with the right hand. Forrest destroyed Sugar Shane Mosley, and the year of the major upset has now extended through January 2002.
Vernon Forrest's dominating performance got off to a very slow start. He landed only 7 of 60 punches in the first round and was ripped with a hard left hook and a terrific right hand. He absorbed the punches extremely well, but Mosley easily took the first round by doing the better boxing.
The second round was the story of the fight. Shane started the round strong like he did in the first. He looked fast and sharp. Thirty seconds into the round there was a terrific clash of heads as Forrest darted in for a right to the body. Both fighters wobbled slightly. As Forrest ran around the ring holding his head, Shane stood there slightly stunned, pawing a nasty cut on his hairline. The referee aggravated the cut when he examined it, and Blood flowed down Shane's face. The cut was not in a place where the blood flowed into his eye, but Mosley seemed to tighten up a bit, and he made a critical mistake. He briefly turned southpaw, turning the cut away from Forrest. When he quickly switched back to his normal stance, he momentarily positioned his shoulders at too severe an angle to Forrest with his hands down. Forrest whipped across a beautiful straight right to Shane's jaw. A dream punch. A heat seeking missile that determined the outcome of the fight. Mosley stumbled backwards badly hurt, and Forrest pounced on him like a tiger. He drove Shane into the ropes where he landed a jab and straight right high on the head. He followed with a left hook and a perfect right uppercut that had Shane out on his feet. A grazing left hook, and a hard right hand to the temple followed. Mosley went down for the first time in his life. He tried hard to keep from touching the canvas, but as he squatted low, nearly on the floor, another right ripped into the side of his head and knocked him sprawling. Shane had never been knocked down before and got up quickly. He seemed very unsteady. After the eight-count Forrest attacked ferociously, determined to put Mosley down for the count. After Forrest landed a grazing right, Mosley stumbled, grabbed, and was pushed to the canvas by Forrest. Referee Steve Smogger counted it as a second knockdown and the bell mercifully rang before action could resume. A 10-7 round for Forrest. Wow!
A badly shaken Mosley survived a determined hammering in rounds three, four and five. Forrest's right hand was harder, faster, more compact and sharper than I've ever seen it before. Shane scored with occasional quick jabs, hooks, and right hands, but a smart boxing Forrest easily dominated each round. Shane was looking to land hard shots, but Forrest never gave him a chance. In round six Forrest put on a masterful display of jabbing as Shane looked for a punch to turn the fight around. Shane seemed to pull himself together somewhat in round seven, but lost the round and any reasonable chance to win on points. Mosley did win the eighth round and managed an even round in the ninth. Trainer Ronnie Shields cautioned the coasting Forrest to pick up the pace after the ninth.
Vernon put on an awesome display body punching in the tenth. He drove Shane to the ropes and ripped powerful left hooks to the body. Two tremendous hooks landed several inches below the belt and had Shane out on his feet. Forrest followed with a vicious right uppercut to the chin and a gritty Mosley was surviving on instinct. Steve Smogger totally missed the low blows and Shane barely survived a horrific battering. Strangely, Mosley's father Jack and the rest of his corner was very calm about things. Way too calm, considering this was the fight of Shane's life, and a unified world championship was slipping away. Jack told his son not to get too excited. The lack of a sense of urgency in the Mosley corner was deafening.
Shane came back somewhat in the 11th round and managed to win the 12th with some quick fisted boxing. His corner told him to raise his hands and act like he won the fight. It was not something that Shane was happy to do, but he raised his hands half-heartedly. Mosley knew he lost the fight by a mile and a half, and was a gracious loser. He said Forrest deserved the win, and that he was happy Vernon got his chance for glory. He said he wanted a rematch, and unlike Oscar De La Hoya, he will follow through on it.
I scored the fight 118 to 109. It was a brutally one-sided fight, and a totally dominant performance. I gave Forrest a three point round in the second and a two point round in the tenth.
After a ten-year wait, the undefeated and unheralded Vernon Forrest has arrived. He showed the world what a great fighter is all about. He complimented Mosley profusely and promised him a rematch. This is how champions who are class acts conduct themselves. The rematch should be an even better fight.
Forrest shocks Mosley / Gatti pounds Millett
By Ed Ludwig
27.01 - This evenings telecast began with Arturo Gatti (34-5 28 KO's) dominating former world champion, Terron Millett (26-3-1 19 KO's). Gatti was the much bigger man in the ring. He landed at will knocking down Millett in round three and twice in round four. Millett was counted out at 2:23 by referee Jimmy Santa. For the first time in a very long time, Arturo Gatti was not cut during the fight. Following the bout Gatti stated that he would like to fight Jesse James Leija or Micky Ward next.
