Originally created 01/25/02

Fighters forget '92 bout



NEW YORK -- Vernon Forrest and Shane Mosley believe too much is being made of their three-round bout at the 1992 Olympic Trials.

"I have forgotten that fight, but you guys (media) keep bringing it up," Forrest said. "This fight is not about what happened 10 or 11 years ago. This fight is about the two best welterweights in the world."

Forrest won that semifinal bout 25-14 and went on to the Olympics in Barcelona.

"There's probably more made of it because of what the media say," said Mosley, who will defend the WBC welterweight championship in a battle of unbeaten boxers Saturday night in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

"It was just a fight, there's no reason to be angry at anybody," Mosley added.

So that amateur bout has no meaning?

No way. Not as long as gamesmanship is part of boxing.

"Let me say right off that I just know Shane is too strong, too fast and too powerful for Vernon," said Jack Mosley, the father-manager-trainer of the champion. "It doesn't matter what happened then. Shane has adapted to many styles. I don't think Vernon has changed his style."

In Forrest's opinion, father doesn't know best.

"Ten years ago, I thought I was better and 10 years later I think I'm better," he said.

Forrest said he knocked down Mosley in that three-round bout in 1992.

"He came out like he does now, but I outboxed him," Forrest said. "I took him to Boxing 101. I dropped him."

That not the way Mosley remembers it.

"He didn't knock me down," he said. "I slipped and the referee waived it off. There was no eight-count."

Forrest said he didn't think Mosely's style differs much from what it was when he was amateur.

"He hits harder, but I hit harder than I did then," he said.

Jack Mosley said his son concentrated landing a lot punches as an amateur, but has trained for power as pro.

"When Vernon feels Shane's power he's going to say, 'Wow, we're not in 1992, we're in 2002," he said.

The 30-year-old Mosley has 35 knockouts on a 38-0 record, while Forrest, who will turn 31 on Feb. 12, has 26 knockouts on a 33-0 record.

Mosley, of Pomona, Calif., turned pro in February 1993. He was IBF lightweight champion in 1997-99, and he won the WBC welterweight title by outpointing Oscar De La Hoya on June 17, 2000.

Saturday night's fight, the featured bout on an HBO doubleheader beginning at 9:30 p.m. EST, will be his fourth title defense.

Forrest, of Atlanta, lost in the first round at the Barcelona Olympics, a day after he had food poisoning. He turned pro in November 1992 and won the vacant IBF welterweight title on points over Raul Frank last May 12.

He defended the title once and then it was stripped from him for signing to fight Mosley rather than the IBF's top-ranked contender, Michele Piccirillo of Italy.

"They originally agreed to give us an exemption from a mandatory so we could have the unification fight, but they changed their mind," said Al Hayman, Forrest's adviser.

A 10-round junior welterweight bout between Arturo Gatti of Jersey City, N.J., and Terronn Millett of St. Louis will precede the Mosley-Forrest bout.

Gatti is a former IBF junior lightweight champion. Millett is a former IBF junior welterweight champion.

Vernon Forrest

Age: 28

Hometown: Augusta

Height: 6-0

Weight: 147

Records: 33-0-0 (26 KO's)

Reach: 72 1/2

Titles: IBF Welterweight champion; NABF Welterweight champion; Former IBC Super Lightweight champion

Shane Mosley

Age: 30

Hometown: Pomona, Calif.

Height: 6-0

Weight: 147

Records: 38-0-0 (35 KO's)

Reach: 72 1/2

Titles: IBF Lightweight champion; WBC Welterweight champion

LAST MEETING

Vernon Forrest was the last fighter to defeat Shane Mosley. Forrest won the three-round amateur fight at the 1992 Olympic Trials.

THE BOUT

9:30 p.m. Saturday (HBO)