Most of boxing's greatest boxer
s with great amateur records like Sugar
Shane Mosley also have a gold medal
lying around. But Shane Mosley never made it to the Olympics
because of Vernon Forrest
, who beat him in a three round decision.
In their professional careers both men have been great fighters, but Mosley's defeat of Oscar De La Hoya and several spectacular KO's have pushed him into the limelight. Mosley's record of 38-0-35 put him at the top of most boxing analysts pound for pound lists. Forrest's record of 33-0-26 made him the #1 contender for Mosley's welterweight belt. But most boxing analysts didn't think of Forrest as much of a contender. It's been said that Shane Mosley isn't a household name (or at least familiar with fans of other sports) because he hasn't fought anyone great enough to truly show off his skills. Vernon Forrest was considered just another fighter who would lose to Mosley and be forgotten, while Sugar Shane kept hunting for another "big fight". All the hype about Forrest being "the last guy to beat Mosley" seemed like nothing more than an attempt to bill another mismatch as a good fight.
On January 26, 2002 Vernon Forrest and Sugar Shane Mosley stepped into the ring. In the 1st round Shane landed several good blows. In the 2nd round there was an accidental clash of heads that, for the first time ever, caused a small cut on Mosley's forehead. It will probably never really be known how much that head butt effected the fight. A few seconds later Vernon Forrest landed an overhand right that made Mosley back up into the ropes. Forrest pursued him landing a devastating uppercut. He followed that up immediately with another right hand sending Mosley, for the first time ever, to the mat. Mosley got back up on very unsure legs. He barely escaped another knockdown after a barrage of punches. With only seconds left in the round he was knocked down again. Mosley was able to get up as the bell rang. Through rounds 3rd and 4th Mosley was running and clenching. Sometime around the 6th it became obvious that it was Forrest who was doing the clenching. Forrest, with a huge lead from the two knockdowns, was using his long arms to keep his distance from Mosley and then clenching when Sugar Shane got close to him. Mosley seemed to be making a slow comeback in the 8th and 9th but was nearly floored again in the 10th round from several vicious body blows. Two slow rounds later in a lopsided unanimous decision Vernon Forrest became the undefeated Welterweight Champion of the world.
On July 20, 2002 Mosley stepped back into the ring with Vernon Forrest vowing to get back his title. He had been claiming the loss was mainly because of the headbutt. Forrest would shut Mosley's offense out over 12 rounds and prove him wrong though. Mosley said of the fight, "My plan was to move in and catch him with a hard shot. I didn't get a chance to get that shot." Mosley now finds himself with 2 losses.
Where does Mosley go from here? It looks like he'll move up in weight to the Junior Middleweight class. He hopes to fight the winner of the upcoming match between Oscar De La Hoya (who he has already beaten) or Fernando Vargas.
In September 2003 Mosley got his wish and stepped up in weight to battle it out with the revenge driven Oscar De La Hoya. After a very close 12 rounds Mosley was crowned the new Junior Middleweight champion of the world. The close decision angered Oscar enough to call for an investigation but most "talking heads" in boxing felt it was fair.
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