Vernon Forrest

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Vernon Forrest
Statistics
Real nameVernon Forrest
Nickname(s)The Viper
Rated atWelterweight
Light Middleweight
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
NationalityAmerican
BornJanuary 12, 1971
Augusta, Georgia, USA
DiedJuly 25, 2009(2009-07-25) (aged 38)
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights45
Wins41
Wins by KO29
Losses3
Draws0
No contests1
 
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Vernon Forrest
Statistics
Real nameVernon Forrest
Nickname(s)The Viper
Rated atWelterweight
Light Middleweight
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
NationalityAmerican
BornJanuary 12, 1971
Augusta, Georgia, USA
DiedJuly 25, 2009(2009-07-25) (aged 38)
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights45
Wins41
Wins by KO29
Losses3
Draws0
No contests1
Vernon Forrest
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's boxing
World Amateur Championships
Silver1991 SydneyLight Welterweight

Vernon Forrest, nicknamed "The Viper",[1] (January 12, 1971 – July 25, 2009) was an American professional boxer who became a world champion in the welterweight and light middleweight divisions and noted for his three victories over Shane Mosley (once as an amateur and (more notably) twice as a professional) and two upset losses to Ricardo Mayorga.

Early years and amateur career[edit]

Forrest began boxing at the age of 9. After achieving an impressive 225-16 record as an amateur, he became the 1992 US junior welterweight champion, and won silver at the 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championships, losing in the finals to Kostya Tszyu.[2] Forrest was the first in his family to graduate from high school receiving his diploma from Marquette Senior High School in Marquette, Michigan. Staying in Marquette, Forrest was on scholarship to Northern Michigan University where he majored in business administration through the U.S. Olympic Education Center. Forrest continued to train with the US National Team under head coach Al Mitchell.[2]

He was a member of the 1992 US Olympic Team during the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.[2] He earned his Olympic position by beating Shane Mosley in the trials. After that fight, Forrest was the gold medal favorite heading in to the tournament, he would then have to fight Cuban fighter Hector Vinent, a gold medalist, before reaching that goal. However, he was stricken with food poisoning a day before his first round bout and was beaten by Peter Richardson, who he'd previously defeated in a fight at the 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championships en route to winning the silver medal. He returned home to Augusta, then moved to Las Vegas, and made his professional debut on November 25, 1992.

Professional career[edit]

In his professional debut in November 1992, Forrest defeated Charles Hawkins. Through 1996, Forrest stopped 13 out of 15 opponents. Five were stopped in the first round.

As the years went by Forrest won a few minor title belts. In the year 2000 Forrest finally got his chance to fight for a major title belt against Raul Frank (for the IBF welterweight title). Unfortunately for Forrest however, a cut caused by an accidental head butt ended the bout in round three and the fight was ruled a no contest.

IBF champion[edit]

Forrest met Frank again in a rematch at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2001, on a Félix Trinidad undercard. Forrest dominated his opponent and won the fight by a unanimous decision to claim his first major professional boxing title.

Forrest vs Mosley I & II[edit]

In 2001, Forrest fought the WBC welterweight champion, Shane Mosley. Many considered Mosley to be the best fighter in the world, and he was the betting favorite to win the fight. However, Forrest scored an upset and beat Mosley by a unanimous decision. Six months later, Forrest once again defeated Mosley by a unanimous decision. His two wins over Mosley earned Forrest the Ring 2002 fighter of the year award.

Setbacks against Mayorga[edit]

In January 2003, Forrest fought the WBA welterweight champion, Ricardo Mayorga and suffered his first professional loss when Mayorga knocked him out in the third round. Later that year, he fought Mayorga again and lost by a majority decision.

On the comeback trail[edit]

Forrest took two years off from fighting because of injuries; Forrest had complete reconstructive surgery on his left arm. He had three surgeries two on his shoulder to repair a torn rotator cuff and one on his left elbow to repair torn cartilage and nerve damages.

