Forrest was underdog but doesn't consider victory an upset

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- He might have been a 7-1 underdog, but Vernon Forrest doesn't consider his victory over Shane Mosley an upset.

Sure, Forrest was unbeaten as a pro and defeated Mosley at the 1992 Olympic Trials. Mosley, though, was not only unbeaten -- he was considered by many boxing observers to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

''When I beat him back then, I was a better fighter, and I beat him tonight because I was a better fighter,'' said Forrest, who became the WBC welterweight champion Saturday night.

Forrest knocked Mosley down twice in the second round and had him in serious trouble in the 10th in pounding out a one-sided decision before a sellout crowd of 5,323 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden

''Vernon did a number on me, didn't he?'' said Mosley, a former IBF lightweight champion, who was making the fourth defense of the welterweight title he won on points from Oscar De La Hoya in June 2000.

''I definitely want a rematch,'' Mosley said.

Countered Forrest, ''Whenever he wants a rematch, he can have one.''

The action ran hot and cold. There were the wonderful second and 10th rounds, but both fighters missed a lot of punches, and there were several pedestrian rounds.

Early in the second round, the boxers' heads collided. Both fighters turned away, with blood seeping from a cut at Mosley's hairline, and referee Steve Smoger briefly called a halt.

When action resumed, Forrest drove Mosley back with a tremendous right to the head and followed with two more rights that put the champion down for a count of four.

Mosley tried desperately to stay out of harm's way and almost succeeded, but he went down from another right with about 10 seconds left. He got up, and the bell rang.

''I think Steve should have stopped it, but Steve is a great referee,'' Forrest said.

Mosley -- who weighed 146 pounds, a pound lighter than Forrest -- stayed away in the third round, then tried valiantly to get back into contention.

''He wouldn't let me back in,'' Mosley said.

Forrest put an exclamation point on his victory in the big 10th round.

The judges' scores for Forrest were 115-110 by Tom Kaczmarek, 117-107 by Melvina Latham, and 118-110 by Julie Lederman.

The AP card favored Forrest 116-109.

Forrest, who was stripped of the IBF title for signing to meet Mosley instead of making a mandatory defense, has a 34-0 record, with 27 knockouts. He has one no-contest.

Mosley is 38-1, with 35 knockouts.

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