In the main event, Vernon Forrest (34-0 26 KO's) dominated "Sugar" Shane Mosley (38-1 35 KO's) en route to winning a lopsided unanimous decision and capturing the WBC Welterweight title. The scores were 115-110, 117-108, 118-108. Mosley won the first round and in the second the tide changed in Forrest's favor. At the 2:38 mark an accidental headbut caused a small cut on the hairline of Mosley. At 1:11 Forrest backed Mosley into the ropes and landed a barrage of punches that sent the champ crashing to the canvas. With nine seconds left Mosley went down for a second time. The bell saved Mosley from further punishment.
In the third round Forrest had Mosley backing up and easily won it. Forrest continued to pressure Mosley in the fourth despite many clinches. The fifth round was the same as the previous with Forrest applying the pressure. A brief delay in the sixth as referee Steve Smoger ordered Mosley's corner to wipe up the water giving Mosley a few extra seconds to recover. Forrest won the round easily. The seventh round Forrest was landing hard shots as Mosley tried to clinch and avoid punishment. Another round for Forrest.
In the eight round both fighters landed some hard shots but neither fighter was hurt. Mosley won the round by landing more convincing blows. The ninth was another round which saw Mosley clinching and holding on. Forrest's round with very little action. Forrest dominated the tenth landing solid body shots which made Mosley wince in pain. Mosley caught a break when he lost his mouthpiece and the referee called brief halt to the action. The extra time did not help him at all as Forrest won the round easily.
In the eleventh round, Forrest was working well off the jab keeping the champion at bay. Forrest went down at the 1:05 mark. Steve Smoger ruled it a slip due to the water in the corner. Forrest won the round. At the start of round twelve Mosley started quickly and appeared to win the round with very little action. Forrest fought cautiously knowing the decision was his. Forrest landed 36% of his power punches compared to Mosley's 29%. Following the bout Forrest said he would give Mosley a rematch.
Both fighters showed a lot of respect for each other and Mosley offered no excuses following the announcement of the decision. It was a very entertaining fight that showed the skills of Vernon Forrest and the heart of "Sugar" Shane Mosley. Both boxers are winnner's in my eyes tonight. Photo: Reuters
Forrest Vs Mosley; A Breath Of Fresh Air For Boxing
By Kent Appel
27.01 - Boxing has needed a shot in the arm to bring some respectability back to the sport and it got it in the form of an excellent welterweight title fight Saturday Night on HBO television. Beyond the actual fight in the ring that turned the boxing world on its ear in which Vernon Forrest scored a major upset over Sugar Shane Mosley; considered one of the best fighters in the world pound for pound by both experts and fans alike, boxing was uplifted because both fighters are true sportsman in every sense of the word. None of the ranting and raving or a pre fight melee that has so typified recent world class fights and there was no possibility of a "sucker punch" by a sore loser after the fight. Just a hard fought contest with one winner and one, and I am sorry that I have to even use the term in connection with Mosley's name, one loser, who both had nothing but praise for their opponent after the contest. Maybe some people think such sportsmanship is boring but I think it is the "circus like" atmosphere that has been surrounding recent bouts that is getting tiresome. An important spin off also is that finally we can show young people who are sports fans two actual gentlemen who we wouldn't mind the youngsters looking up to. Because whether we like it or not, sports heroes influence how kids look at the world and they are entertainers every bit as much as actors and music stars who often wear their messed up life styles on their sleeves.
That there has been an epidemic of unsportsmanlike conduct recently surrounding major bouts is an understatement. Press conferences involving the possible upcoming Mike Tyson Vs Lennox Lewis fight, the recent Lewis Vs Hasim Rahman fight, as well as upcoming fights such as Oscar De La Hoya Vs Fernando Vargas and Marco Antonio Barrera Vs Erik Morales, have all erupted into brawls. There could be a possibility that at least some of the brawls were just cheap publicity stunts to try to increase public interest in the fights, but whatever the case is, all these pre fight brawls do is make the sport of boxing look bad. I like pro wrestling fine with its scripted characters and matches and it can be quite entertaining, but it doesn't mean I want boxing to turn into the same thing.
