Originally created 07/18/02

Mosley changes approach



INDIANAPOLIS - When Shane Mosley stepped into the ring Wednesday afternoon to begin his public workout and to officially kick off the final frenzied days before his rematch with Augusta's Vernon Forrest, his face was stony.

He was all business.

After losing a unanimous decision to Forrest in January, Mosley (38-1, 35 knockouts) is no longer the favorite to beat Forrest. He must get serious.

That's one reason why Saturday night's WBC welterweight championship bout will be the most interesting rematch of the century.

Mosley pulled on his boxing gloves and performed a sharp, succinct workout for about 20 minutes before fulfilling his television media obligations and leaving.

The spectacle was finished in less than an hour.

Augusta's Vernon Forrest would have none of that.

Instead, Forrest took his workout, which lasted at least three times as long as Mosley's, nice and easy. He played the soothing sounds of Teddy Pendergrass, the singer of Love TKO, over the loudspeakers at Conseco Fieldhouse, content to lull spectators into a trance.

In fact, the appearance of the Indiana Pacers' Ron Artest seemed to draw as much interest as Forrest.

For Forrest, who left his workout early without speaking to the media, nothing has changed since his last encounter with Mosley.

"Vernon's real relaxed," co-trainer Al Mitchell said. "He was just as relaxed for the last fight. He can't wait for the fight to be over, so he can go home and sleep in his bed."

The approach of Forrest (34-0, 26 KOs) is decidedly different from the one Mosley is taking.

And it's all because of what Mosley learned during the last fight - when he was knocked down three times before losing.

"I've learned to take every fight seriously," Mosley said. "I know what it takes to prepare for a fight of this magnitude."

That doesn't necessarily mean Mosley is uptight. He's trying to stay just as loose as Forrest - even with though losing could derail the career of Mosley, considered to be one of the best fighters of this generation.

"I'll just relax and let the fight come to me," Mosley said. "We still have a couple days to go. I've been doing this so long, it's like second nature."

Ditto for Forrest.

"He's the same as he always is," Mitchell said. "To Vernon, it's just another fight."

Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or josh.katzowitz@augustachronicle.com.