Forrest, Mosley Renew Rivalry
Jul. 20, 2002
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ He's big, powerful and unbeaten. Now, WBC welterweight champion Vernon Forrest will try to vanquish former champ Shane Mosley once and for all.
The 31-year-old Forrest squares off Saturday night against Mosley in what promoters promise will be ``The Rematch of the Century.''
On Friday, Forrest narrowly made weight for the 12-round title fight, needing three tries _ and a walk _ to get down to the 147-pound weight limit.
On Jan. 26, the fighter from Atlanta surprised then-champion Mosley, dominating him to win a 12-round decision at Madison Square Garden. Until then, he'd been a relative unknown outside boxing circles.
``There are two boxing publics,'' Forrest said. ``The boxing public and the general public. My name has always been good in the boxing public. The general public is always influenced by the media.
``I wasn't on the radar with the general public, but the real boxing people already knew what I was capable of.''
The 30-year-old Mosley, who lost to Forrest 10 years ago as an amateur, learned all about his capabilities in their first professional meeting. Negating Mosley's quick hand speed with size and power, Forrest (34-0) battered him with uppercuts, rights and a head-butt his corner men say was accidental.
``I've got a 47 who's as big as (former middleweight) Tommy Hearns, can punch as good as Tommy Hearns and he can fight inside,'' said Al Mitchell, Forrest's co-trainer. ``I've got a snake here. I got a killer here.''
Mosley (38-1), who says the head-butt left him foggy for most of the first fight, says it'll be a different story Saturday night at Conseco Fieldhouse. ``I'm very strong, very focused. I'm 100 percent prepared for this fight.''
On Friday, he predicted he'd win by knockout.
Also Friday, Sen. John McCain accused the World Boxing Council of interfering with the selection of judges.
According to McCain, the WBC threatened to pull its sanction of the fight if the Indiana Boxing Commission did not agree to replace two judges who had already been chosen.
The commission agreed to replace one, appointing Jerry Roth of Nevada to replace judge Duane Ford, according to McCain, R-Arizona.
``The WBC's influence on the Indiana Boxing Commission's selection of officials is not only inappropriate, it is exactly the type of conduct that is destroying the credibility of the sport of professional boxing in the eyes of the public,'' McCain said.
WBC President Jose Sulaiman denies any meddling.
``The WBC does not impose its choice of officials upon a commission or affiliated member,'' he said. ``In the case of our good friends in Indiana, we nominated over a dozen officials, of which the Indiana commission _ and only the Indiana commission _ appointed those to judge the fight with our full cooperation, support and approval.''