As far as the actual Forrest/Mosley bout was concerned, the fight itself sparked new interest in the sport after so many one sided title fights in which major stars of the boxing world have hardly been threatened with defeat at all. Just about everyone who commented before the fight thought that although Forrest had beaten Mosley ten years ago in the amateur ranks, that Mosley unbeaten as a professional, had matured enough to avenge his only loss in the last ten years. Another possibility that the Forrest/Mosley fight opened up is that at least in the back of their minds, champions in various weight divisions with upcoming title defenses must be thinking if it can happen to Mosley, it can happen to me. Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins, and Vassily Jirov would be wise not to look past their opponents; Glen Kelly, Carl Daniels, and Jorge Castro respectively. I think a lot of the fans will also look at these fights with renewed interest and think that there may be some more upsets coming after seeing Vernon Forrest's great victory over Sugar Shane Mosley. This attitude among the fans can only have a positive impact on boxing.
Forrest - Mosley: Epilogue
By Vaughn "Bigboscoe" Marcellus
27.01 - First of all, I have to say it feels good to be back on the Eastside! My time away was long but I am back!
In the aftermath of Vernon Forrest's 12 round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten former Welterweight Champion "Sugar Shane Mosley, questions will now arise concerning the former champion as well as the current "undisputed" Welterweight Champion.
While I watched the fight live, I noticed the inexperience of Mosely's corner and the professionalism and experience in the corner of Forrest. During round one, Mosely (38-1 35 KO) displayed the speed and the skill that made him an undefeated champion as well as number one "Pound for Pound." Vernon Forrest (33-0 26 KO) looked a bit off balanced and it seemed as though Mosley would display his craft in dismantling his taller foe.
Round two proved differently as the two clashed heads early in the round. It seemed to throw Mosely off course. Forrest landed a wicked uppercut that sent Mosely to the canvas. Forrest continuously blasted Mosley with straight rights throughout the fight behind a stiff jab.
Experience is the best teacher.
As a former amateur boxer (47-7), I learned that when you are hurt you hold. You must have survival skills. It is up to your trainer to prepare you for the worse. While Shane sat in his corner after round two (following the knockdowns), Jack Mosley (Shane's father) advised Shane to "keep your hands up!" When a fighter is hurt, defensive (survival) skills come in effect. Those skills consist of protecting yourself and clinching when possible to avoid further damage. Jack Mosley only told Shane to "keep your hands up and work the body."
After each ensuing round (following the knockdown in round 2), the corner of Mosely took precious time in sitting him (Shane) down for him to recuperate. After round three, the corner had him standing for ten seconds before sitting him down. Jack Mosley kept emphasizing to Shane that he needed to "jab to the body, jab to the body, and come up to the head!" At that point of the fight, Shane was still groggy and floundering around the ring. At one point, Jack Mosley asked Shane is he getting anxious. He asked the question as if he was nervous, all the while Shane, still groggy, remained calm.
Mosely's corner went on to tell Shane that the fight was close to which Shane continued to battle as if the decision could go either way. Not once did his (Shane's) corner, especially from rounds 10 to 12, tell him to get aggressive or that he may be losing.
After the fight, Shane admitted that he felt that he was losing. This showed the in-experience of the Mosely team in dealing with adversity. On the other hand, Forrest's team stuck to the fight plan as well as did Forrest. He continued to use his jab, followed by his right hand continuously stopping Mosely in his tracks. Forrest's corner told him to tie Mosely up and stay aggressive because of the decisions boxing is notorious for having. Forrest fight the fight he needed to fight, thus prevailing over Shane Mosely for the second time in his career (Amateur and Pro).
So what's next for Forrest and Mosely?
Forrest stated that he would give Mosely a rematch. A second fight would be just as intriguing. Mosely has a lot to proved to the boxing world after his loss. Mega-fights with De La Hoya, Vargas, and Trinidad are still possibilities. A fight with Hopkins is on the outside at this moment.
Forrest has huge pay days ahead should he defeat Mosely in a rematch. Should he (Forrest) bypass a rematch, he could walk up to Junior Middleweight and challenge Mosely's wish list of De La Hoya, Vargas, or Trinidad. Perhaps a fight with Winky Wright would propel him either further. The future looks bright for Forrest. Hopefully, he will follow the light.
Boxing tip of the week:
It's ironic that Vernon Forrest made the suggestion that the jab is a good weapon to stop a fast fighter. However, to add to that "X-factor", the uppercut is a very effective weapon against a smaller in-fighter as well. The jab will set up the uppercut as the smaller in-fighter bobs and weaves. A lot of in-fighters tend to "wing" or "loop" their punches when throwing combinations. Be patient behind your jab. Use your jab and launch your uppercut behind it as the in-fighter progress's. If use effectively, the in-fighter may end up on the seat of his pants. The uppercut will set up other punches if used effectively.