In his first fight since losing twice to Mayorga, Forrest knocked out Sergio Rios in two rounds. After the fight against Rios, Forrest stopped Elco Garcia in the tenth round.

Forrest won a somewhat controversial ten round unanimous decision over Ike Quartey on August 5, 2006, at Madison Square Theatre, New York City. The judges at ringside scored the fight, 95-94, 95-94, and 96-93.

On July 28, 2007, Forrest won a unanimous decision against Carlos Baldomir in Tacoma, Washington, frequently firing off heavy right blows at Baldomir. After twelve rounds, Forrest won a lopsided 118-109, 116-111, 118-109 decision to take the vacant WBC light middleweight title.

On December 1, 2007, at Foxwoods Resort Casino, he successfully defended his light middleweight title against Italian Michele Piccirillo, scoring an eleventh round TKO.

Losing the title[edit]

On June 7, 2008, Forrest lost his title to The Contender winner Sergio Mora via a 12 round majority decision. In the build-up to the fight, Forrest referred to Mora as "the pretender" and threatened to send him "out on a stretcher".[3] However, Mora succeeded in pulling off the upset victory.[4] The final scores were 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112 in favor of Mora.[5][6]

Reclaiming the title[edit]

Forrest reclaimed his WBC 154-pound title on September 14, 2008, against Sergio Mora via unanimous decision, the judges scores were 118-109, 117-110, and 119-110.[7]

Professional boxing record[edit]

41 Wins (29 knockouts, 12 decisions), 3 Losses, 0 Draws, 1 No Contest
Res.RecordOpponentTypeRd., TimeDateLocationNotes
Win41-3United StatesSergio MoraUD122008-09-13United StatesMGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesWon WBC light middleweight title.
Loss40-3United StatesSergio MoraMD122008-06-07United StatesMohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, United StatesLost WBC light middleweight title.
Win40-2ItalyMichele PiccirilloTKO11 (12), 2:212007-12-01United StatesFoxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, United StatesRetained WBC light middleweight title.
Win39-2ArgentinaCarlos BaldomirUD122007-07-28United States Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, Washington, United StatesWon vacant WBC light middleweight title.
Win38-2GhanaIke QuarteyUD102006-08-05United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win37-2MexicoElco GarciaTKO10 (10), 1:582005-10-21United StatesPechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, United States
Win36-2MexicoSergio RiosTKO2 (10), 2:432005-07-16United StatesMGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss35-2NicaraguaRicardo MayorgaMD122003-07-12United StatesOrleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesFor WBC, WBA (Super), & The Ring welterweight titles.
Loss35-1NicaraguaRicardo MayorgaTKO3 (12), 2:062003-01-25United StatesPechanga Entertainment Center, Temecula, California, United StatesLost WBC & The Ring welterweight titles. For WBA (Super) welterweight title.
Win35-0United StatesShane MosleyUD122002-07-20United StatesConseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana, United StatesRetained WBC & The Ring welterweight titles.
Win34-0United StatesShane MosleyUD122002-01-26United StatesMSG Theater, New York, New York, United StatesWon WBC & vacant The Ring welterweight titles.
Win33-0MexicoEdgar RuizKO4 (10), 2:032001-08-24United StatesMountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia, United States
Win32-0GuyanaRaul FrankUD122001-05-12United StatesMadison Square Garden, New York, New York, United StatesWon vacant IBF welterweight title.
NC-GuyanaRaul FrankNC3 (12), 1:452000-08-26United StatesMandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesFor vacant IBF welterweight title.
Win31-0United StatesVince PhillipsUD122000-01-22United StatesHard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesRetained NABF welterweight title.
Win30-0PanamaSantiago SamaniegoTKO7 (12), 1:211999-08-27United StatesBell Auditorium, Augusta, Georgia, United StatesRetained NABF welterweight title.
Win29-0United StatesEd GoinsKO4 (10), 2:571999-06-19United StatesMadison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win28-0United StatesSteve MartinezTKO1 (12), 1:261999-04-16United StatesGrand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, United StatesRetained NABF welterweight title.
Win27-0United StatesMark FernandezTKO2 (8), ?:??1999-02-20United StatesMadison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win26-0United StatesEd GriffinTKO2 (12), ?:??1998-12-12United StatesTrump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United StatesRetained NABF welterweight title.
Win25-0EnglandAdrian StoneTKO11 (12), 1:271998-08-18United StatesGrand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, United StatesWon vacant NABF welterweight title.
Win24-0MexicoGilberto FloresTKO2 (?), ?:??1998-03-28United StatesBoardwalk Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win23-0United StatesRay OliveiraUD121997-11-07United StatesBally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesWon WBC Continental Americas welterweight title.
Win22-0United StatesJaime LermaUD101997-08-19United StatesConvention Center, Austin, Texas, United States
Win21-0Dominican RepublicPedro SaizTKO6 (10), ?:??1997-05-05United StatesHarrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win20-0BrazilFrancisco De AssisTKO1 (?), ?:??1997-04-05United StatesBallys Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win19-0United StatesMike RiosTKO1 (?), ?:??1997-01-24United StatesConvention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win18-0United StatesChris SlaughterKO1 (10), ?:??1996-05-10United StatesMadison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win17-0MexicoIsaac CruzKO8 (?), ?:??1996-04-09United StatesFantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, United States
Win16-0CubaTony OrtizKO1 (8), 1:291996-02-22United StatesCivic Center, Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win15-0United StatesMarlon ThomasUD121995-11-28United StatesBell Auditorium, Augusta, Georgia, United States

