INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, AFP
Unbeaten Vernon Forrest retained his World Boxing Council welterweight championship on Saturday with a unanimous 12-round decision over Shane Mosley, whose career is at a crossroads.
This fight had none of the fireworks of the first meeting six months ago, in which Forrest scored two early knockdowns and used an accidental headbutt to score a stunning upset of the previously undefeated Mosley.
Mosley appeared tentative and did not throw enough punches, often finding himself in tie-ups that had fans so frustrated they turned their attention to a better fight in the stands during the sixth round.
Forrest (35-0, 26 KOs) used his three-inch height advantage and effective counterpunching to neutralize the shorter Mosley’s powerful left hook, which he never unleashed.
Forrest benefited from somewhat generous scoring, holding edges of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111 on the judges’ cards. However, he clearly won and proved himself — again — to be better than Mosley (38-2).
Forrest defeated Mosley in the 1992 United States Olympic Trials. They did not meet again until 10 years later, and now he has put Mosley’s future in doubt.
Considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world before these two losses, Mosley may have to move up to jump-start his career. He had trouble making the 147-pound limit for this bout.
“Evander Holyfield lost. Sugar Ray Leonard lost,” Mosley said. “A lot of people have lost and come back and done great things.”
Mosley did nothing great in this bout. He scored early in each of the first two rounds but could not maintain any energy or intensity.
The rest of the early rounds were more like a dance, with Forrest throwing more punches and Mosley creating clinches.
Late in the seventh, Forrest connected with a nice right and a solid left jab.
In the 10th, Mosley landed a strong left to the body, but Forrest countered nicely and won the round.
In the 11th, Forrest again countered with a right before landing a big overhand right lead.
On the undercard, light heavyweight Antonio Tarver avenged his only loss in thunderous style, stopping Eric Harding in the fifth round and staking his claim to a meeting with undisputed champion Roy Jones Jr.