Vernon Forrest Deserves To Be Remembered

July 27, 2009

The disturbing murder of boxer Vernon Forrest only adds to the disheartening losses suffered by the boxing world in the past month. First Alexis Arguello, then Arturo Gatti, and now Vernon Forrest. All three suffered a violent and unnatural death that seemed so unnecessary. All three also had unusually high reputations as class acts out of the ring.

In many ways the death of Forrest impacts boxing the most because he was a current fighter. Forrest was recently stripped of his WBC Junior Middleweight Championship because of his failure to fight Sergio Martinez. However, he was still very much a relevant force at 154 pounds, and even at the age of 38, may have had some big fights left in his future.

Career Highlights

Forrest will best be known for his 2 victories against the great "Sugar" Shane Mosley in 2002. Their first fight on January 26, 2002 in Madison Square Garden saw Forrest knock the heavily-favored Mosley down twice in the second round.

In both fights, Forrest used his quickness, boxing skills, and reach to defeat Mosley by unanimous decision, giving Mosley his first two career loses. The accomplishment earned him Ring Magazine's 2002 Fighter of the Year award.

At that point in his career, Forrest was regarded as one of the top Pound-For-Pound fighters in boxing. Ring Magazine listed him #4 on their list for 2002.

Unfortunately, a nagging left shoulder shoulder injury began to take its toll on Forrest even before the second Mosley fight. The injury seemed to significantly impact Forrest in his next two fights, both losses to the hard punching Ricardo Mayorga.

In the first fight, Forrest appeared overwhelmed by Mayorga's wild offensive aggression and was knocked out in the third round.

In the second fight, Forrest appeared to settle down and handle Mayorga's onslaught much better, nonetheless he lost a majority decision to the Nicaraguan.

After this fight Forrest took a 2-year hiatus from the sport of boxing to recover from his injuries. He endured two surgeries on his injured shoulder and another surgery on his left elbow. Forrest would never again fight at 147 pounds.

The Comeback

In July of 2005, Forrest returned to the ring with a Second Round knockout of Sergio Rios at 154 pounds. He proceeded to win his next four bouts including victories over Ike Quartey and Carlos Baldomir, the latter being for the WBC Light Middleweight Title.

After a startling upset loss to Sergio Mora in June 2008, Forrest dominated the rematch three months later to regain his title. After an injury delayed his fight with Sergio Martinez and caused him to be stripped of his title, Forrest was in the process of looking for his next bout when he was killed.


Forrest was most dedicated to helping mentally disabled children in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

He started the charity Destiny's Child in 1998 and passionately worked with his community on this issue. Forrest stated he was initially inspired to begin his charity work after seeing an autistic child take nearly an hour to tie his shoes.

Forrest was also an intelligent and articulate individual. He attended college at Northern Michigan University and majored in Business Administration. Forrest ultimately left college, but only in order to compete in the 1992 Olympics where he was the gold medal favorite. However, an unfortunate bout with food poisoning led to a first round exit.

Forrest was extremely popular among his fellow boxers and those in the media, and should be remembered for the quality boxer and individual that he was. At the height of his career, Forrest was an extremely talented fighter who used his fame to promote charitable works that will be as much a part of his legacy as anything else.

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for

1 comment:

  1. What a tragic loss. If paul williams couldn't get a fight with pavlik or any of the welterweights, I think a forrest versus williams fight coulda been interesting. both had that long reach.


We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...