Charity work[edit]

Forrest was involved directly with the creation of the Not for Profit Destiny's Child, a group home that assists people with developmental, emotional, and psychological disabilities and needs.[8] Forrest was also involved directly with helping the clients by organizing Destiny's Child's activities.[9]

Murder[edit]

At about 11:00 pm EDT on July 25, 2009, Forrest stopped at a gas station in the Atlanta neighborhood of Mechanicsville.[10] With him was his 11-year-old godson. As the boy went inside the gas station, Forrest went to the back of his car to add air to a low tire. As this occurred, a man robbed him at gunpoint and fled. Forrest, who was armed, went after the man and shots were exchanged. After a short distance, Forrest gave up the chase and began talking to a second man. It was this man that shot Forrest seven to eight times in the back. According to police, the shooter and a second person left the scene in a red Pontiac.[11] Forrest was pronounced dead at the scene and the death was ruled a homicide. Atlanta Police would arrest and later charge 25-year-old Jquante Crews, 20-year-old Demario Ware and 30-year-old Charman Sinkfield for his murder. It is believed that Sinkfield was the shooter, Ware was the robber, and Crews was the driver.[12] On June 4, 2012 Charman Sinkfield was sentenced to death for Forrest's murder, with Crews and Ware being sentenced to life imprisonment.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Achievements
Vacant
Title last held by
Félix Trinidad
IBF Welterweight Champion
May 12, 2001 – December 12, 2001
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Michele Piccirillo
Preceded by
Shane Mosley
WBC Welterweight Champion
January 26, 2002 – January 25, 2003
Succeeded by
Ricardo Mayorga
Vacant
Title last held by
Marlon Starling
The Ring Welterweight Champion
January 26, 2002 – January 25, 2003
Vacant
Title last held by
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
WBC Super Welterweight Champion
July 28, 2007 – June 7, 2008
Succeeded by
Sergio Mora
Preceded by
Sergio Mora
WBC Super Welterweight Champion
September 14, 2008 – May 21, 2009
Stripped
Succeeded by
Sergio Martinez
Interim Champion Promoted
Awards
Preceded by
Bernard Hopkins
BWAA Fighter of the Year
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year

2002
Succeeded by
James Toney